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Two earn all-state shooting spots

By Staff | Feb 22, 2019

Two area teens have earned spots on the North Dakota Trapshooting Association’s All State Team, according to a recent announcement on the association’s website.

Kordell Kraft, a freshman at Rugby High School, placed in the NDTA’s Sub Junior division of the state team, while TGU-Towner High School junior Blair Kuhnhenn secured a spot in the team’s Junior division.

Both teens described themselves as avid hunters.

“We like to be outdoors,” Kraft said.

The teens said they became interested in trapshooting after learning how to use guns for hunting. “I’ve been doing this (trapshooting) for this will be my third year now,” Kraft said.

“This will be my third year as well,” Kuhnhenn said.

The teens said they practice at the Rugby Gun Club, and travel to meets throughout the state during the sport’s season, which ends in September. The teens said they begin practicing when the weather warms in the spring, and most competitions are held in the summer months.

Trapshooting meets consist of three parts, each with its own unique level of difficulty.

Kraft explained the three areas involved in trapshooting,

“Three different versions are singles, which is, you stand 16 yards away from the target thrower (machine), and it throws one at a time, but you don’t know where it’s going to come out,” Kraft explained. “The machine can turn, and throw it out at random directions.”

“Then,” Kraft continued, “There’s handicap, which is like singles, but you have handicap yardage, so, the better you shoot, the farther back you stand. And you can go anywhere from between 18 and 27 yards.”

Kraft said the third part of the competition is called the doubles. “When you shoot Doubles, you stand at the 16 yard line, and two of them (the clay targets) come out at a time, but in doubles, the machine doesn’t move back and forth; the targets come out of the same spot every time.”

Kuhnhenn said the doubles section of a shooting meet “is difficult because you could have a lot of wind, and it could throw the clay pigeons around, even though (the location where the targets are thrown) would be predictable, just depending on the wind, it could make it a whole lot harder. You have to have a fast reaction time, too”

Both teens said their scores in each area of the meets were recorded and averaged throughout the season. The scores came after each participant shot 500 singles targets, 200 handicap targets, and 200 double targets.

Kuhnhenn placed on the Junior All-State Team with an overall average of 87.53, shooting 1100 single targets with an average of 93.55, 700 handicap targets with a 90.14 average, and 900 doubles targets with an average score of 78.98.

Kraft earned the top spot on the Sub Junior All-State Team with an overall average of 86.13. He shot 1800 single targets with an average score of 92.94, 1500 handicap targets with an 86.20 average, and 400 doubles with an average score of 79.25.

When asked if they had plans to stay with trapshooting, both teens answered with an enthusiastic “yes.”

“They both shoot in the high school trap league, too, which starts in April,” noted Kraft’s dad, Scott Kraft.

Scott Kraft said the high school league’s season “goes all the way through freeze-up, pretty much.”

Both Rugby High School and TGU-Towner High students form the local team.

“And their team was champions last year. They took first place at the state shoot,” Scott Kraft noted.

Both teens visited local banks last week to raise funds for the high school trapshooting league.

“We have had three banks (donate) so far; that’s for the high school league, to raise money for (shotgun) shells,” Scott Kraft said. “It seems like all the banks will donate,” he continued. “They want to participate in it.”

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