The Boscobel Youth Trap Team, the “Bird Dogs,” won the Wisconsin State High School Clay Target Leagues Team Championship on Saturday.
A total of 26 of the Bird Dogs’ 41 members traveled to Rome in central Wisconsin to participate in the State Shoot. After all the teams had finished their shooting and the final scores were tabulated, the Bird Dogs were crowned State Team Champions.
As Session 1 began, it looked like the coaches and parents were more nervous than the youth.
“Once they stepped to the line, the kids did a great job controlling their nerves as they competed in front of hundreds of spectators,” said Randy Lange, one of the team’s volunteer coaches. “Target after target was broken and we were off to a fast start.”
Session 1 really took an exciting turn as team member Drew Brown shot a perfect 50 out of 50 on his first session. This really energized the whole team as each teammate completed their rounds. Kyle Witter also gave the team a huge boost as he posted a 47 out of 50 on his first round. Going into the second session the Bird Dogs were sitting in a good position, but there was still a lot of competition to go.
As the second session began the temperature went up and the wind started to blow a little more, but the youth once again showed their nerves of steel. Bird Dog after Bird Dog posted their scores, most of which were higher than their first session scores. Kyle Witter posted a 46 to go along with his earlier 47. Many members posted scored in the 80’s. Alex and Zach Karsten, Mason Eck, Austin Wunnicke, Spencer Lange, Jeffery Norsby, Josh Mayne, Nathan Groom, Chad Heines and Daniel McClimmins, all where in the 80’s and each one seemed to be a little higher than the previous posted score.
Now all eyes turn back to Drew as he began to work on his second session. At just 12 years of age, Drew followed up his earlier score with an unbelievable 47 out of 50, for a day total of 97 out of 100. This earned him Top Gun for the tournament as the highest score shot. Now the Bird Dogs had one shooter left. Levi Wetter stepped to the line and with his usual grin on his face, and methodically broke target after target. He finished the day with a score of 90 out of 100.
Now all that was left was to wait for the final scores.
“We all did the math and knew it would be close,” Lange said “As the awards began everyone was on pins and needles waiting for the team scores.”
As an added bonus, Kayla Hackl, who had earlier shot her personal best scores, was awarded third place female in the Novice class. Also, Levi Wetter received his award as one of the conference’s top shooters. Next came the Conference Championship trophy, which the Bird Dogs had clinched the week before.
Now it was time. After 24 teams had finished their competition for the day, and after over 30,000 rounds of ammunition had been shot, the Boscobel Bird Dogs were crowned the 2015 State Champions.
“This was a total team effort, and a total team win,” Coach Lange said. “Top to bottom, our shooters really performed today, and they all gained some valuable experience for the future. We are all very proud of them.”
“The kids performed very well, especially for this being their first season,” added Coach Greg Plotz. “They were excited to say the least and I couldn’t be more proud of them. They’re good kids, all of them, and represented the Boscobel community extremely well.