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MMS trap team hits the range

Sixth grader Maggie Johnson receives instruction from coach Jason Belisle during the first week of practice for the Meyer Middle School trap shooting team last week at the River Falls Sportsmen's Club. Photo courtesy of Tanja Eisinger

The Meyer Middle School trap shooting team completed its first week of practice with 56 participants from grades 5-8 taking part in the fourth year of the program.

All participants were required to attend an introduction to trap shooting night where kids are taught trap shooting range rules and etiquette and all guns are inspected and fitted. The team has 16 volunteer coaches, led by head coaches Belinda Hopp and Craig Rogaczewski, who teach the kids safety, rules of the range and tips to become better shooters.

The team also has the support of the River Falls Sportsmen's Club, where it practices and takes part in weekly shoots with their scores recorded and compared to the other schools in the conference. There are also optional weekend invitational shoots the kids can participate in. One of the most anticipated shoots is held at the South St. Paul Rod and Gun Club. After the trap shooting competition, the kids are treated to a round of sporting clay, which simulates actual field shooting. The course is designed to simulate the hunting of ducks, pheasants, other upland birds, and even rabbits.

Due to the generous support of Leupold, C & R Guns, Pheasants Forever, Rocky Mountain Elk foundation, and Whitetails Unlimited, no child is turned away from the team.

Trap shooting is the fastest growing school sport, not only in Wisconsin, but nationwide. Wisconsin expects 1,400 kids with 50 teams participating in 2018.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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