The first trap shooting season for West Fargo and Sheyenne high schools is underway.
Sheyenne junior Haley Wilcox has been shooting since she was about 7 years old, she jumped at the opportunity to join the trap shooting team.
“It’s just nice that we finally have a team,” said Wilcox, who’s the No. 3-ranked girl in the state league. “Even though there’s only 21 or 23 teams, I think we’ll be getting more in the next couple of years. It’s pretty cool.”
Trap shooting in North Dakota is nothing new, but this is its first year as a high school-sanctioned sport. There are 23 teams in the Class A State Clay Target League. Metro-area teams are Sheyenne, West Fargo, Fargo Davies, Fargo North and Fargo Shanley. The two Grand Forks public high schools, Red River and Central, also have teams this year.
West Fargo and Sheyenne head coach Mark Sahli said although the teams are new, they are both doing well.
“Out of all the teams in the state, we got nine kids between West Fargo and Sheyenne in the top 50 in the state,” Sahli said.
The sport offers some students who weren’t on any teams at the two high schools to have a chance to participate in a competitive sport.
“It’s something new for me because I’ve never been on school teams before,” said West Fargo eighth-grader Ethan Gerhardson. “Some of the kids I know, so it’s nice to have friends doing the sport with you.”
The sport is open to anyone.
“It’s not really a physical sport, so anyone can do it,” Wilcox said.
The two West Fargo teams compete at The Shooting Park in Horace once a week. Scores are recorded for each shooter, which are then compiled and compared to other teams to establish rankings.
“It’s more like you’re competing against yourself, and you’re trying to be the best that you can be,” Wilcox said.
The teams have competed in three shoots that counted for points. The Packers are third out of five teams in their conference. The Mustangs are the fourth place team in their conference.
Sahli said as the sport grows, the teams will gain more experience and get better.
“The growth is going to continue,” Sahli said. “We want kids to participate. It’s going to continue to get better and bigger.”
There will be one more competitive shoot this season, followed by a fun shoot on Sunday, May 29. The state meet will be on June 18 at The Shooting Park.