In its first season, the Mineral Point Trap Team had a very successful year and showed there is great interest, and talent, in the sport among the Pointer student population.
The Pointers earned the Conference Championship for Conference 1 in the Wisconsin State High School Clay Target League. Senior Gabe Ottoway was the male individual conference champion with Chris Ley finishing fifth. Martina Steffes took third in the conference in the female division.
Mineral Point defeated second place Wolf River Lutheran 424-361 to earn the championship. Other teams in their conference included Oconto Falls, Turtle Lake, and Rio.
The other team conference champions around the state included Grantsburg, Potosi, Unity, and Boscobel.
The Pointers also had a successful showing at state, placing fifth as a team. Boscobel won the title.
The Wisconsin State High School Clay Target League stated 255 registered student athletes participated in the 2015 State Tournament on June 6th at the WTA Shooting Complex in Rome.
Student-athletes representing 22 Wisconsin high school teams competed for overall team and individual achievements in Novice, Junior Varsity and Varsity classifications.
In the Varsity category, Ottoway shot a 92 and Ley 81. In the Junior Varsity field, Joe Ripp fired a 95, Ryan Welsh 81, and Jacob Moellers 75. In the Novice section, Garrett Faull scored 85, Brady Roberts 71, Steffes 71, and Milo Wong 67.
Ripp won the state title by placing first in the Junior Varsity Male category. Faull was second in the state in the Novice Male category. Steffes tied for fourth in the Novice Female category. Ottoway was fifth in the Varsity Male group.
Ripp was also honored for shooting 25 targets in a row at the state tournament and received a special patch.
The MP team used the Jonesdale Sportsman’s Club as its home site and were guided under the leadership of volunteer coaches Bob Ley, Randy Ley, and Don Dobson.
Ottoway was the senior leader of the team and says shooting competition trap takes “a lot more skill than a normal person would think.”
Prior to this season, the only trap he ever shot was with friends in the backyard. But Ottoway loves hunting and thought it would be fun to try since it involves shooting.
Adding to the special feeling of this season was the fact he used his Grandpa Ottoway’s Winchester Model 12 he purchased in 1945. “The gun may not be a trap gun, but I sure shot it very well,” he said.
As for the team as a whole, “The team did do really well. We got seven trophies up at the state tournament and I thought that was very good for how small the team we had was and for it being our first year.”
Ottoway is also excited he has found a life-long sport. “Being on the trap team has started my whole career of trapshooting. Right now I am in the spring league down in Jonesdale and I plan on doing the fall league and to keep on shooting for years to come.”
He also hopes the sport will pick up even more momentum among his fellow Pointers.
“For people wanting to try it, I would highly suggest it. I wish we offered it all the years I was in school.”
“At the first State Tournament last year, 66 student athletes participated in this tournament,” said Jim Sable, Executive Director of the WSHSCTL. “With the phenomenal growth of the number of teams and athletes in the League this spring, the future of shooting sports in Wisconsin is brighter than ever.”
The USA High School Clay Target League is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and operates the Wisconsin State High School Clay Target League as the independent provider of shooting sports as an extra curricular co-ed and adapted activity for high schools and students in grades six through 12 who have earned their hunter education certification. The organization’s priorities are safety, fun and marksmanship – in that order.
(Compiled by Joelle Doye, Mineral Point Unified School District Communications Director)