Kyle Hagen
Kyle Hagen
The Spring Grove Lions are making their first foray into fall trap shooting competition. The fall season isn’t new to Minnesota, but a school has to have competed in the spring league in order to be allowed into fall competition.

A lot of those Lion shooters that took part in spring action are back for the fall league. The first week of regular season competition is already underway this week. Thirteen of the 15 Lions on the roster have already turned in scores after shooting on Sunday. Corey Anderson is the head coach of the Lion fall team, and he said practices went very well in preparation for Sunday’s first round of competition.

“The season is six weeks long,” Anderson said. “The practice/reserve week was the week of Sept. 17. We’ll be shooting on Sundays at 3 p.m. and Thursdays at 5 p.m.. We’re trying to do our scoring on Sundays, so we have the whole week to get the kids in and get their scores done and turned in by 9 a.m. on Saturdays.”

“We have 15 kids on our fall roster,” he said, “and only three out of the 15 are new to the squad. But, even the new kids are shooting very well. Normally when new kids start out, they spend the first couple weeks getting the fundamentals down, and they’ll hit 5 or 10 out of each round of 25 targets. These three new kids started off strong, shooting between 12 and 15 out of 25.”

The fall roster welcomes back veterans Brandon Anderson, Takoda Boyd, Tristan Brainard, Hailey Conway, Kyle Hagen, Marie Petersen, Jacine Johanningmeier, Camron Kraus, Camron Sylling, Tanner Thesing, Claire Urell and Garrison VanMinsel.

The team adds Carson Gerard, Ashlyn Hammel and Xander Lewis.

“Safety is huge,” Anderson said. “The guns are always unloaded when the kids aren’t shooting, and they’re placed on a table with the gun actions open. When the kids take the guns to their shooting stations, guns are still unloaded with actions open. When the shooters reach the shooting stations, they can put a shell in the gun, but the actions are still open, but they can’t close the action until it’s their turn to shoot.”

While the scoring format is the same as the spring leagues, the one difference in fall competition is there won’t be a season-ending tournament.

The format is six weeks of scoring on their home shooting range and then submit scores over the six weeks. The Lions will be on of five teams in Conference 4 along with Champlin Park, Comfrey, Medford and Plainview-Elgin-Millville.

Anderson added that the top three things they teach the kids are safety, have fun and marksmanship.