Club ‘pulls’ more interest

Evan Dalian, staff writer

The faint sound of students yelling “pull” echoes across the trap field. The sound of gunshots immediately follow.
Trapshooting is a fairly new extracurricular activity, starting in the spring of 2016. The team now has a wide range of students participating: boys and girls, experienced and inexperienced.
“I think the team should get more recognition, because we are a really good trap shooting team, and I think most people don’t even know we exist,” said first-year shooter, sophomore Delaney Clare. “More people should join. I had never done it before. I had never even shot a gun, so it was something completely new, and I kind of got thrown into it, and I love it.”
The trap team practices twice a week during the fall and spring seasons at Ark Valley Gun Club. Members shoot from the 16-yard line, facing the trap house. Five shooters go at a time and one will call for a target or say,“pull,” signaling that they are ready to shoot. The clay target is then launched, and the shooter who called for it gets one shot at it. Each shooter can take up to five shots each round for a total possible score out of 25 shots.
“I think we have a really great environment at trap,” said senior Jordan Ehrke, who has been on the team since it began. “We score as team, so everyone is very supportive of each other. The coaches are very helpful and encouraging, and they really know what they’re doing. The dynamic of shooting with your team; the same people that you’re used to shooting with every time, is just so much fun.”
The team has already seen success this season. There are experienced shooters with scores in the high 20s or even a perfect 25. Currently, the team is ranked third in the Kansas State High School Clay Target League, behind Baldwin and St. James. The scores are taken from practice and submitted to the league weekly.
“I think we’re looking really great this year,” Ehrke said. Last week, especially, we had a lot of people [obtain a] personal record or tie their past personal record, which is really awesome. I’m very excited to see how we do.”
One unique aspect about this team is the mixed composition. Experienced and inexperienced shooters shoot alongside each other, both girls and boys. The league ranges from eighth grade to 12th grade, and there are three eighth graders that currently practice with the team. Roberts said even students who don’t have access to a gun would be given the “basic tools” to participate.
“There are certain rules we have to follow,” Roberts said. “We’re not allowed to have guns or ammo on campus. If you’re going to go up and shoot trap, you can’t just throw your shotgun in the car and go after school.”
The team is competing for the highest place in the league as a team, as well as individually competing for the most improved shooter award.
“Shooting is just peaceful,” Clare said. “When you’re shooting, it’s you, the target and your gun, and that’s it.”

Before practice Oct. 7, the trapshooting team poses with their shotguns for a team photo. Finishing up its fourth season, the team is currently in third place in its league. See at for video footage. photo courtesy of John Biehler