2012 Trap Shooting Tournament

So, as I previously mentioned, I had not posted anything about this year’s High School Trap Shooting season until a couple of days ago when I posted about #3 of 5’s team taking FIRST PLACE in their conference!!

In that post I eluded to the fact that I would dedicate my blogging about the season to the coverage of this seasons 2012 Minnesota State High School Trap Shooting Tournament

Last year’s Tournament was held at the Minneapolis Gun Club.  They did a really nice job hosting it, but the explosive growth of the sport required a different venue.

In 2008 the league consisted of 3 teams.
In 2009 the league consisted of 6 teams.
In 2010 the league consisted of 13 teams.
In 2011 the league consisted of 29 teams.
In 2012 the league consisted of 57 teams!

So this year’s Tournament was going to be held at the Alexandria Shooting Park in Alexandria Minnesota (If my memory serves me right, we were told it is the largest trap range in the state of Minnesota).  With over 900 shooters from 57 teams registered, Alexandria Shooting Park’s NINTEEN trap fields, and available RV parking made it became obvious choice!

I was completely amazed by the size of the park!  During the tournament I took my GPS out and measured the sidewalk from the first trap to the last trap.  The trap field is a whopping .41 miles from one end to the other.  It took me over seven minutes to walk from one end to the other! 

If you are interested, at the bottom of this post you will find a link to the GPS data overlaid onto an interactive map (EveryTrail.com), and a video I shot of my walk from one end to the other…

The Alexandria Shooting Park Trap Field 

Since we do not really take “vacations”, the Mother of Five and I made the necessary arrangements (vacation requests, hotel reservations, and pre-planning) to make a mini-vacation out of the weekend.

The Tournament was held on Saturday June 9th and 10th.  We left on Friday the 8th and took the scenic trip to Alexandria.  Once there we checked into the hotel and waited for a couple of other team families we knew were attending to arrive for some “fun”. 

The final week of shooting with the team (prior to the State Tournament) was called a “state tournament warm up” shoot.  Since the regular season was already complete, the final team shoot was about relaxing and having fun.  Family members were invited to shoot along with their sons/daughters.  Actually, I was pretty stoked about shooting with #3 of 5 – since I have not done any trap shooting for DOZENS of years! 

The first two rounds of trap I shot (at the “warm up” shoot) was a 19/25 and a 17/25.  It was a TON of fun!!  I was expecting a score in the 10-12 range, so in addition to the fun, I had the added surprise bonus of pretty decent scores! 

After the “warm up” shoot, a number of dads (myself included) thought it would be fun to shoot with our sons on the Friday afternoon before the state tournament in order to get our kids a feel for the different venue. 

I did my best to line up four father/son teams, but due to some bad timing I ended up shooting with #3 of 5, and one of the assistant coach’s son.  Shooting along side #3 of 5 made me very happy!  It was one of the best afternoons I have had in a long time!  We got to hang out and visit, talk trap shooting and life in general, and shoot together!  What more can a feller like me ask for??!?! 

Oh yeah…  As a bit of frosting on the cake I shot a 19/25 and then a 24/25!!  I shot a perfect sore all the way up to #23.  Once I realized a “perfect score” was just a few shots away I think I really started psyching myself out and missed that 23rd shot…  Arrrrrgghhh!!! 

Once we finished up our warm up shooting, we headed back to the hotel and met the rest of the family for some dinner and then a swim in the pool to help cool off!  (This was the hottest weekend of the year so far – the pool felt GREAT!)

Soon, it was time to get some rest and get ready for the big tournament in the morning!

On the morning of the tournament we headed out to the shooting park and located Coach Jeff Will’s RV where he was gathering the team for a pre-tournament meeting and instructions.  The kids were all given their squading (the groups of 5 that shoot together) and a few complementary gifts given out by tournament sponsors.  (photos below)

(All photos are clickable for larger versions – and have commentary available if you hover your cursor over them)

Team Prep  Gathering for the Opening Ceremony

Once the teams were prepped and the time came for Opening Ceremonies.  The Director of the Minnesota State High School Trap Shooting League (Jim Sable – seen in the left photo below) addressed the teams.  This was followed by the singing of the National Anthem while three members of the United States Marine Corps (in full class A uniforms) held a flag ceremony.

Director Jim Sable addressing the shooters  USMC - Class A Flag Ceremony

After the opening ceremony, the teams were directed to their traps, where family and friends set up to watch the day’s events - and the shooting quickly began.

Jordan JV Squads shooting in Trap Field 4B  Friends, family and team mates gathering to watch and support their shooters! 

The first squads to shoot was the Novice shooters.  Each Novice Squad shot two rounds. 

Once the Novice squads shot it was time for the JV (Junior Varsity) shooters.  #3 of 5 qualified as a JV shooter this year.  Each of the three JV squads shot two rounds. 

Left photo – Head Coach Jeff Will (far right of the photo) and Assistant Coach Tim Will (far left of the photo) gave the squads some last minute pointers.

Right photo - #3 of 5’s squad up on the line.  #3 of 5 is on position two (second from the left).

Jordan Coach Will and Jordan Coach Will giving the shooters some last minute pointers! On the Trap line!

Photos below - Various shots of #3 of 5 shooting and then returning to the staging area after his rounds.  If you look close enough in the top left photo – you can see the smoke from the muzzle of his gun and then a blur of the shot after leaving the barrel (a little further left).

#3 of 5 - check out the blur on the left side of the sky!  This photo captured the shot pellets leaving the muzzle of the gun!  #3 of 5 Trap shooting #3 of 5 Trap shooting #3 of 5 returning to the staging area.

A complementary lunch was provided to the shooters by the local chapter of the 4-H, so after his first two rounds of shooting, #3 of 5 went get lunch.  I knew the line was going to be very long so I went with him to keep him company.  It took us almost an hour to make our way through the line!  It was fun hanging with #3 of 5 while we waited, and it was while we were waiting in line that we were first noticed something very interesting.  (Something we later discovered to be a Sweets Kendamas – more on that down below.)     

Top Left – Having made it through 3/4 of the line, we were now getting close!
Top Right – Another view from the line, this one of the RV parking area.
Bottom Left – Team Jordan’s shuttle from the shooting area back to the Coach’s RV and staging area.
Bottom Right – We finally made it!!

LONG lunch line! Overview of the RV park Team Jordan's shuttle Finally!!  FOOD!!   

After lunch, the Novice squad each shot one more round (for a total of three rounds / 75 shots each), followed by each of the JV squads shooting another two rounds (for a total of four rounds / 100 shots each)

You can see #3 of 5 again staging at station 2 (second from the left) as his shooting began.  Be sure to check out each of these photos – showing the clays in flight…  You can see the blaze orange “UFO’s” flying and #3 of 5 moments from destroying them!   

Each photo in this post should be “clickable” for a larger version.

#3 of 5 Trap shooting #3 of 5 Trap shooting

 #3 of 5 Trap shooting  #3 of 5 Trap shooting

 #3 of 5 Trap shooting #3 of 5 Trap shooting #3 of 5 Trap shooting #3 of 5 returning to the staging area


When it was all said and done, the shooters returned to the team staging area and the squads / teams got some photos in. 

Top left photo - #3 of 5’s squad.  (#3 of 5 is the left most shooter). 
Top right photo - #3 of 5’s squad with Coach Jeff Will standing to the left of #3 of 5
Bottom left photo – MOST of the JV shooters (a couple were missing) – the left most shooter in this photo just so happens to be #2 of 5’s very good friend – and I am happy to say that on his fourth round he shot a PERFECT 25!!  Way to go! 
Bottom right – State Tournament logo on a shirt each of the students received.

#3 of 5's squad #3 of 5's squad with Head Coach Jeff Will The Jordan Junior Varsity Trap Shooting Team State Tournament logo on the tee shirt!

#3 of 5 ended the Tournament with a 22/25, 22/25, 19/25, and 16/25. 
Final Score 79/100. 
Tournament average 19.75

This placed him ranked 113 out of a field of 333 shooters.  The highest score in the JV division was a 93.  Here is a little break down of the score and then the number of shooters with that score.  93-1, 91-4, 90-8, 89-5, 88-2, 87-5, 86-6, 85-11, 84-5, 83-18, 82-12, 81-15, 80-15, 79-11.  There were quite a few more, but I got too lazy to count past #3 of 5’s score…   

Novice and Junior Varsity did their shooting on Saturday, and the Varsity teams shot on Sunday.  So, once #3 of 5 was done shooting for the day it was time to head back to the hotel.  We had time to clean up and allowed #3 of 5 to choose our “dining adventure” for the night.  He choose “China Buffet”. 

After dinner we headed back to the Shooting Park Clubhouse where some entertainment was scheduled.  The opening act was a member of the Sweets Kendamas team.  What is a Sweets Kendams you ask?? 

Kendamas is a handheld game/trick of skill (think Yo-yos, diablos, juggling, etc) with a little hammer with cups and a spike and a ball attached via string.  Sweets Kendamas is a local Kendama business.  Be sure to Check out some of their videos

After the Sweets Kendamas guy finished wowing us with his tricks, comedian Cy Amundson took the stage.  Cy did a really GREAT job – keeping the comedy family friendly and getting everyone laughing.

We did not attend the Varsity Shooting afternoon, choosing instead to let the kids finish out the trip swimming in the pool before we had to check out of the hotel and head home.

There is one last event still planned for the 2012 season – the annual season wrap up picnic.  That is later this week.  I was unable to attend last year’s picnic – so this will be a first for me!  I’m really looking forward to attending this year’s picnic!

Before I end this post – I really want to acknowledge and thank the three Jordan High School Trap Shooting Team coaches!  Head Coach Jeff Will, Assistant Coach Tim Will, and Assistant Coach Lance Schmitt.  These guys really put a lot of time and effort into the team and each of our young shooters – and I for one am very grateful and appreciative of it!        

As promised here are some of this post’s “BONUS FEATURES” – the EveryTrail GPS data overlaid on a satellite photo of the Alexandra Shooting Park, followed by a low quality (cel phone) video of me taking the walk.  I had the GPS in one hand and the cel phone video camera in the other.  This may help you grasp just how HUGE the Alexandria Shooting Park really is!


Minnesota State High School Trap Shooting Tournament

1 comment:

  1. David,
    It appears you took the video/walk in the morning? Looks hot out, even then. I was a bit disappointed that you just walked right by the Burnsville team. You know, Burnsville IS a Star City! Hopefully, mine will want to go next year (yeah, it will rain every day, I bet!) looks like fun.


Did you reach the Bottom of this blog?

If you have read down to here and are interested in reading more, be sure to click here, click on the "Older Posts" link to your right, or use the "Archive" tool on the right sidebar. Thanks for visiting!