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PL Trap Is Seeking A Third Straight Title On The Range In Class 9A

By Tom Schardin, 04/21/24, 8:30PM CDT


Targets are now being hit for the Prior Lake trap shooting team as the team will go for its third straight state title.

The Lakers defended their Class 9A crown last spring at the Minnesota High School Clay Target League Championships at Alexandria Shooting Park. The team also tied for the top team score from all nine classes with Benson and Alexandria.

A perfect team score is 500 and all three teams finished with 491 total.

The Lakers also had the highest individual shooter in Class 9A last season. That honor went to junior Will Johnson, who hit 99 out of a possible 100 targets. Johnson was the state runner-up as a ninth grader.

This season, Prior Lake will compete Class 9A Conference 1 with the likes of Delano, Farmington, Hermantown, New Ulm, Norwood-Young America and St. Peter.

According to the USA Clay Target League, there are 37,158 student athletes competing across the nation from 1,795 high schools.

“The league provides youth an outlet to develop their confidence, sportsmanship, and teamwork without the high costs and limited playing opportunities of traditional sports,” said John Nelson, league president. “Clay target shooting sports are accessible to everyone, and the opportunity to participate on their school’s team influences athlete’s lives for the better.

“This school year over 13,000 new athletes joined the league through their school’s teams thanks to the efforts of the shooting ranges, coaches, and parents that make teams flourish,” he added.

This year’s league championships are scheduled for June 10-18 at the Alexandria Shooting Park. Class 9A schools will compete on the final day.

The Minnesota State High School League state competition will be held June 21 at Minneapolis Gun Club in Prior Lake, while the USA High School Clay Target National Championships are set for July 10-14 in Mason, Michigan.

Prior Lake also competes in skeet in the MHSCTL. The Lakers were the state runner-up to Wayzata last spring for a second straight year.

Skeet shooting consists of two 25-target rounds from eight different stations on the skeet field, while trap shooting consists of two 25-target rounds from one 16-yard station.

With nearly 52,000 participating athletes in the 2023-24 school year, the USA Clay Target League is America’s largest clay target shooting organization. The League also offers sporting clays and 5-stand leagues to secondary and postsecondary schools across the country.

The League’s priorities are safety, fun, and marksmanship – in that order. It’s the safest sport in school with not one reported injury since the inception of the League in 2001. Each athlete must complete firearm safety certification before participation.

For more information on the USA Clay Target League, go to