Although trapshooting is only in its second year in high school sports on the North Shore, it is a sport that is beginning to grow. The Two Harbors trapshooting team has 17 returning shooters with 10 brand new students to add to the lineup.
“It’s not like hockey where they’ve been playing since they were 5 years old, trapshooting is all new to them,” Two Harbors coach Gary Hastings said.
Trapshooting in Minnesota has existed for more than five years, and the teams of the North Shore are making good progress. Last year within their conference, Two Harbors finished at just below the middle of the pack.
“I think they did well considering they were a first-year team. They weren’t at the top but they weren’t at the bottom either,” Hastings said. “There are a few kids that really caught on near the end last year and I expect good things from that.”
Two Harbors has improved but the pool of competition will be greater this year with 43 new teams joining the ranks of more than 10,000 individual competitors across the state.
Joining them in that competition is another second year team from Silver Bay. Although Silver Bay did not attend the state competition last year, coach Al Klotzbach expects good results this season.
“We are looking to be very competitive this year with schools our size, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens once the season gets started,” said Klotzbach.
This year Silver Bay will see nine shooters return and three new shooters will be added to the team. Silver Bay had 13 shooters last year but fluctuation like that is normal in a school the size of Silver Bay. Klotzbach also said the shutdown of the Northshore Mining processing plant in Silver Bay may have also affected the team’s numbers this season.
The Mariners finished in a similar position to Two Harbors, but Klotzbach thinks there will be significant improvement in 2016.
“We weren’t in the top half but we weren’t last in the league and I expect our team to do much better this year with all of these returning people,” he said.
Both teams are planning to attend the state competition in Alexandria in mid June and hope to demonstrate their improvement over the past year with strong team and individual finishes.
Registration for this season closed March 15, so anyone looking to join will have to wait until 2017.