Along with all other recognized sports, SJA has a trapshooting team. Trapshoot shooting is also a sanctioned state high school sport.
The Saints are winding up their first year of competition at the St. James Gun Club. A couple of other things - no school district funds are used to support the sport. This year’s team was funded by Pheasants Forever, Eagles, St. James Gun Club, the Darfur Sports Club and the LaSalle Fire Department.
The team is also supported and coached by many dedicated adults from the community.
A total of 19 students are participating in trap shooting.
The Saints are participating in an eight team conference and going into the last round of shooting, the Saints were safely in fifth place. They couldn’t likely jump to fourth and they couldn’t likely fall to sixth.
The Saints do not travel to another site to shoot, nor does any team visit the St. James Gun Club. SJA shoots on a designated night, and it’s scores are reported in to a central scoring location. The other teams do the same thing, and weekly scores are reported back to each team.
Coach Mark Johnson said this first year’s team had the same weather problems the other spring teams had. The exception for the trapshooters was they shot through the snow and the cold. Bad weather didn’t stop these young shooters.
Johnson stressed that before a student could even participate, they had to pass a gun safety class.
Cole Skow and Landon Malmgren have performed at a level that qualify them as varsity winners, but Landon’s too young to win a letter and Cole has missed one shooting night because he’s also on the tennis team. Many of the students on the team are two spring sports athletes.
The students shoot at fifty targets each night of competition. Monday night shooting was another weather adventure. With a cold, stiff wind out of the south, it might have been easier for the kids to try and hit a major league knuckleballer - the clay pigeons were fluttering around all over the place.
High scores each session - the top guns - over the first five weeks of competition was Cody Steinbrink in week one with 40 targets hit.
Other top gun scores were Cole Skow with 39; Jared Fellows with 40; Skow with 43 and William Rehm with 45. In that second to last week of shooting, four students hit 40 or more targets. In addition to Rehm they were Skow, Steinbrink and Malmgren.
Page 2 of 2 - The Saints will not participate in the state tournament this spring. There will be a fall shooting team that will also compete against other schools. All students are welcome to come out for the team - provided they’ve passed a gun safety class first.