SENECA - After taking the fall 2017 season off, the Seneca Trap Team will once again compete in the spring 2018 season of the Wisconsin State High School Clay Target League.
The team is coached by Dave Benzing, owner of Outback Shotgun Sports in rural Seneca. The team’s safety officer is Jeff McCullick, and the team is also assisted by Seneca Agricultural Education Instructor & FFA Advisor Kally Bockenhauer.
Previously, the trap shooting club had been primarily peopled with members of Seneca’s FFA, but that has changed this year.
“This is the first year that not all members of the trap shooting team are also FFA members,” Bockenhauer said. “We opened up the club to all high school students, and now have one member who is not also an FFA member.”
Bockenhauer reports that her group in the trap shooting club is “a committed group of kids that are also competing in other spring sports.” Koch explained that Seneca only does the spring shooting league because in the fall there is too much competition with the football program.
The team shoots on Wednesdays from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. “The kids who are not also in other spring sports come and shoot at 4:30, and then the kids who are in other sports come a little bit later,” Koch explained.
How does it work?
The trap shooting sport is open to both middle school and high school students. The sport is co-ed and open to both young men and women.
Student athletes shoot an assigned number of targets to compete in both individ-ual and team events.
Each week of the five week season, team members will shoot two sets of 25 clays. For that week their score will consist of two numbers, with a range of possible scores from 0-25.
A student can letter in the sport, based on their scores. The athlete’s year-end aver-age weekly score deter-mines student athlete classi-fications. Classifications assignments include:
Novice: 0-14.99 average per round
Junior Varsity: 15-18.99 average per round
Varsity 19-25 average per round
Every week, the league recognizes the highest scor-ing shooter, the highest scoring team, and the shoot-er with the longest string of targets broken in a row.
Local teams that will compete in the trapshooting league this spring include Boscobel, Prairie du Chien North Crawford, Wauzeka-Steuben, Kickapoo, Westby, DeSoto, Weston and Wonewoc Center.
Conferences in the trap shooting league are determined by the size of the club, and not by geographic location. Seneca will againcompete in Conference 2, which this season includes Benton, Mishicot, New Lisbon, Plymouth, Sauk Prairie, Stockbridge, and Weston High Schools.
The week of April 23-28 will be the first week of competition shooting. Up until now, the weekly shooting sessions have just been for practice.
In the spring 2017 season, Seneca sent one member of their club to the state shooting event. Wyatt Bausch, was in the 2017 Top 25 Average group in Conference 2, with a season average of 20.60. Another Seneca team member, Preston Mabb, was in the Top 25 Average group, with a season average of 18.20. Mabb did not choose to attend the state competition.
In 2017, Seneca competed in Conference 2, and took fifth place with 537.5 total points. While not all the teams in their conference for 2018 were in the conference in spring 2017, most of the teams they’ll compete against were active in other conferences.
Benton finished 5th in Conference 3 with 1,032 total points; Mishicot finished 4th in Conference 2 with 655.5 total points; Sauk Prairie finished first in Conference 4 with 2,870 points; and Weston finished fourth in Conference 3 with 1,145.5 total points. New Lisbon, Stockbridge and Plymouth did not shoot in the spring 2017 season.
Other area schools that competed in the spring 2017 season finished as follows: DeSoto finished seventh in Conference 5 with 1,766 total points; Prairie du Chien finished fifth in Conference 9 with 6,145 points; Boscobel finished first in Conference 10 with 23,308 total points; Kickapoo finished first in Conference 1 with 446 total points; Wonewoc Center finished second in Conference 1 with 369 points; and Weston finished fourth in Conference 3 with 1,145.5 points.
Spring 2018 team
The roster for Seneca’s spring 2018 team includes: Anya Aspenson, Joey Oppriecht, Preston Mabb, Wyatt Bausch, Brandon Eick, Damian Dudentbostel, Noah Sprosty, Kade Simpson and Lucas Kilburg.
The 2018 team has no seniors on it, and so the team captains are juniors Wyatt Bausch and Preston Mabb.
Wyatt Bausch was the one Seneca team member that chose to participate in state competition. He was also the highest scorer on average on the team in 2017. Slugging it out for top scorer with Bausch are two other team members, Preston Mabb and Brandon Eich.
The team has five new members in 2018, and Brockenhauer said “Joey Oppriecht is definitely someone to watch.”
Brockenhauer describes the team strengths as their returning athletes, who are “really stepping up as leaders.”
Brockenhauer said that one way the older team leaders have demonstrated leadership is through the club’s gun raffle fundraising efforts, and also by transporting younger athletes to the practice sessions.
The team’s weakness, according to Brockenhauer is that it is split 50/50 between experienced members and members new to the team.
Brockenauer described the team’s goals for 2018 as “safety, marksmanship and entertainment.” She said they would like some of their athletes to place in the ‘Male Top 10’ and ‘Female Top 10’ categories as well.