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Fall trapshooting league exceeds expectations

Mitchell High School’s first foray into fall trapshooting was a success, finishing with the season’s best score in the South Dakota Fall High School Clay Target League.

Mitchell finished the season with a score of 719, while Bon Homme was second with 666 targets, and Winner/Colome was third with 655. Six teams participated in the fall league, which was contested for the first time.

Mitchell coach Jerry Opbroek said the coaching staff was hesitant in participating in the league, but the number of kids made it a success.

“It’s just one of those commitments that sometimes you stop and think about do we really want to do this, and of course, we didn’t know if we would have any of the kids that would be willing to do it,” Opbroek said. “We ended up with 16 of them. That was way beyond our expectations.”

Leading the way for Mitchell was freshman Dawson Dierks, who had a team-best 45.3 targets per week scoring average during the year, and was fifth-best in the state for overall scoring average. Freshman Delana Henkel had a 44.3 scoring average, and was Mitchell’s top female shooter, while Maryah Weis, Maddy Henkel, Taylor Henkel and Brynn Palmer all ranked in the top-10 for female shooters in the state’s fall competition.

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Jordan Gerlach was Mitchell’s third-best overall shooter during the year, posting 43.3 targets per week, while Hadley Schoenrock (41.8) and Wesley Kunkel (41.5) rounded out Mitchell’s top-five shooters for the year.

Bon Homme’s Bryce Houck was the state’s top shooter in the fall, hitting an average of 24.2 targets per 25-target round. Cassidy Soukup, also of Bon Homme, was the state’s top female shooter, converting 23.4 targets per round on average. Tane Pravecek, of Winner/Colome, helped his team to a third-place season finish with an average rate of 22.8 targets per round.

The six-week league consisted of shooters taking aim at 50 targets per week. The season average determined the individual and team winners, with no end-of-the-year state tournament.

The traditional spring season will begin in March and Opbroek envisions participation numbers continuing to climb. The lone seniors this year are Taylor Henkel and Palmer.

“We had 33 last spring and we were surprised at the 16 this fall and some of them were new, some of them were old from the spring and there were about four of them that were new,” Opbroek said. “So I am sure come spring our numbers are going to go up.”

Opbroek’s coaching staff included Dave Henkel, Matt Bernard and John Weis.

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