Overall state title eludes Lions

Takoda Boyd led the Lions, hitting 97 of 100 clay targets. File photo by S. Lee Epps
S. Lee Epps

Spring Grove finished 33rd among the 40 high school trap teams that had advanced to the state championship event on June 21 at Prior Lake, sponsored by the Minnesota State High School League. 

It was not the desired result for a team that had completely dominated its conference race and then won the smallest Class 1A state championship by a substantial margin. But in this final state event, the Lions were competing here against the best from all nine classes. The top two finishers were both from Class 7A with the third-place team coming out of the largest Class 9A.

The Lions hit 456 out of 500 clay targets, well below the 480 they had scored while taking their third straight Class 1A state crown. New Prague, which had finished second in its regular-season 7A conference, took the team title at 484.

Each qualifying team got to send five shooters and two alternates to this final Minnesota competition. Senior Takoda Boyd led the Lions, hitting 97 of 100 flying targets, including one 25-straight round.

Senior Tristan Brainard cleared 93 clays while juniors Marie Petersen and Brandon Anderson each hit 91 birds. Senior CJ Sylling completed the team score with an 84. 

Senior Hailey Conway and junior Kyle Hagen made the trip as alternates.

Anderson, as an All-State shooter (top 100 all classes during regular season), also had a separate 100-shot session with the other All-State marksmen and scored 95. That placed him in the top half (42nd) of that exclusive competition.

This was the third straight year Spring Grove has won a state class title (1A twice, 2A once) and also qualified for the final all-classes competition where the Lions placed ninth in 2017 and 20th last year (2018).