Veteran trap team takes aim at another title

Sophomore Tristan Hammel was a finalist at last year's national tournament and had one of the top six averages among conference boys. File photo
By : 
Lee Epps

 Eighteen shooters are back from last year's championship squad plus two newcomers as the Spring Grove clay target team prepares to extend its string of both conference and state trap titles. There are a dozen Lion boys and eight girls on the 2019 roster, most of which were part of the state Class 1A championship in 2017 and the Class 2A title last spring.

This spring's contingent includes all eight who performed well at the 2018 National Championship Tournament, including two finalists - Kyle Hagen and Tristan Hammel.

Hammel, Brandon Anderson, and Tanner Thesing are back after all three ranked among the top 10 boys in the conference last year. Hailey Conway and Marie Petersen were both among the top 10 conference girls in 2018.

There are six seniors - co-captains Conway and Takoda Boyd plus Tristan Brainard, Maria Myrah, CJ Sylling and Tanner Thesing, 

The four juniors are Hagen, Anderson, Petersen and Jacine Johanningmeier.

Sophomore veterans are Hammel, Garrison Van Minsel and Jacob Myrah.

The freshmen are Ashlyn Hammel, Carson Gerard, Marah Mathison, Camron Kraus and new teammate Tiffany Michels. Eighth grader Xander Lewis also returns, while seventh grader Taylor Reinhardt joins the team.

The coaching staff remains intact with Kaare Sanness assisted again by Don Hagen, George Boyd IV, Andy Thesing and Corey Anderson

The Lions, having just completed the second practice week, are logging their Reserve Week scores this week. That team score is held in reserve, just in case there’s a week during the regular season that a team can’t get out and shoot, most likely due to weather challenges. The Reserve Week team score is inserted into that particular week.

Next week is the first of five competition weeks in the conference race before the State Trap Championships runs from June10-18, where more than 330 high school teams featuring over 8,500 student athletes are expected to compete at Alexandria.

Trap is a co-ed sport conducted by the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League. After each of nine classes crowns its state champion, the Minnesota State High School League (which conducts other high school sports in the state) conducts an overall state championship tournament.

Conference assignments will be announced on April 18. The Lions have won the last three conference crowns.