SportsTrap & Skeet aims to hit the mark

Athletes take their shot at competing, giving back to the community
Alejandra GerlachFebruary 13, 20201223 min
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Photo provided by Beth Cotton

With 15 club sports to choose from, Trinity students are bound to find the one that hits the mark. For athletically minded men and women with a knack for precision and accuracy, trap and skeet may just be the perfect fit.

According to senior Morgan Thompson, second-year captain of Trinity’s Trap and Skeet team, the club competes in the Association of College Unions International (ACUI).

“We do ACUI, which is basically the NCAA of shotgun sports. We do three ACUI events a year. There’s the Lower Mid-West International Shoot, the Lower Mid-West American Shoot and then there’s Nationals. But then there’s a few other events that we do that aren’t ACUI,” Thompson said.

The team competes in the Division II category in the Lower Mid-West Region. On a regional level, the team performs well, according to junior top-shooter Andrew Korando.

“Regionally, we are competitive. We just got back from the Lower Mid-West Regional International shoot. We had one of our shooters place third in skeet, and I know that she won [Highest Overall] in that event — which is a combination of national skeet plus international trap. And the team won third place overall,” Korando said. “When you look at it like that — and there were DI teams there, they didn’t break it down into category there — we’re happy with it. It’s a small team, but in the regional shoots I think we do really well, and we usually are medaling, and usually there is an individual or two that can also get a podium.”

Outside of ACUI events, the team participates in community involvement ranging from charity shoots to assisting at pre-collegiate shooting events. According to Korando, participating in these events serves as a valuable bonding experience for the team and serve as a way to give back to the community.

“We did WOGO, — which was Women Orthopedic Global Outreach. It was a charity shoot that Waste Management sponsored us to shoot in and participate in. It was after our national shoot and it was one of my favorite team bonding experiences. We all went out to a private range in Austin, and it was just a fundraiser shoot, and we had a blast,” Korando said. “Sometimes we’ll pull 4H tournaments [4H Shooting Sports Programs are often precursors to college shooting] at the range that we practice at. So that’s kind of giving back to the community, and it’s actually really fun to see some of these high schoolers tearing it up.”

The team comprises seven shooters of varying experience. While Thomas and Korando shot throughout high school and looked for a school that offered trap and skeet as a part of their college search, other members of the team like junior Thomas Petrowski started trap and skeet here at Trinity. According to Petrowski, joining the team with no prior trap and skeet experience wasn’t too hard.

“The experience was not bad. Our coach did a good job of easing the transition and helping me learn the basics and get ready for competition,” Petrowski said.

Part of joining the team for those with little to no shooting experience is taking the trap and skeet class taught by team coach Walter Van Boerner.

“Our coach likes to have you go through that class just to get familiarized so that both him and you are on the same page before you start on the team. Just show an interest, and if our coach thinks it’s the right fit, he’ll work something out. Plus it’s a fun way to get your [physical education] credit.” Korando said.

Although trap and skeet is not a team sport in the same way that soccer or basketball is, the dynamic among the shooters is very team-oriented, according to Petrowski.

“The team dynamic is good. We are all friends and hang out outside of shooting events. Everyone wants each other to succeed and we all have fun while doing so,” Petrowski said.

Alejandra Gerlach

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