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Pine City Trap Competes at State

The Dragons trap shooting team competed at the state meet last week. Here's a recap of the meet from Coach Johnson:

Tuesday, June 21, 28 Dragons represented the Pine City High School Trap Shooting Team at the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League’s Class 9A open shooting competition in

Alexandria. During the course of nine days, 7,900 athletes from 329 Minnesota high school

teams competed in the event. The tournament includes three levels of competition: varsity

shooters (19 average or higher out of 25), junior varsity shooters (15 to 18.99), and novice

shooters (below 15). Grade levels varied from 7 th grade to seniors. Each shooter at the

tournament gets 100 clay targets to shoot at during two separate shifts on the line. Conditions on the range were very challenging Tuesday, with winds gusting at 45 mph throughout the day.

Leading the Pine City team scoring at state was junior Caden Fedder, who finished with a 91

and shot a perfect round of 25, his third time achieving that goal. Seniors Blake Hall and Jacob Goodner finished second and third with scores of 85 and 83 respectively. Tyler Mohr, a

sophomore, shot an 82 to finish fourth, followed by senior Levi Dee at 81. Ryan Carl (9), Eli

Schultz (11), and Zach Watts (10) tied for 6 th with 80 hits.

In the competition against the 16 teams in Class 9A, Pine City Novice shooters finished second. Leading the Dragon team were 8 th grader Darian Hall with a 78, and 9 th graders Talen Reitan with a 77 and Nate Burns with a 72. Hall’s score was 20 points above his season average, and Reitan’s was a remarkable 29 points above his season average. Junior Hailey Houle led the team in the female division, hitting 74 targets, which was an impressive 21 points above her season average. She has been shooting with the team since 7 th grade.

The Junior Varsity team finished 8 th and the Varsity team with only 6 shooters, finished 15.

Blake Hall, Tyler Mohr, Levi Dee, Ryan Carl, Jarred Juhl, and Wyatt Nowling were top JV

shooters for the Dragons. In the Varsity division, Fedder’s score of 91 was good for 30 th place out of 295 shooters.

A remarkable 22 of the 28 participants scored at or above their season average. Others

shooting well above their season averages included Ryan Carl (+20), Austin Gariepy (+25), and Levi Kraft (+24). Coach George Johnson said, “Shooting that well in the face of the high winds that caused targets to move erratically, in addition to the pressure of shooting at the state tournament, was definitely challenging. This was a very strong showing by many of our veteran shooters as well as younger athletes that bodes well for the future.”

During the regular season, this year’s Pine City team had 75 athletes and again participated in the top conference, 9A. The team was blessed to have 12 seniors. Coach Johnson said the

seniors have provided excellent leadership to younger shooters throughout the season. A total of 33 athletes earned their coveted PC letters this year.

The team is coached by 18 volunteer coaches who helped the kids learn shooting skills along

with the skills needed to be a good teammate. Participants pay a registration fee of $35 to the league for insurance, and $125 for shooting fees. The state average is over $300. Because trap shooting is classified as a “club sport,” it is not funded by the local school district. Ammunition costs are shared by donations from several local organizations, individual contributions, and fund raising done by coaches and the Pine County Thunderin’ Toms. Coaches are currently selling tickets for a 20 gun raffle to be held on July 9. Tickets are available at NAPA or from Coach Johnson. Ammunition costs rose from $6534 in 2021 to $17,700 in 2022, so any help is greatly appreciated.

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