- Associated Press - Sunday, March 27, 2016

YANKTON, S.D. (AP) - Though they were shooting in blowing winds and 30-degree temperatures, the members of this team are hoping the interest level in their sport heats up.

Trapshooting is one of the most recent additions - as a club sport - to the athletic lineup at Mount Marty College in Yankton, and the team members spent part of last Saturday introducing themselves to the general public.

“Anyway we can get it out there to people,” sophomore Hannah Buchholz said during a Trap/Skeet Shoot Fundraiser at Jim River Trap Range, located east of Yankton on Highway 50.

The point of the fundraiser, according to head coach Randy Hummel, was two-fold: Increase awareness for the club team and raise money through various shooting events.

The first part of that goal wasn’t a problem for Mount Marty sophomore Collin Matthews, the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan (https://bit.ly/1pAwrWH ) reported.

“I love it,” he said during a break Saturday. “I grew up doing this. I’m a huge outdoors person.”

The same is true for senior Grant Flicek, who joined the team this year.

“It’s different, that’s why I like it,” he said, after coming in out of the cold. “I’ve been a hunter all my life.”

The co-ed team, in its second year, currently has 11 members on its roster.

It’s a tight-knit group that shares a common passion, according to Hummel.

“I think it really helps with the team spirit,” he said. “Some of these kids don’t play other sports, but here, they’re part of a team.”

Larger schools will have shoot-offs to determine a team, but in Mount Marty’s case (at least right now), it will take anyone interested.

“We’d like to have 10-15 shooters,” Matthews said, with the ultimate goal of being able to compete at national events.

“That’s a big goal of mine,” he added.

Having received grants last year from the MidwayUSA Foundation and the NRA Foundation, Hummel said Mount Marty is waiting on a couple others.

“We can’t do it without grants, or some sort of help,” Hummel said.

Particularly when it comes to things like ammunition, targets, entry fees, travel costs and practice time.

“We love it, but it’s not a cheap sport,” Buchholz said.

The team’s two biggest events of the year are in Grand Island, Nebraska, which of course requires some financial help.

“Expensive is an understatement,” Hummel said, smiling.

The biggest expense for the team is shells, Hummel said. While most of the team members have their own gun (or two), the club also provides loaner guns.

Travel costs, however, have been significantly diminished by the addition of a new skeet range at Jim River Trap Range - Mount Marty’s home course.

If not for the new range, the team would have to travel nearly 90 minutes to Mitchell or Sioux Falls to practice on a true skeet range.

“Having it here is huge for our kids,” Hummel said.

The differences between trapshooting and skeet shooting couldn’t be further apart, according to Mike Rockne, with Jim River Trap Range.

Trapshooting, for example, is shooting at clay targets moving in one direction, while skeet shooting more closely mimics duck or goose hunting - it requires the shooter to constantly keep the gun moving.

That’s why officials believe its new skeet range will make a big difference in the interest.

“We’re hoping that will spark interest in new shooters,” Rockne said. “We’re hoping different organizations jump on the bandwagon.”

Jim River Trap Range has summer leagues that run from May through mid-August, and are open to any three-person teams, Rockne said.

“It’s a family-oriented sport,” he said. “We would encourage everyone to come out to try it, regardless of your experience.”


Information from: Yankton Press and Dakotan, https://www.yankton.net/

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