Within Range

The trap shooting team is fairly new but growing rapidly. Last season the entire team qualified for states, and six of thirteen members qualified for the national tournament. Staff Writer Brady Woods | Staff Writer Carter Hazen | Staff Writer Ava DeVance


Junior AllieMcMillan reloads her shotgun after firing at the clay pigeons. Senior Ethan Depierro looks down his sights towards his target. Junior Noah Tardiff observes his teammate. Photo: Spencer Isberg

The odor of gunpowder spreads relentlessly throughout the gun range, with the piercing noise of multiple shotgun shells being propelled out of the barrel towards their desired targets. Hundreds of student athletes concentrate on the task at hand as they navigate through many trap fields. Countless small orange disks called clay pigeons are launched away from competitors at high speeds, with the goal being to hit as many as possible in consecutive intervals.
Trap shooting coach Lori Kennemer has been coaching the team for three years now and has over 40 years of experience. In her first year as head coach, she guided the team through the state tournament and into the national competition for the first time in Mason, Michigan.

“We are considered a fairly new team and the experience of attending the national competition was phenomenal,” Kennemer said.
The team has to follow the True Team Scoring for their competitions, which was issued by the USA High School Clay Target League. Each team has a predetermined number of competitors that determine the team’s score. Once the competition is over, the team with the top score will receive the maximum amount of points which determines the winner.
Midland Athletic Director Eric Albright verified that the club is not sponsored by the school and he is extremely impressed with their efforts.
“Credit Coach Kennemer and the students for creating a positive atmosphere of camaraderie and competition earning the Chemics a reputation as a contender among high school teams in the state.” Albright said.

Kennemer also talked about the team’s chemistry among the players.
“I like the camaraderie of the team’s athletes, their commitment to learning about and handling firearms safely, the hard work they do learning the sport, the “a-ha” moment when they start shooting the clay targets consecutively, and the enjoyment they get with improving their scores.” Kennemer said.
Senior Noah Adamick is in the midst of his second season and has enjoyed every moment of it. Adamick agrees that the team has a strong relationship.
“An accomplishment for the team is just the growth that we have seen in the past few years,” Adamick said. “It’s fun to see people from everywhere, it’s just a great community.”
The number of students on the Midland High team has doubled since last year, and is only expected to grow with upcoming years.
“It was really nerve wracking but it was really fun and all of us had a blast,” Senior Aaron Garcia said on attending the national tournament. “A lot of the people that came with me I honestly didn’t know that well but we became really close in the end, I was just really glad I could go, it was a great experience.”
Garcia also enjoys the team chemistry and participating on the team.
Although there is a great team atmosphere, playing on this team comes at a cost. The trap shooting team does not have all of the costs paid for, so players have to pay for the clay targets or pigeons they shoot and also have to fund the amount of shotgun shells they use.
“You do have to buy your own ammo but you don’t necessarily have to have your own gun, you can always borrow somebody else’s, and then if you like the sport you can always get your own so you have something consistent to practice with,” said Adamick.
The team hopes to continue its success from the previous year and Kennemer says they have many team members that can help with this.
“We have trap shooters on the team who can (and do) shoot 25 clay targets out of 25, and 49 out of 50, the winning trap shooter shot 207 clay targets consecutively for the “Top Gun” position,” Kennemer said.
Garcia has big expectations for his final year on the team and plans to create special memories with his teammates,
“The teamwork and working together is my favorite part about the team, everyone’s on the line shooting together and it’s technically individual but it’s still really fun being out there with friends.”

Junior Joseph Podboy stares down the barrel of his gun in attempt to shoot the orange clay pigeons to earn his team points.

Photo: Spencer Isberg