WDC Trap Team to compete at MSHSL State Tournament
By Norm Gallant, Activities Director
The Wadena-Deer Creek Trap Team will cap an outstanding second season by competing in the inaugural Minnesota State High School Clay Target Tournament in Prior Lake next Saturday.
The Wolverines advanced to the MSHSL Meet by placing 5th out of 59 Class A teams at the Minnesota Clay Target League State Tournament held last Friday in Alexandria. The prestigious meet is dubbed “The World’s Largest Youth Trap Shooting Event.” Almost 4,000 high school students from around Minnesota took part in the five-day festivities.
Freshman Cordell Webb led the way for the WDC team, blasting 97 out of 100 birds. Webb dusted the first 50 birds he saw and ended up in sixth place in the tournament. Last year’s High Gun Jacob Goeden had two runs of 25 straight during his four rounds, giving him a total of 94 and a tie for 10th place. Blaine Cooper knocked down 93 targets to finish tied for 11th, Chris Hahn 88 and Reid Miller 86. Drew Killian (77) and Adam Arneson (71) also competed in the varsity division. The team ended up hitting 461 out of 500 targets and in a fourth-place tie with Richfield. Richfield ended up in the 4th spot when their top shooter hit 99 out of 100 targets.
Teams are placed in different divisions based on the average score of the shooters. Last season, the first year the Wolverines had a team, they only qualified to shoot in the Novice Division, for shooters with lower averages. This season, WDC had shooters qualify in all divisions and the 5th place at the varsity (highest) level was quite an accomplishment.
“The kids shot incredible,” said Co-Coach Mike Kenney, “We shot later in the day, so the kids had a lot of wind to deal with. Nothing bothered them, they shot great.”
Co-Coach Chelsa Golberg added, “We are very proud of the way the kids performed. It didn’t rain, but the wind was horrendous.”
Both coaches noted great community support for the team. Improvements were made to the Knob Hill Trap facility including a new trap machine that allowed the kids to have improved conditions for practice and competition this year.
“The support of Knob Hill Sportsman Club, the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association - Wadena chapter, the Wadena chapter of Pheasants Forever, the Deer Creek Rod and Gun Club, the Otter Tail Rod and Gun Club, and Mason Brothers has made this a great experience,” said Kenney, “Our program is growing and the kids are improving and having a lot of fun thanks to these folks’ generosity and support.”
WDC teams also competed in the JV and Novice divisions as well. The Wolverines placed sixth in the 42-team JV division. Emily Astle placed second in the female competition with 85 out of 100. Ryan Grendahl was 9th for the boys with 89. Matt Goeden shot 84, William Astle 81, Elijah Schmitz 80, Brady Adams 78 and Josh Brink 74.
In the Novice Division, Ella Harrison tied for 9th in the female division with 53 out of 75, while Bryce Cooper was 10 for the boys at 61/75 and Wyatt Hamann shot 49 out of 75, good for 22nd.
WDC will compete on Saturday at the State Tournament at the Minneapolis Gun Club in Prior Lake. Opening Ceremonies will start at 8 a.m. This is the first Minnesota State High School League-sponsored state tournament. High school trap shooting began in 2001, but has exploded in the last five years with more than 6,000 students registered throughout the state. WDC will be one of only 25 teams in all classes to qualify for the tournament. Not bad for a second-year program!