Mabel-Canton sophomore Colton Heintz-Kuderer finished 15th among 101 All-state qualifiers at the MSHSL trap championships.

Mabel-Canton sophomore Colton Heintz-Kuderer finished 15th among 101 All-state qualifiers at the MSHSL trap championships.
Chad Smith

The 2019 Minnesota spring trap season came to an official end with the Minnesota State High School League Championship last Friday at the Minneapolis Gun Club in Prior Lake. Mabel-Canton’s Colton Heintz-Kuderer wound up tied for 15th place overall out of just over 100 individual All-State shooters. He finished the one-day tournament with a score of 98 (out of a possible 100).

The format was similar to the Minnesota Clay Target League Tournament in that each shooter had two sessions of 50 birds each to pile up their scoring. The first session was two rounds of 25 birds each with two more rounds of 25 targets after that. Heintz-Kuderer’s total of 98 included an amazing streak of 50-straight hits.

The all-state shooter tallied up a 24 out of 25 in the first round before hitting 25-straight.

During his second shooting session, he hit 25-straight birds in the first round as well, taking home a 50-straight award. He was nearly as perfect during his final round of the day, taking 24 of 25 targets successfully.

“It was not a great day for shooting,” said Mabel-Canton coach Doug Ward. “The wind was blowing around 10-20 miles per hour when he stepped up to shoot.

"The key was to hit the bird as quickly as he could before the wind grabbed the target and whipped it away. However, while the winds weren’t favorable, they were the same for everybody.

“Believe it or not, Colton was actually disappointed with his 98,” Ward added. “He’s got his sights set even higher than that. He’s going to get better because he’s only a sophomore, and I’m pleased to have him for another two years.”

Heintz-Kuderer started out in trap during his seventh-grade year. Just how far has he come? “When he started out,” Ward said, “Colton had never even shot a gun prior to that season. He had to take his certified training online in order to get his qualifying done as quickly as possible, so that he could do his trap shooting that spring. That’s how quickly he got into it and saw trap shooting take off for him.”

Ward said coming in brand-new was a big key to Heintz-Kuderer’s success. “He hadn’t picked up any bad habits at that point,” Ward said with a laugh.

Trap season isn’t over yet for Heintz-Kuderer as well as teammate Tracer Tollefsrud. Both Cougars are planning to take part in the 2019 U.S. National Clay Target League Championship Tournament. The contest takes place In Mason, Michigan, July 10-14.