6/18/2014 2:45:00 PM CFHS Clay Target team sends 18 students to State Meet
by Ken Haggerty
The Cannon Falls High School Clay Target Team successfully completed its first year of action, sending 18 students to Alexandria, MN on June 7 for the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League Championship to shoot in front of thousands of spectators.
Tommy Miller, Alex Engebretsen and John Twedt earned a Varsity Letter this year based on their weekly competition average scores (19-25 over five weeks). Michael Stephens, Cody Wysocki and Tyler Melhouse also lettered because they averaged a Varsity score at the MSHSCTL meet. Wysocki and Melhouse are the only seniors.
Anna Bentson turned 12 on the last day to sign up for this team, making her the youngest shooter in Minnesota (about 6,100 total students participated in 2014). Of the 26 total Cannon Falls students who were involved this year, Anna had the 6th best average on the team.
Coaches are planning a one day Shooting Clinic this fall at the gun club in Wanamingo to introduce interested youth to the shooting sport. Some students will participate in summer events.
The fastest growing sport in Minnesota saw many schools unable to include all of the interested kids. An estimated 2,000 kids had to be turned away from teams this year because of a lack of gun clubs, time and space. The DNR is working to provide grants to gun clubs that are willing to upgrade their facilities.
The CFHS team has a Facebook page with more photos. https://www.facebook.com/groups/708492012545970/#_=_ .
The group was able to line up sponsors and collect fees from participants to cover all costs. Donors included: Cannon Falls VFW, Banks Outdoors of Cannon Falls, Rhino's of Cannon Falls, National Turkey Federation, Oxford Sportsmen's Club, Wanamingo Sportsmen's Club, Robinson Outdoors, Pheasants Forever, Midway USA Foundation.
Volunteer Coaches were Gregg Twedt (Head), Jack Schlichting, Duane Pliscott, Dave Engebretsen, Chad Miller, Joy Knutson, Dave TerBeest, Tim Sullivan, Ken Tennessen, Joe Sheryak, Scott Schuett, Jane Umnus, Kandee Stephens, Joe Priem, and Scott Peer.
Twedt said about a dozen of the students had never been involved in any other extracurricular activity.
The team had standards for participation including academics, attendance and performance. Twedt said he had a few students he knows put in extra time on schoolwork just to stay eligible.
Twedt said the commitment from some of the volunteer coaches, some with no children involved, was amazing.