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Yoder takes state trap shooting title

By Sue Sitter - | Jul 17, 2021

Submitted Photo North Dakota State Trap Shooting Title Holder Monica Yoder shows off her medals in Horace on June 18.

Rugby High School junior Monica Yoder nabbed the girls’ varsity title at the North Dakota State High School Trap Shooting Tournament held June 18 in Horace.

Yoder, who hit 95 of 100 clay targets, was one of several athletes from Rugby to travel to Horace, south of Fargo, for the tournament. More than 200 athletes representing 50 teams from across the state participated in the tournament in novice, junior varsity or varsity divisions.

Rugby High School’s team placed fourth overall among 16 Division 2A schools in the competition, beating teams from larger schools such as Red River and West Fargo high schools.

“It was very shocking,” Yoder said of her win. “I was told I was going to make it one of these days and it happened within a couple of years (of joining the team).”

Yoder said coaches Randy Knain, Scott Kraft and Vince Mattern had all predicted a state title in her future when she joined the team three years ago.

“They all said I would get there because I got the hang of it right away,” she said.

Yoder said, “We shot 100 rounds, 50 at a time and we took a break, and I had to shoot a higher score than all the other people there to win it, and I ended up shooting a 95 out of 100 overall.”

“I was shocked when they announced that I won, because I heard other names with the word ‘ninety’ in their score, and I thought that they had beaten my score, but they didn’t,” she said with a smile.

“Coach (Knain) looked at me and said, ‘There you go,'” Yoder added.

Yoder said of trap shooting, “I love the sport. It’s a lot of fun. I like both high school and summer league because I get to shoot with a lot of different age groups. I like helping the younger kids and seeing the younger kids compete in the sport, too. We had a lot join this year.”

Yoder said she’s also a member of the Pierce County 4-H archery team and plays softball for the Rugby Panthers.

She also likes to hunt. “I’ve been hunting since I got my game and fish license when I was 10 or 12 and I’m going to be 18 in April,” Yoder said. “I’ve been around hunting all my life. I grew up in the hunting shacks with my grandparents and my dad.”

Yoder is the daughter of Nathan Yoder and Amanda Michalenko. Her grandparents, Mark and Marilyn Yoder, were at the tournament cheering her on, Yoder said.

“My dad and mom are both very proud of me because they know I put a lot of hours and a lot of work into it,” Yoder added.

Yoder had some advice for better accuracy hitting the target. “Keep your head down on your stock. I had an incident right before state where I lifted my head barely and I got a bruise (from the rifle’s kick). It affected my shot a little bit, but not much. I ended up just learning to shoot with it,” she said.

“Also, she added, “Don’t assume where the target’s going to go. Wait until you see it come out and then go after it. Don’t assume it’s going to one way, because you can assume it’ll go right and it’ll go left or straight. You never know.”

Yoder said she would encourage other Rugby High students to try the sport.

“I was encouraged to try it by a family friend and my teacher, Kasey Okke at my school,” Yoder said. “One of my friends and I were talking about it and I told her if she did it, I’d do it, and now we’re both in it and she did really well at state, too.”

Yoder’s friend, Jadyn Barclay, placed first in the Division 2A Junior Varsity competition with a score of 92.

Other Rugby High School ranks and scores were:

Varsity boys: Jackson Brossart, Kordell Kraft, Logan Jaeger, all tied for 10th place, 95; Zach Jaeger, 28th place, 92; Sawyer Bohl, 34th place, 91; Carson Mattern, 39th place, 90; Blake Haakenson, 43rd place, 89; Cole Vietz-Reile, Colton Metzger, tied for 60th place, 86; Alex Kraft, 76th place, 81 ; Brandt Haakenson, 82nd place, 79; Jenner Johnson, 89th place, 78.

JV girls: Jadyn Barclay, first place, Division 2A, second place overall, 92; Rylee Geiszler, seventh place, 69; Lauren Voeller, 10th place, 60.

JV boys: Jaxon Heilman, seventh place, 89; Ethan Brossart, ninth place, 88; Lucas Wentz, 27th place, 83; Dalton Vietz-Reile, Luke Jorde, 48th place, 78; Walker Suchor, 76th place, 71.

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