Usually, a query into a state’s fastest growing sport yields a fairly predictable answer, whether its lacrosse, soccer or hockey. Not in Minnesota, where a sport with far less national recognition has stolen a march on many of the state’s other popular pasttimes. Minnesota teens are flocking to trapshooting.
Yes, trapshooting, the sport where an athlete shoots clay targets flung from a machine, is the fastest growing sport in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. As reported by Minneapolis Gannett affiliate KARE, nearly 4,000 Minnesota prep athletes competed at the 2014 Minnesota State High School Clay Target League (MSHSCTL) championships, which were held in Apple Valley. On June 14, the Minnesota State High School League will become the first state to officially sanction a state trapshooting contest, with the inaugural event to be held at the Minneapolis Gun Club in Prior Lake, Minn.
There’s no denying the sports boom in Minnesota. The state boasts more than 6,000 registered trapshooting athletes, and some 380 schools have been represented by the athletes who either competed in Apple Valley or will compete in Minneapolis. The vice president of the MSHSCTL said that roughly half of the student athletes who compete in the association had never used a gun before working with a team. Afterwwards, many get hooked on the unique benefits of the sport.
“It’s like hitting a golf ball into a five-gallon bucket at 100 yards,” exclaimed John Miller, the head coach of Apple Valley’s Trap Shooting Club. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for all of these kids.
“They all get to compete equally on the same playing field and everybody’s score counts,” Miller said. “And that’s something that’s extremely endearing to the league, to the kids and basically it’s the draw.”
There’s clearly a draw, and a new booming sport that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon in Minnesota.