When it comes to school sports, most people think of football, volleyball, and wrestling. However, at MFL MarMac a non-traditional sport offers students another option to get involved. Trap shooting, a sport that has been in the school for about seven years now has continued to grow.
The program that started out with students from MFL MarMac has now joined with Waukon and Postville schools to form the Northeast Iowa Shooting Club. “Combining the schools has helped to make a stronger group of athletes,” shared coach Joe Milewsky, a teacher at MFL MarMac. “We have seen positive growth in the program over the last couple of years,” continued Milewsky. “It is great to see so many students wanting to get involved in the sport.”
Students who join the team travel to the Allamakee Shooting Range in Waukon for practices during the week. They also compete in trap shoots with other schools in the area before heading to the state meet in June. “It is a lot of fun to shoot with students from other schools and meet new friends,” shared Alek Roys, a junior at MFL MarMac. “I enjoy being out for the trap team since this is a sport that can be done at any age even as an adult. You can even get a college scholarship and shoot at the collegiate level,” continued Roys.
The program is open to student’s in 6th-12 grade. Athletes do need to complete a Hunter’s Safety course prior to joining the team and are also taught firearm safety from their coaches. “If a student wants to join the team, but has never shot a gun before, they should still try it. The coaches help you to learn safety and to learn shooting skills,” shared Blake Lamborn, another junior at MFL MarMac. “Every student regardless of shooting ability and knowledge is welcome on the team,” continued Lamborn. Additonally, the athletes are held to the same academic standards and conduct as other sports in the district. Students must maintain their grades in order to participate.
For some students this is the only sport they are involved in at school. Noah Goltz, a freshman at MFL MarMac is one of those students. “I am grateful that the school offers this sport since I don’t really like to play any other sports,” mentioned Goltz. “I am also an avid waterfowl hunter. This sport helps me to improve my shooting skills,” Goltz shared. Goltz’s first year in the sport was when he was in 6th grade. The program wasn’t open to middle school students yet, only high school. After talking with coach Joe Milewsky, the team allowed Goltz to join. “My first year, I was one of only 6 students from our school on the team. The other students were in high school so when we attended meets, I had to shoot with kids from other schools. Now we have nearly 20 students from our school and around 43 students all together,” mentioned Goltz. “The program has really grown.”
Head coaches Joe Milewsky and Andy Thesing also mentioned that they appreciate the support of the MFL MarMac and Allamakee Community school boards. “The school boards have been very supportive and have helped the sport to grow,” shared Milewsky. This year the booster clubs for both schools have also supported the team with financial donations along with many area businesses who donated to the team.
The team opened their season with a shoot at Cresco on April 30th. They head to Turkey Valley on May 7th and will finish their season at the state shoot in June.