The fourth season of Red Wing’s high school trap shooting season recently wrapped up, and the season was a success according to head coach Scott Kosek.

“Overall for our season, the best comparison I can make is in 2018 we had 20 kids with 17.0 average or better. This year we had 28 kids with 17.0 average or better. So, anyone who looks at numbers and asks if we're getting better as a team, we'd say 'Yup.' We are definitely improving. We made the final 40 this year. We're doing better than we imagined at this point,” Kosek said.

On June 14, the team competed in Alexandria, a massive nine-day tournament with about 8,000 shooters competing. Red Wing finished sixth in the 27-team Class 5A tournament by hitting 475 of 500 clays. Sophomore Sam DeLain was Red Wing’s top shooter, hitting 98 out of his 100 clays. Chloe Struss, the top girl in the regular season conference standings, hit 96, followed by Tyler Foster with a 94. Hannah Kosek also had a 94 while the team’s final scorer, Caleb Malyon, finished with a 93.

Struss placed second individually with DeLain finishing in a tie for fourth.

By finishing in the top 40 in Alexandria, the team qualified for the MSHSL clay target championship where Red Wing finished 39th out of 40 teams.

“To be in the group of the 200 best shooters, of the 40 best teams, is phenomenal,” Kosek said.

Red Wing placed fifth in the regular season in a nine-team conference. Unlike more traditional conferences, each team shoots separately and sends in scores. Red Wing’s conference includes Brainerd, the league’s winners in 2019, as well as Centennial, Dawson-Boyd, Duluth East, Minnetonka, Robbinsdale, United South Central and Zumbrota-Mazeppa.

Skeet team

In addition to trap, Red Wing also has a skeet team. Each trap and skeet team is made up of five shooters and participation in trap and skeet is allowed. Red Wing finished fourth in a five-team conference in skeet behind St. Louis Park, the champion, Cretin-Derham Hall and Providence Academy, and in front of Southland.

Red Wing’s Nathan Dopkins averaged a 21.3 to take fourth individually in conference skeet.

Local support

While a big and growing sport, especially in Minnesota, there are still some barriers to entry. And getting buy-in from all involved is necessary, Kosek said.

“Without our local Red Wing sponsors, our team would not exist. (They) keep the fees down, and buy extra shells and clays so the kids can shoot a lot more,“ Kosek said. “Our parent support is phenomenal. They're always there to support their kids and to help. We're all volunteers in our sport, including me, and that's an amazing part of this for Red Wing and all other teams is to have that support and volunteers.”

Despite going to state in just its fourth year in existence, Kosek said there is one glaring issue that could be keeping numbers and additional success from growing even more.

"Our main issue is we don't have a local trap or skeet range. We need property, so if anyone knows of a property that they would like to donate to the team or the school, we'd love to have them contact me," Kosek said. "That's our biggest issue, that we have to drive so far to shoot, that if we had a range in our backyard, we could do a lot more."

Right now they drive to Hampton.

"If we had one within three miles of Red Wing, we could drive over and practice for a couple hours and be done," Kosek said. "I think that would really increase our participation, our enthusiasm and, probably, our scores in the long run."

For anyone interested in joining the team, contact Kosek at smkosek@rwps.org.