Clay Target to begin spring season

Park team gains members

Participants+in+the+Saint+Louis+Park+clay+target+club+line+up+for+a+shot+at+the+Horse+and+Hunt+Club+in+Prior+Lake%2C+MN.

Echo file photo

Participants in the Saint Louis Park clay target club line up for a shot at the Horse and Hunt Club in Prior Lake, MN.

Ethan Meisler, Writer/Photographer

As Clay Target gears up for the upcoming season, junior Cory Kleve said Park’s clay target team, consisting of two forms of regulated competition, trap and skeet, shoots at competitions once every week.

“We usually have competitions in the spring once a week. We go to the range in Prior Lake and go shoot,” Kleve said. “We have two different events, there’s trap shooting and skeet shooting.”

According to sophomore Sam Swisher, he appreciates how anyone can participate in the sport, no matter their size or age.

“The place where we shoot at, the Horse and Hunt Club, when we go out there, we will see people of all different ages. There is no such thing as too young, too old, not big enough. It’s a sport you can participate in throughout your life,” Swisher said.

Clay Target coach Richard Plantz said he enjoys the comradery between teammates and seeing how everyone participates, while not leaving anyone out.

“I really enjoy that everyone is equal, boys shoot with the girls, girls shoot with the boys, no one sits on the bench, everyone participates in this sport and that’s really neat to see as a coach,” Plantz said.

According to Plantz, the sport focuses on three main goals, and maintains its position as the safest sport in Minnesota.

“We have basically the same goals every year,” Plantz said. “Number one is we teach safety first, second is to have fun, and third is to work on our shooting skills.”

Swisher said that safety is not only an important goal, but a state requirement to pass a hunter safety program.

“Mr. Plantz, our head coach, if you contact him, he will help you find a hunter safety program for you to participate in. One of the requirements to join the team is every member must go through hunter safety which is regulated by the state,” Swisher said.

The sport, according to Plantz, will provide an activity for thousands of high school students and answer the demand of the sport.

“There’s probably going to be 13,000 kids who will participate in Clay Target just in the state of Minnesota this year,” Plantz said. “This is sport was obviously needed, and now this need is being fulfilled.”

Interested students can get in touch with Mr. Plantz or check gopark.org to learn more about Clay Target and the upcoming season beginning on March 31.