Trap Time

Trap shooting team wraps up season
Senior Chase Koepke aims to shoot a target during a recent trap competition.
Photo courtesy of the Elkhorn Trap Team
Senior Chase Koepke aims to shoot a target during a recent trap competition. Photo courtesy of the Elkhorn Trap Team
A member of the Elkhorn trap team prepares to shoot at a target during a recent competition.
Photo Courtesy of Elkhorn Trap Team

“Pull, Bang, Repeat”

Imagine shooting a shotgun and hitting a bullseye as a sport-that is exactly what trap shooting is. Combining students from all Elkhorn schools  to create a trap team has become successful. There are around 20 boys and girls on a team and the athletes practice in Valley, Nebraska. 

For most sports, people would assume the athletes have to wear a uniform, but not trap shooters. 

“We don’t have jerseys, we just wear whatever we want,” sophomore Chase Long said. 

Still, trap shooting is similar to other sports. For example, the better the team does, the higher that team goes. For trap shooting, when the athlete shoots really well in the 5 stations, they go further back. 

“There’s five stations in a line, you shoot five shells of ammo for each station. You shoot these clay targets and if you hit them you get points and the closer you get to the bullseye the more points you get. We shoot 100 rounds, so if you get a 49 out of 50 you can place for second or first. There is another thing called handicaps where you go farther back then you shoot 50 rounds for that too. So basically the farther you go back the better you’re doing,” freshman Tyce Shipley said.

The shooters have a meet every Saturday and only practice once a week. Athletes would have to figure out another way to practice hitting their target with one practice a week.

“I got interested in it because I do it with my dad and I started in seventh grade,” freshman Mark Rease said.

The mental state for most athletes can be intimidating. Many trap shooters say that to keep them calm and collected they think of nothing. Some may say they only think to hit the bullseye and nothing else. 

“My mental process is just not to think about much while shooting and just concentrate on the target,” Long said. 

There is not much to trap shooting, mainly just “Pull, Bang, Repeat” senior Chase Koepke said.

Even just shooting the gun is the easiest part for some of the athletes. 

“The hardest thing is probably the mental state and the easiest part is just shooting the gun,” Shipley said. 

Just like any sport, the trap shooters travel across Nebraska to show off their skill. 

“The meets are usually everywhere like Papillion, Blair, Bellevue, and more,” Rease said.

The athletes buy their own shotgun, earplugs, and safety glasses. That equipment can get expensive and dangerous. 

“We have to buy your own shotgun, safety glasses, and earplugs. It can get expensive, it just depends on which one you buy,” Long said.

Trap is open to everyone and anyone can sign up, it doesn’t matter how much experience the athlete has. 

“Anyone can join, it doesn’t take a lot to get good,” Rease said.

There are not even tryouts for trap, unlike most other sports.. The players just sign up, get the equipment they need, and they’re good to go. 

“There are no tryouts, you just sign up and be on the trap team,” Shipley said. 

Trap shooting is one of the more unique sports that come out of the Elkhorn district. It is all a mental game, but in the end it is just down to the player and the bullseye. 

State was May 3-4 and Elkhorn’s trap team was getting ready to compete. To be able to make it to state, the competitors must participate in at least five of the six competitions. Even middle schoolers can go and place, as long as they meet the requirement. Luckily, everyone from the Elkhorn district made it to state and will get the opportunity to place. 

“Anyone can be in state, even people in middle school; as long as you shoot 5 out of the six competitions before state,” Long said.

Print this entry

Donate to Antler Express
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Elkhorn High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

About the Contributor
Addie Hunt
Addie Hunt, Reporter
Addie is a junior and a first-year reporter for the Antler Express.
Donate to Antler Express
Our Goal