Transition was the best word to describe the spring season for the St. Croix Central FFA trapshooting club. The team started the season dealing with snow and the loss of head coach Ed Gibb. The team recovered well, placing second in its conference and sixth at the state tournament.
Gibb created a firm foundation for the SCC team and it was able to withstand the snow, as well as his departure, only to continue to improve as individuals and as a team.
Team manager Pam Miles was able to utilize other coaches who stepped up in Gibb’s absence and the team performed well.
Highlighting the team’s spring season was a second place finish in Conference 6. Senior Jack Imboden placed first overall and junior Abby Boettcher was second overall in the female division. Eighth grader Ethan Boettcher placed second overall in the male division. Sophomore John Miles and senior Blake Coleman also placed within the top 15 males overall in Conference 6.
Ethan Boettcher earned all-state honors, placing seventh overall in the state.
“Additionally, Imboden received a $1,000 college scholarship from the Wisconsin State HIgh School Clay Target League as well as a $100 scholarship from the River Falls Sportsman's Club,” Miles said.
The Panthers were also a success at the Wisconsin State High School Clay Target League state tournament. The large turnout has the league planning to turn this into a two-day event next year. The tournament was held June 9 in Rome. This was the fifth state tournament and Central has had a team there each year. This year’s tournament had more than 1,500 student-athletes, almost double of the previous year.
Central had 11 students compete and one varsity team. Ethan Boettcher tied for fifth place overall in the male division. Miles placed 23rd and Coleman was 50th in the division. Imboden and Abby Boettcher placed 22nd and 33rd overall in the female division, respectively. Central placed sixth out of 67 teams.
The next option for the team is the first-ever national tournament. The National USA High School Clay Target League Tournament will be held July 12-15 in Mason, Michigan. Seven SCC members have qualified. They are Ethan Boettcher and Miles in Tier 1; Coleman in Tier 2; Kelton Rozeboom, Imboden, Abby Boettcher and Brock Thorsen in Tier 3. Miles, the Boettchers, Thorsen and Coleman also qualified as a team to compete at nationals.
Central competes in a league that is open to students in grades 6-12. This spring, 1,952 students on 78 Wisconsin teams participated, up nearly 500 students and 13 teams from last year. All team members must have completed firearm safety certification prior to joining a team.