Shooting their shot

Millard West Trap shooting club gains a victory at state


Photo courtesy of Susie McElfresh

The Millard West Trap Shooting club attended State in Doniphan, Nebraska. The team and coaches were all very proud of their wins at state this year. “Our team had many amazing victories at state this year, and I believe this is the best Millard West has ever shot at state.”

Brooke Sliva , Staff Reporter

Millard West Trap team took down their competition in Doniphan, Nebraska on April 30. The team went home with a first place victory for their A squad, as well as multiple individual placement awards.

State is a two day event for the high school shooters. The first day starts off with every participant shooting 75 clays at 16 yards. Scores from day one determines where individual shooters get placed for day two yardage. 

Millard West brought eight squads with them to compete at state this year. The A squad pulled through as a team and ended up bringing home the state trophy. The team successfully destroyed 361 out of 375 clays the first day of state. The students in the A squad consists of Juniors Drake Pietryga, Peyton Anderson, Ben Wilwerding, Aiden Alward, and Sophomore Brandon Fish. This team worked hard all season winning 4 out of the 7 team competitions they attended this season.

Wilwerding left state with a 3rd place victory in the 16 yard, and 6th place in the High Overall.

“I hit 68/75 from the 25 yard line, which was a tie for 8th place for the handicaps, that combined with the 75/75 from 16s got me in 6th overall for individuals,” Wilwerding said. “I was very proud of myself and my placement really showed how hard I worked this season.”

Anderson got 4th place at the 16 yard. He also got 2nd place in the 24-25 SR handicap, and ended with 3rd place for the High Overall.

“Winning individually was a great feeling because it was the first time I ever shot a perfect score at a meet and I had to go into three separate shoot offs to place,” Anderson said. “Winning as a squad however was a better feeling because we won first as a team. A squad scored well all season, but brought our best for state.”

Pietryga ended state with getting 6th place at the 16 yard. He shot a perfect 75 out of 75 on day one of state when he was competing with his A squad.

 “I was looking forward to state all year, and ending with a big win was such a stress relieving feeling,” Pietryga said. “I feel like our squad worked hard at practices and all the tournaments we attended, and it was a great way to start state weekend.”

Millard West A squad placed 1st at the 16 yard, as well as getting 2nd in the Handicap SR team, and finally this unstoppable A squad got 1st in the High Overall.

The second day of state is all about handicaps. Handicaps are more of an individual shoot rather than being squad based. Handicaps are based on your average shooting from day one, and the scorers put you in your correct line up to make sure you are shooting with people who have similar averages. 

The team spends at least two days a week as a whole team in Ashland practicing at the Ashland gun club. Most of the shooters go out of their way and practice more than four days a week preparing for their weekend tournaments and state. 

“In the weeks leading up to state I practiced after school almost every day, the week before state I shot up to 100 rounds a day,” Wilwerding said. “I also worked on staying extremely focused for every shot and not rushing when I’m at the line shooting.”

Most of these boys have been shooting since their freshman year at Millard West. Even though this team has the Millard West name it consists of all schools in Millard. This team is held together by their head coach Nick Coyne. He has been working hard with these boys all season getting them prepared for the tough competition they fasted at state this year. 

The Millard West Trap shooting team has a lot to look forward to next season. With many returning shooters and some new faces added to the team, the shooters are excited about all the victories this season and hope to bring more home for the club in the future.