Volume 107, Issue 8 Sports
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Pheasants feather trap nest

By Collin Glomstead
posted May 26, 2011

Outdoor enthusiasts meshed recently as Pheasants Forever, an organization concentrated on conserving wildlife as well as enjoying trap shooting and other outdoor activities, donated a $1000 grant to the West trap shooting team.

�I just contacted the president of the local chapter and said, �hey we started a trap shooting team and I was wondering if [Pheasants Forvever would] be interested in donating,�� said Head Coach Dave Johnson.

A large sum of money was left in a trust fund by a previous member who passed away in 2006. The money was to be used by Pheasants Forever to benefit a club or sports team.

�When our inquiry came along, they thought that this would be the best fit because it encourages young people to get involved in outdoor shooting sports,� said Johnson.

Leo Kolaszewski, the president of the Fox Valley division of Pheasants Forever, liked the idea. The board felt like the money would be best used to serve something in their community.

�It�s local and it�s something that they can see the result of,� said Johnson.

On Friday, May 20, Kolaszewski visited West to present the check.

The grant will help Johnson cut the individual cost needed to be paid by the athletes themselves and will allow for more people to be able to join the team.

�I have talked to the other coaches that are getting involved and were hoping that our conference can get some major sponsors like Winchester or Remington. [These companies] could help us start to grow,� he said. �Like any other sport, the level of participation is directly related to the cost.�

The squad managed to finish third place out of six in conference and finished with a winning season.

�They actually exceeded my expectations,� Johnson said. �We ended up with about 18 reliable, dependable, devout members.�

Junior Dan Moore thinks the season was prosperous and enjoyed being a part of the team.

�It was fun,� he said. �Every week when we had practice it was nice to go out to Springbrook [Sportsman�s Club] and relax and shoot a few rounds of trap.�

On Saturday, May 14, the team competed in the state shooting meet in Mayville, Wisconsin.

�Out of 125 squads, one team took 18th and the other team took 25th, so I was happy with that,� said Johnson.

Most of trap shooting is the amount of concentration and motivation that the shooters must put forth to hit their targets consecutively. At the state meet, each shooter was given 100 consecutive birds as opposed to the 25 that the competitors were used to in their conference meets.

�The mental game of shooting 100 versus 25 is different,� said Johnson. �That�s what separates the good competitors from the rest of the squad.�

Moore agreed.

�If you miss once and let it get in your head, you�re a lot more likely to miss again,� he said.

Some team members accelerated to the top faster due to the previous knowledge and experience of the sport.

�The ones that did good had the experience, not quite at this level but they have been involved in it for two or three or four years,� said Johnson. �Most of them have been shooting trap since they were 12 or 13.�

Next year, Johnson is going to attempt to assimilate trap shooting into the line-up of standard spring sports.

�I talked to Principal Schultz about it and next year there�s a plan to actually have something set up so they can actually earn a varsity letter and get more recognition for accomplishment that way,� he said.

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Members of the trap Shooting team pose with representatives from Pheasants Forever, an organization that donated to the team.

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