Trap Team

Trap membership drive underway
Posted on 09/13/2017

The Poplar Bluff Trap Team is holding a membership drive in an effort to get more students involved at an early age, and ultimately keep the sport alive and strong. 

“Americans haven’t had an Olympic bunker trap shooter since 1996,” said head coach Josh Wesemann, a Junior High social studies teacher. “Some countries can’t have an Olympic team because their laws don’t allow it, so we have to teach the next generation coming up [an appreciation].” 

This is the third year Junior High students are able to participate on the team, after the Board of Education approved the expansion of the program to allow students to gain two more years of competitive experience. 

Classified as an emerging sport under the Missouri State High School Activities Association, Poplar Bluff Trap was established in 2005 under the direction of then FFA sponsor Darla Nunn, who presently manages the ICU program at the High School. Nunn said the Friends of the NRA initially donated $2,000 in equipment and shooting gear. 

When Nunn’s successor Charles Kinsey, now the Technical Career Center director, took over the coaching position two years later, he helped secure some more NRA funding to do concrete work at the Poplar Bluff Gun Club, building multiple trap houses. The Midway USA Foundation also supplied an endowment of about $120,000 to establish a budget for the team to cover the cost of entry fees and traveling expenses for meets going forward. 

Kinsey said he can recall when Poplar Bluff had the only trap team in the area, besides Doniphan. Today there are several additional teams throughout the region that practice at the Gun Club. “That is a direct result of the Gun Club improvements and our school’s lead,” he said. 

Trap is open to male and female students, grades 7-12. “Once you get your feet placement down and learn some other technicalities, it basically comes down to mental focus and consistency,” Wesemann explained.

Over the summer, PBHS senior Hannah Cash was named to the Missouri All-State Trap Team, among the top five in the state, and went on to compete at the Scholastic Clay Target Program nationals in Ohio. Hannah shot her first perfect 100 score at practice in recent weeks, simply attributing her motivation to a sibling rivalry with her brother Joseph, a trap standout from the PBHS Class of 2015. “I have to outdo him,” she said, half-jokingly.

There are opportunities beyond high school available to trap shooters who excel. “We’ve worked to get our Gun Club certified which means we can start hosting ATA (Amateur Trapshooting Association) events since our clays are considered registered targets. This helps kids get scholarships,” explained assistant coach Sandy Pike of the R-I Instructional Technology Department. 

Katelyn Campa, currently a first grade teacher at Lake Road Elementary, graduated in the PBHS Class of 2010 with a scholarship to Lindenwood University in St. Charles, where she participated in trap, skeet and sporting clays. “It wasn’t a full ride, but it was definitely helpful,” Campa said. 

The first trap meet of the 2017/18 season will take place next month at the Gun Club. For more information about the Trap Team, contact the coaching staff on social media. The cutoff date for students to sign up is Thursday, Sept. 21. 

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Cutline: Hannah Cash, Poplar Bluff’s own Annie Oakley, aligns her sight to shoot a clay target at practice.

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