In only their second year of competition, the St. James High School Clay Target Shooting Team finished in third place in their class at the state championships last month.

Coach Mark Johnson had 16 shooters on his trap shooting team for the spring. The students practice and compete at the Watonwan County Gun Club.

During a typical competition, a shooter fires at two rounds of 25 targets, and an average is created throughout the season, Johnson said. The “novice” level is for those who average hitting 14 or fewer out of 25, the “junior varsity” level is for those who hit 15-19, and the “varsity” level is for those who hit 20 or more.

This season, St. James has shooters ranging from 10-21 average hits, so they competed in the junior varsity level at the state tournament in Alexandria, Johnson said. Of the five classes, they were in Class A, along with over 60 other schools.

They beat all but two of those other schools, and Johnson said he was surprised, because St. James could manage only a sixth-place finish in their district for the regular season! “We must have our range set up more difficult than those other teams. Our kids did really well up there.”

For the rest of this story, please see the July 10 print edition of the St. James Plaindealer.