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SCC trap team takes third at state tourney

Members of the first ever trapshooting team at St. Croix Central High School include (back row, from left) Brett Eckman, Cole Refsnider, Tucker Nauss, Austin Boettcher and Hunter Moegenburg: (front row, from left) Chase Hollembeak, Luke Jensen, Samantha Weber and Jake Nyhagen. (Submitted photo)

The inaugural season for the St. Croix Central High School trap shooting team drew to a close Friday, June 13 at the Wisconsin State High School Clay Target League’s 2014 State Tournament at the WTA Complex in Rome. Central finished third overall among the five teams that competed with a score of 387.

“Although we did not take any first or second places in any individual categories, we did take third place overall in team points,” head coach Lou Moegenberg said. “It was really a fun time for the kids and the parents.”

The five high schools that participated were Potosi, Elmwood, St. Croix Falls, SCC and Frederic. Elmwood outshot everyone with an overall first-place team score of 410. St. Croix Falls followed with a team score of 399. Almost 100 shooters participated.

According to Moegenberg, six of the 12 SCC trapshooting team members signed up to compete at the state tournament, but Jake Nyhagen had to withdraw due to a hand injury.

The students shot four rounds of 25 shots each. Their scores were compiled from those four rounds. Junior varsity team members included Cole Refsnider, who scored 85 out of 100; Austin Boettcher with a score of 69; Luke Jensen, who scored 84; and Hunter Moegenberg who finished with 70 points. Varsity member Tucker Nauss shot a 79 out of 100.

“It was sunny, but chilly and really windy, but our students prevailed because all season they had been shooting in cold, windy, wet weather,” Moegenberg said. “They all competed well and had a truly great experience, one that will carry them forward in the years to come.”

St. Croix Central High School agriculture teacher and FFA advisor Bill Emery organized the team back in March. According to Moegenberg, 14 students signed up, and he agreed to be the head coach. He is a member of the River Falls Sportsmen’s Club, where the team shoots. The team included three senior boys, one junior boy, one sophomore girl and nine freshman boys.

The students’ season consisted of two practice weeks, one reserve week and five competition weeks. Each student was required to become a junior member of the sportsmen’s club and shoot two rounds of 25 shots per week. The scores of each round were recorded and sent to the league office by Saturday evening each week. The scores from each school were entered into a computer database so the students could see how they compared to others in the state and on their team.

“Unlike other school competitive sports, the trapshooting team does not travel to any other site during the season,” Moegenberg said. “All shooting is done at the same site. Scores are recorded and viewed each week.”

Moegenberg believes trap shooting as a high school sport will continue to grow in Wisconsin for several reasons.

“This is a sport where both boys and girls compete on the same level,” Moegenberg said. “One does not need to be a super muscle-bound athlete but one needs to learn shooting techniques and handle that shotgun.”

He cited Wisconsin’s “tremendous” facility for holding state tournaments, lack of travel to conference sites, minimal membership costs, opportunities for school letters and general enthusiasm for safely enjoying shooting sports as reasons the sport will continue to gain popularity in the state.

To participate students must complete a hunter safety education course. Some schools require an FFA membership, as well as a junior sportsmen’s club membership, which is $10 for SCC students, Moegenberg said.

“(The sport) allows students in school who may not compete in any other sport the opportunity to excel, and to meet other students who they may have never talked to before,” Moegenberg said. “It gives older students the opportunity to mentor younger students and to stress the importance of gun safety.”

The SCC team had several members place in the top 10 for season averages in Conference 2A, which is comprised of Central and Potosi. Conference 1A includes St. Croix Falls, Elmwood, Frederic and Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau high schools.

Brian Gibb took third with a season average of 20.50. Nauss was fourth with 19.70. Hunter Moegenberg snagged sixth place with 17.60, followed by Boettcher in seventh with 17.10. Jensen landed in ninth with 16. Refsnider finished off the top 10 with 15.60.

Samantha Weber took fourth in the girls division with an average of 13.40.

Two students also shot perfect rounds of 25/25 this season, Moegenberg said.

“Gibb has been shooting trap since age 12 and this was his first score of 25,” Moegenberg said. “Because this happened during a competitive shoot he was awarded a badge from the state league office. He was also awarded a badge from the River Falls Sportsmen’s Club for that same feat. Our other team member, Luke Jensen, a freshman, achieved this during a practice shoot. Luke also received a badge for this achievement.

“These are remarkable feats because during each round of 25 shots from 5 different stations it means that no targets were missed!”

Sarah Nigbor

Sarah J. Nigbor serves as a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, a position she began in April 2017. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, before being appointed editor of the Pierce County Herald in Febraury 2015. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

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