Trap shooting sport coming to schools in Richfield.

Trap shooting is coming to Richfield High School and the Academy of Holy Angels as a club sport.

Beginning this spring, participants will use their personal shotguns as they aim for airborne clay targets, an activity that “has burst onto the scene” in Minnesota over the past five years, Athletic Director Todd Olson told the Richfield School Board Monday, Jan. 6.

The hope is that the sport gets students involved in an extracurricular activity when they might not otherwise be inclined to do so.

“We’re quite excited,” Olson said, “because this is a way to grab and reach some children that would not be involved in after-school activities in the traditional sense.”

Club members will practice and compete at the West End Hunting and Fishing Club in Eagan. RHS Police Liaison Officer Bob Brotzel, who is also the city of Richfield’s firearms safety instructor, will serve as the club’s advisor and coach. Brotzel coached the trap shooting club at Eastview High School when that program first got going, Olson noted.

The program has been in the works for three years, Olson added, ever since Richfield resident Gary Gilbertson suggested that RHS take up the sport. After listening to Gilbertson, Olson has observed some demand for the sport.

“When we launched our first meeting, we were figuring, oh, we’d get 10, 15 children to show up, and we got 23,” Olson said, adding that there are more girls than boys showing interest.

The club will be co-ed. Fourteen of the students who came to the informational meeting already possess firearms certifications, which are required to participate. Another requirement is the activity fee, expected to be set between $175 and $250, which Olson said will completely fund the program. Firearms and ammunition will be kept off-campus, Olson assured the school board.

For now, the RHS-AHA cooperative clay target shooting program is not associated with an athletic conference, but “yes, it’s growing, and yes, it will be in the (West Metro Conference,)” Olson said.

Richfield will join the conference for its first year in existence, in 2014-2015.

The trap shooting activity will operate under “club” status, but will allow participants the opportunity to earn a varsity letter. The competitive trap shooting season takes place in spring, with a fall practice season also on the schedule. The registration deadline to participate is March 1.

Sun Current Newspaper
By Andrew Wig
January 19, 2014 at 10:28 am