Eric Norstad is an avid hunter and recreational shooter who shared his passion with his son. They began shooting clay targets together and talked about the tremendous growth of the sport across the state. Three years ago, after some exploration with the Minnesota State High School League, Eric approached the International Falls School Board about starting a trap team and they agreed to start the program.
The original team started with modest numbers – 12 participants. In its second year it climbed to 35, and this year it has 30 members including one girl. “That’s the great thing about the sport – it’s an equal opportunity sport open to boys, girls, and the disabled, “said Norstad who is one of three coaches. “And, it’s one of the safest sports.”
The Falls team has accounted for itself well in a short time. At a recent event with 52 teams, the Falls team had two shooters take second and third. The sport has a Spring League and a Fall season along with a State Tournament.
It’s also one of the fastest growing sports in Minnesota and across the country. There are 350 teams and over 10,000 shooters in Minnesota alone. The Minnesota State Tournament is one of the largest youth shooting events in the world, held over eight days.
According to the Minnesota State High School League, trapshooting is a sport of movement, action, and split second timing. It requires the skill to repeatedly point, fire, and break 4 ¼ inch discs that are tossed through the air at 41 miles per hour.
For Norstad, trap shooting is a life-long hobby that families can participate in and it helps his hunting skills.