Breaking barriers and clays

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Breaking barriers and clays

Jaci Burtis takes aim at a flying clay at  trap practice

Jaci Burtis takes aim at a flying clay at trap practice

Serena Omangi

Jaci Burtis takes aim at a flying clay at trap practice

Serena Omangi

Serena Omangi

Jaci Burtis takes aim at a flying clay at trap practice

Kenzie Haberman, Writer

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Trap shooting has traditionally been a fairly male-dominant sport, but these girls have decided to break the stereotype by showing everyone that girls can shoot too. The Owatonna trap shooting team kicked off their season with their first meet on April 24, 2019. Since then, they have completed three out of their five events of the season. This year there are 17 female shooters competing out of a team of 87 students, seven more than last season and 11 more than the first season two years ago. The boys and girls have been training and working hard to represent Owatonna.

Junior Brynn Butler has been on the trap team for the last three years. Butler said, “I think all my teammates bring a bunch of unique personalities. When everybody is goofing around before and after we shoot the environment at the gun club is an energetic one that you want to be around. This team is one big family of 80 plus kids, and awesome coaches. This is also a sport that I can enjoy doing my whole life with people of all ages.” The shooters bring many qualities and characteristics to the team. They are brave, confident, courageous and amazing shooters. 8th grader, Alyssa Kiefer said, “I wasn’t really hesitant joining the team I was really excited.”

This is only the third year of the Owatonna Trap Team, and the first year the team is without Coach Dave Schroeder. Schroeder was the first head coach of the team and was a big help in getting the program started in 2017, which included the team’s first appearance at the state tournament. Unfortunately, Coach Schroeder lost his battle to cancer in January of 2019. Current Head Coach, Mike Kingland said, “His legacy will live on through the athletes, coaches and families of the clay target team.” Two years ago they started with 43 athletes, 37 boys and 6 girls. Last season it grew to 70 athletes, with 60 boys and 10 girls. This season there are 87 athletes, 70 boys and 17 girls. According to The Twin Cities Pioneer Press, “Girl athletes in Minnesota are on the verge of overtaking boys, with 49 percent of the total. That gives Minnesota the highest percentage of female prep athletes in the nation.”

Girl athletes in Minnesota are on the verge of overtaking boys, with 49 percent of the total. That gives Minnesota the highest percentage of female prep athletes in the nation.

— Minnesota Pioneer Press

Currently, Owatonna are one of the largest seven trap teams in the state of Minnesota. Coach Kingland said, “More girls continue to join our team. We have almost tripled the number of girls on the team since that inaugural season. And, I sure hope more girls will consider joining the team next year.” This year, the trap team has 21 supervisors on the team that help with coaching, range safety and scoring. This dedicated group of volunteers includes 18 men and three women. This team continues to grow every year and does not fail to represent Owatonna and equality for male and female athletes.

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