Trap-shooting teams at the high school level is something of a passion we have at Coonan. We think they’re great: these teams expose kids to safe firearms use, give anyone who wants it a chance to participate and succeed, plus the feeling of being part of a team. We’re a Gold Level Sponsor of the Prior Lake Trap Shooting team, which just clinched a conference championship, and are thrilled about how trap shooting is taking off in general.
Coonan has been a corporate sponsor of the Lakers Trap Shooting Club more or less since the beginning, dating back to the summer of 2009. Chris Hesch, the president and trustee of the Prior Lake Lakers Trap Shooting Club, says ”We are very fortunate to have a firearms manufacturer like Coonan support our students. Dave Neville [Coonan's VP] has been one of our strongest advocates in the industry steering other sponsors in our direction and promoting high school shooting sports at every opportunity he gets.”
We talked to Hesch about the growth of trap shooting in Minnesota.
“We founded the club in 2009,” says Chris. “There were six teams in the state. We were invited to the state shoot because we were just starting a program.”
The next year, which was Prior Lake’s first official year, the total number of teams in the state had grown to 17. By 2011, the state had 27 trap shooting teams at the high school level, and this year there are 57 teams representing 100 schools (some schools consolidate to form a team) with a total of 1500 student participants.
“Prior Lake has 45 regulars with 5 alternates, so 50 total kids who are on the team,” says Hesch. “The program has basically doubled every year for the last 4 years. And this season we’re one of 12 schools shooting out of the Minneapolis Gun Club.”
We at Coonan are thrilled to see younger generations getting more involved in and excited about shooting sports, and we expect our partnership with PLHS to continue to be a great one.