The Colfax Scholastic Trap Team, sponsored by Colfax Sportsmen’s Club, has begun practicing indoors using the club’s newly purchased computerized trap shooting simulator. Two more open simulator shooting dates are scheduled before membership sign-up for the team closes for the 2018 season.

The team’s next open practice is scheduled to be held on Feb. 18 from 1 p.m.-3 p.m, with the final open practice on March 4 from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Both sessions are in the club house of the Colfax/Dunn County Shooting Range at E8498 810 Avenue in Colfax.

Athletes must join the team no later than March 4 to participate in the 2018 season.

Membership requirements

Team membership is open to all school-aged youth in grades 12 and under with the physical, mental and emotional maturity to participate in a team sport. Athletes must be students who are currently enrolled in an accredited school or home-schooled program and must be deemed academically eligible to participate in school-sponsored sports programs.

For the system to work properly, each shooter needs to use their own shotgun, as both the specifications of the shotgun and the shooter must both be programmed into the simulator’s software program. Therefore, any potential team members who want to try out the system and learn about the team need to bring his or her own shotgun.

Athletes are not allowed to possess live ammunition when the simulator is in use.

How it all started

Competitive school-aged trap shooting at Colfax Sportsmen’s Club got underway in 2015. Vinnie Ross, a teacher at Colfax High School, convinced the club to form a team affiliated with the Wisconsin High School Trap League. Ross coached the team that year and again in 2016. Both years the team shot in the high school league’s state shoots.

Ross left the area for a different job at the end of the 2016 school year. In 2017, Charlie Owen stepped up as head coach. At that time the club switched the team’s affiliation from the High School Trap League to the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP). The team shot in the Wisconsin state shoot and four of its members, along with Owen, traveled to Marengo, Ohio to take part in the national shoot.

SCTP state and national shoots are sanctioned by the Amateur Trap Shooting Association (ATA). Therefore, Colfax team members need to join the ATA in order to compete.

Scholastic Shootings Sports Foundation sponsors SCTP. The Foundation is the official feeder program to USA Shooting and a path to the U.S. Olympic Shooting Team.

In 2018, Ted Wanish has taken on the responsibility as head coach and is actively seeking new shooters. The team has yearly lost members due to graduation. Membership is not limited to those in the Colfax School District.

Wanish noted that trap shooting is a sport where young women and men compete on a level playing field and where many who are physically handicapped can do as well as everyone else. It’s a good sport for those who either can’t, or don’t want to, take part in more traditional school sports.

For that reason Wanish said he’s been lobbying the school district administration to recognize trap shooting as a letter sport, even if it means the team or the club would have to buy the letters.

For more information on the Colfax Scholastic Trap Team, Wanish can be contacted at (715) 559-8314.

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Dunn County News reporter

Laura covers local/prep sports as well as school-related and general news in Dunn County. She joined The Dunn County News in October 2016. She can be contacted directly at laura.giammattei@lee.net or (715) 279-6721.

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