(The 2nd of 2 Consecutive) Weekend Tournaments

As I mentioned previously in the post (The 1st of 2 Consecutive) Weekend Tournaments – which was about #4 of 5’s Softball Tournament – this last weekend we had another weekend long tournament to attend.  This weekend’s tournament was the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League’s State Tournament.

                              Minnesota State High School Clay Target League State Tournament 2011

It was expected to have close to 30 teams, and 500 students participating through the duration of the tournament! 

It was a beautiful day, and since #3 of 5 started his Camp Akela C.I.T. training the night before, we dropped him off, but drove him back home again that night in preparation for the tournament.  The arrangements were made with both his trap shooting coach and the camp staff to allow him to miss a partial day of training in order to shoot for the team.  Once he finished his shooting, I returned him to camp.  

It was to be a busy weekend indeed! 

We arrived at the trap range, and our coach had set up his trailer and his camper as a central gathering area for the team.  The coach handed out the student’s meal tickets, participation pins, covered the last minute changes to the squad line ups, told us which trap we were shooting at, then covered the entire day’s itinerary. 

There was to be a commencement ceremony to the day’s events.  It started with announcements by the host (The Minneapolis Gun Club) thanking the many volunteers from the club, the sponsors, the coaches, and the many people involved in making the tournament a reality.  Also present was the United States Marine Corp Honor Guard who held a flag ceremony, followed by a singing of the national anthem.

Minnesota State High School Clay Target League State Tournament 2011 Minnesota State High School Clay Target League State Tournament 2011

2011 HS Opening Cerimony - www.mplsgunclub.com   Panoramic photo used with permission from the Minneapolis Gun Club http://www.mplsgunclub.com/

With the opening ceremony complete, the teams were to report to their trap ranges and prepare for the 9am start.  The Minneapolis Gun Club has 10 trap shooting stations set up in a long line.  Each station has 5 shooting positions.  You can get a good idea on how the range is set up from this aerial view.  With fifty shooters on the line you really knew when the clock struck 9am!

Ariel photo from Bing.com/maps

We shared our trap (Trap #4) with the Worthington Team. 

Minnesota State High School Clay Target League State Tournament 2011 Minnesota State High School Clay Target League State Tournament 2011

The order of the shooting was - Jordan J.V. Squad 1, Jordan J.V. Squad 2, Jordan J.V. Squad 3, Worthington J.V. Squad, Jordan Novice Squad 1, Jordan Novice Squad 2, and Worthington Novice Squad.  Each squad fired two back to back rounds of 25 (50 shots) before moving to the next squad.  Once we made it through the full rotation, the J.V. Squads shot another 50 (back to back 25 rounds), and the Novice teams shot one single (25 shot) round.  The Varsity Teams shot on Sunday.

Frequent commenter here “Co-Worker” has a son on one of the other teams.  Since “Co-Worker” had to work, #3 of 5 and I went down to their trap, introduced ourselves and wished him (and his team) good luck!  Throughout the day I walked back and forth between the two trap ranges and watched “Co-Worker’s” son shoot – snapping a few photos, and sending his dad (Co-Worker) text message updates throughout.

At the last minute I remembered was reminded by The Mother of Five that I could have should have invited my parents to attend, but had neglected to do so.  I quickly called them up, apologizing for the short notice, and invited them to join me.  I did not fully expect to see them seeing as it was so “last minute”, but was delighted to see them arrive.  I do not think either of them had ever seen anything like this before and were filled with many questions.  In the end – both they and I were glad that they came to see what this was all about. 

In addition to providing the facility to host the Tournament, The Minneapolis Gun Club volunteers provided lunch (BBQ’ed pulled pork sammies, chips and a soda) to the student participants between the two rotations.  

Here are a few photo highlights of the day’s events, followed by a little personal view on the season as a whole, from the vantage point of a participant’s parent.

Minnesota State High School Clay Target League State Tournament 2011    (#3 of 5 is the shooter in position #5 – the closest shooter in the center of the photo

 Minnesota State High School Clay Target League State Tournament 2011(#3 of 5 looking back before a round of shooting was to start.  Notice the safe gun handling by ALL the shooters.  Coach Will is a HUGE gun safety advocate, and repeatedly stressed gun safety with the kids.)

Minnesota State High School Clay Target League State Tournament 2011  Minnesota State High School Clay Target League State Tournament 2011  Minnesota State High School Clay Target League State Tournament 2011

Minnesota State High School Clay Target League State Tournament 2011(Now THAT is a shooting stance!)

 Minnesota State High School Clay Target League State Tournament 2011

Minnesota State High School Clay Target League State Tournament 2011 (This is a shot of #3 of 5 preparing before his round.  Notice the action open, and finger OFF the trigger?  Thanks again for stressing safety Coach Will!  Your lessons sunk in!)

Minnesota State High School Clay Target League State Tournament 2011Jordan Trap Shooting Team Novice Squad #2

Minnesota State High School Clay Target League State Tournament 2011So, here it is.  The end of our school’s inaugural Trap Shooting season. 

It would be negligent of me not to thank Coach Will, and his brother.  Jeff and Tim really stepped up to the plate and knocked one out of the park.  They did all the preliminary groundwork to establish our team. Without the foundation that they built, the Jordan Trap Shooting team would not be a reality.

In addition to establishing the team, the experience and instruction Jeff and Tim gave the kids was invaluable.  Coach Will (on several occasions) said he is not just teaching them to shoot, he is offering them “life lessons”.  I could not agree more.  Cooperation, discipline, comradery, and confidence among just a few!

#3 of 5 started out this season with NO SHOOTING EXPERIENCE.  He took the Minnesota Firearms Safety class, and was able to fire the shotgun three times prior to joining the Trap Shooting Team.  By the end of this first season, he has fired the shotgun SIX HUNDRED times!

#3 of 5 started out this season with 2/25 and 6/25.   

By the end of the regular season he had an average of 9.83/25.  With his first couple of shoots so low, it was dragging down his average.  He was shooting 11 and 12’s

At the State Tournament, #3 of 5 shot an 18/25, 17/25 and 12/25.  (Note:  His whole squad shot really low on the last round.  #3 of 5’s 12/25 was the high for his squad.)



As many people who know me can attest – I am not a big “sports guy”.  I seldom watch professional sports.  Heck even when the Twins or Vikings are doing well, I do not pay much attention.  I am not even close to what you would call a “fair weather fan”.  My thought is… Wake me when they (Twins or Vikings) reach the World Series or the Super Bowl. 

Despite my view on sports in general, I have always encouraged my children to participate.  I attend every game I can, and feel pride when they do well – but I have never felt that feeling of an adrenaline rush from watching them play. 

That was until last weekend’s tournament.  While I watched #3 of 5 knock those clays down one after the other – I nearly exploded with pride!!  I (literally) fought back tears.  I have NEVER experienced anything like that!  It was an AMAZING feeling that I hope to replicate again and again.

In order to build on this year’s success, #3 of 5’s plan is to enroll in the Shotgun Merit Badge course at Tomahawk Summer Camp.  I will be checking into the 4-H Shooting and Outdoor sports program, and finally, “Co-Worker” and I have talked several times about getting together with our boys and making an afternoon out some trap range time for our sons (well, and their dads too!)

I’ll wrap up with a final (repeated, yet well deserved) volley of sharing my many thanks to Coach Jeff Will and his brother Tim along with the many volunteers who helped make this, the inaugural season, such a success for the Jordan High School Trap Shooting Team!! 

Thanks also go out to the staff and volunteers of the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League, the Minneapolis Gun Club who opened up their club and were wonderful hosts, and all the sponsors of the events and the teams.  You all have done so much in your own ways to help promote the future of this sport!

From the perspective of a proud father…  I thank you.  


  1. David,
    I wish I had been there instead of at work. What a wonderful day to be out. (Minus the sunburn, of course!)
    Yes, we need to get out and do some shooting while the snow is still away.

  2. Ha ha. That one kid shoots with his wrong hand!

  3. @Mike - A chip off the ol' block!


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