Aiming to make trap shooting known

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By English: Lance Cpl. Melissa A. Latty) (RELEASED [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Over the announcements every morning, students dutifully listen to athlete achievements, club awards, theater news, but rarely hear about trap shooting. A sport considered more like a club at West, but still requiring skills not many have the talent for.

“Trap shooting is a sport of competition where they’ll shoot out orange disks and basically it picks a random direction that will still be in your field of view, and your goal is to bust as many of them as you can. You’ll do it in rounds of 50,” junior Thomas Lane said.

Guns in tow, they practice every Wednesday and Saturday nights during trap shooting season, which runs March to May, and dedicate four hours every Sunday to shooting during the off-season.

Invites, or as they call them ‘shoots,’ take place on Saturdays from the early morning to the evening. When it gets dark, lights illuminate the field.

Attending five or more ‘’shoots’ is required in order to make it to state, which was held in Grand Island on May 2nd and 3rd.

“My favorite part of trap shooting is definitely the community we have. It’s just a whole lot of friends all just come together. We bring a lot of food and we set up a tent from seven in the morning to four in the afternoon. We’re just hanging out and shooting guns,” Lane said.

The team is made up of all three Bellevue middle schools and both high schools, with about 50 to 60 in the club. Experience or even a lot of skill isn’t needed to join.

“There’s not really auditions or tryouts, you just show up to the gun club at the first practice, sign up, fill out the paperwork, and if you have a gun and are willing to buy shells you can join the team and shoot,” senior Alex Baker said.

Each member has to have a hunter’s safety license which is offered free of charge to all trap shooters by the Bellevue Rod and Gun Club. A shotgun (preferably 12 gauge) is also needed as well as ammo.

Trap shooting may be looked upon as dangerous because of the use of guns. However, that’s not the case.

”The Nebraska Cornhusker State Shoot is the longest running high school trap shoot in the USA and with over 3,000 kids there with shot guns they’ve never once had an injury,” junior Sophie Otto said.

Because of the number of members on the team, they’re grouped five people to a squad.

”Judging by how you shoot is grouped accordingly. So we have our “varsity” or “number one” squad and those are normally our top shooters from the school,” Otto said.

At the competitions, the players stand at their individual handicap (how far back shooters stand based on skill). They shout “pull” and a disc is released from the trap house which is located about 16 yards away. Scoring depends on how well the team or individuals shoot out of 50. The Bellevue trap shooting team shoots an average of about 30 to 40 shots out of 50.

“To win trap shooting there’s different places. You can have a best squad, so your total squad points added together or you can do individual scores. If there’s a tie you do a shoot off,” Lane said.

Baker argues that not a lot of students know about the sport.

”I think there’s a significant number of kids who know about [trap shooting] but not as much as there should be,” Baker said.

Although trap shooting may not be as popular as football, soccer or theatre, it’s still worth a shot (no pun intended).

“You definitely need to go for it if you have the money to support competitions and practices. It’s about ten dollars a competition and five dollars a practice. It’s a fun sport and there’s great friends,” Lane said.

Katie Allen
Reporter