The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) recently approved an official partnership with the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League (MSHSCTL) starting in June of 2014. 

Trapshooting will be recognized as a sport like all other high school sports, thus making Minnesota the first state high school athletic association in the nation to host a sanctioned high school trapshooting state tournament.

“Since the MSHSCTL’s inception in 2001, the league has worked closely with the MSHSL. By modeling our policies and procedures with that of the MSHSL, we have mirrored their organization,” said Jim Sable, founder and executive director of the MSHSCTL. “This fulfills a goal that began 12 years ago when we had just three high schools and about 30 athletes.” 

In 2012, 1,500 student athletes from 57 high school teams, including Belle Plaine, participated in the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League. The League expects to host more than 3,000 student athletes from more than 100 high school teams in the 2013 spring league.

In just its second year, the Belle Plaine High School trap shooting team competed in the 2012 Minnesota State High School Clay Target League shoot in Alexandria. Two Belle Plaine shooters were lauded for their efforts. Erika Schneider earned a third place finish in the girls’ novice division. Josiah Berringer carded a perfect round in one of the four rounds of 25 shots during the competition. He is the first Belle Plaine shooter to earn the perfect score.

Coach Joe Deutsch, a BPHS industrial tech. teacher, said he is pleased with the growth of the team. In 2011, 14 students made up the Belle Plaine roster. Last year, 32 shooters, including three girls, participated in the varsity, junior varsity and novice competitions.

The Minnesota State High School Clay Target League is a non-profit corporation and the independent provider of shooting sports as an extra-curricular coed activity to high schools for students in grades 6-12 who have their Firearms Safety Certification. The MSHSCTL has three priorities – safety, fun and marksmanship – in that order. 

For more information about the league, visit mnclaytarget.com.