Trapshooting offered for New Richmond, Somerset students
Students who have an interest in outdoor sports can now compete on a trapshooting team through the Willow River Rod and Gun Club.
Rod and Gun Club President Brian Headlee said the organization had considered offering a team for school-aged competitors, but wanted someone to show interest in leading a program. That person was Jessica Marshinke.
“She was the catalyst who came to the club and agreed to take on the head coaching responsibilities,” Headlee said. “Jessica has done a great job.”The initial attempt to get students through announcements at New Richmond High School didn’t draw a great deal of interest. So the team was also opened to Somerset High School students. Once an email was sent to Rod and Gun Club members announcing the team, interest perked up quickly. Twenty-five students were signed up to begin the spring season.
There were several organizations that run trapshooting programs. Headlee said the decision was made to go with Scholastic Shooting Sports because it was a nonprofit organization. New Richmond competes in a conference with River Falls, Hudson, Rice Lake, Osceola, Hayward and Eau Claire. Rice Lake won the conference title this year, with Hudson taking second place. New Richmond finished in third place.
The season didn’t start quite the way everyone had envisioned.
“We were crippled by snow,” Headlee said. “We didn’t have access to the range until the first week of the season. We had no practice rounds.”
The teams are designated into four levels: varsity, junior varsity, intermediate and novice. With little chance to see the kids in action before the start of the season, organizers did their best to put the students at the right levels for competition.
The Rod and Gun Club supplies the clays for the team members, but each student has to provide their own firearm and ammunition. All team members must have a hunter’s education certificate.
“Safety is paramount,” Headlee said. “We ended up with a great group of kids who are willing to participate and learn.”
Once word got out about the team around the schools, more students have shown an interest.
“We anticipate 50 to 100 percent growth for next year,” Headlee said.