Several campuses across the Minnesota College Athletic Conference are looking forward to the 2017-18 academic year with additional excitement and interest, due to the start of the fall Clay Target/Trap League season which will debut at many colleges this fall. While it is not yet a NJCAA recognized sport at the national stage, several MCAC-affiliated schools have begun offering organized teams and league play in 2017, with college athletic departments assisting with coaching, funding, organization and oversight.
The largest number of Clay Target two-year college programs is found within the NHED-schools; the five colleges of the Northeast Higher Education District (Hibbing CC, Itasca CC, Mesabi Range College, Rainy River CC and Vermilion CC) have been at the forefront of organizing the 2017 trap league, and the programs each report strong roster numbers in their opening seasons. Two NHED administrators, David Dailey of Mesabi Range College and Mike Flaten at Hibbing Community College, have charted the course for the trap league among NHED schools.
Each NHED program has a designated coach, who serves in both an instructional role and as the main contact for interested students. At Rainy River Community College, Eric Norstad will be guiding the first Voyageur Trap team. Hibbing Community College will be led by Peter Stoddard in their inaugural season, while Frank Redfield will be in charge down the road at Itasca Community College. The first coach at Mesabi Range College is Cary Satrang, while Vermilion CC is led by Wade Klingsporn. Contact information for each coaching staff is listed at this link to a story in the Hibbing Daily Tribune.
Several other two-year colleges in and around Minnesota are establishing themselves in the world of collegiate clay target and trap league competitions. Lake Superior College, in Duluth, recently announced a plan to expand their athletic team offerings to students, with Clay Target/Trap League among the new sports which are to debut for the IceHawks in the coming years. Riverland Community College is in the process of studying the sport at the collegiate level, beginning first with a club program. Outside the MCAC ranks, Alexandria Technical & Community College and Southwest Technical (WI) College both offer organized trap shooting experiences to their students.
With Clay Target/Trap League among the fastest growing high school sports in Minnesota and upper Midwest, one will expect to see more of those students moving into the intercollegiate sports environment. Be sure to follow www.MCACSports.org for updates along this first season for many MCAC-affiliated programs. With co-ed rosters at most schools, and competitions tailored to varied level of participant experience, Clay Target/Trap League is opening doors for more student-athletes in two-year colleges across and around Minnesota.