After the snow canceled the first two weeks of practice, trap shooting is back on in Bismarck.
The Missouri River Clay Target League is starting their season with a bang, and they don’t leave a single player behind.
Volunteer Coach Nick Simonson says, “The kids come out every Sunday and they log two rounds of 25, so 50 targets total. And they basically, are shooting these targets as they’re launched from a house. It’s hand-eye-coordination. There’s some endurance involved, a lot of focus and in the end, it’s a lot of fun.”
The league tripled in size this year, from about 50 members to 150 members, making it one of the fastest growing sports in North Dakota.
One of those members is Shiloh High School senior, Cole Fleck, who shoots his rifle from his wheelchair.
Fleck says, “It’s just a little tougher because of swinging the gun and moving the gun.”
But with this team of coaches and an extra arm, Cole shoots right on par with any other member.
Fleck adds, “I mean the worst you can do is miss, just try new things.”
Century High School’s Lizzy Krick started shooting long before highschool.
She says, “When you’re out there, nothing; no life issues get in the way. You just go out there, and you just basically forget about everything. It’s just you and the gun, and the target.”
Krick finished third overall in the league last fall.
She says, “I look at everyone the same. I don’t look at someone and think, ‘Oh I’m going to shoot better than you’. I just think everyone’s doing so great, and I just feel like I have a lot of competition out here.”
Krick is among the growing female presence in the league, and inclusivity has been the goal from the start.
Coach Simonson says, “They need shooters of all stripes. They need shooters who want to excel and it doesn’t matter if it’s male or female, young or old. They needed to fill those ranks, and this program fit that bill.”
The clay target league is made up of teams from five local high schools.
Coach Simonson says the sport shows kids what they’re really capable of.