The Belle Plaine High SchoolTrap Shooting Team competed at their last meet of the season in Alexandria last Friday, June 14.
Squaring off against what volunteer head coach Jeff DeFauw described as some of the best high school shooters in the world, Belle Plaine finished in the top 50 out of 224 schools competing at the Class 5A Trap Shooting Championship state qualifying meet.
With Blaine High School sending not one but two shooters hitting a perfect 100 out of 100 targets over the course of the competition and other Blaine shooters not far behind, it’s hard to argue with DeFauw’s assessment of the level of competition.
“The thing with trap is that the level of competition just continues to rise,” DeFauw said, “and all the kids should be proud of themselves.”
Missing what would have been a state qualifying mark by just 11 hits spread among five shooters, Belle Plaine was almost as close as a team could be to making it to state without actually doing so, DeFauw said. Belle Plaine’s top five shooters hit an aggregate of 460 clay targets. A score of 471 would have put Belle Plaine in the top 40, the qualifying echelon, a league in which Belle Plaine has entered three out of the last four years.
But despite the shortcoming, Belle Plaine walked away with some solid performances.
The top shooter from Belle Plaine Friday was Cole Corbitt with 95 hits, which put him in a tie for 29th place. Nickolas Grams struck 92 targets for a 95th place tie. Dalton Gau tied with 92 targets as well. Beau Wallert was not far behind with 91 hits for a 119th place tie. Teddy Sellnow rounded off the top five for Belle Plaine Friday with 88 hits for a 187th place tie.
On the season Corbitt was the top male shooter and Makayla Seifert led the females.
DeFauw, along with fellow volunteer coach Matt Fahey, thought the Belle Plaine shooters rose to the occasion during their last competition. Many shooters, especially the younger ones, had their best days, the coaches said. The young prospects and rising juniors and seniors should spell an exciting season next year, Fahey said.
“I think they’ll build on that and just keep getting better,” Fahey said.
In July, Belle Plaine will be sending a group to the USA High School Clay Target League National Championship in Mason, Michigan, to compete against nearly 2000 other top high school shooters from around the country.