Henning School students compete at national trap shoot

Contributed photos
Vincent Graham, William Schwartz, Josh Larson and Adrian Jones competed in the national trap shoot in Michigan earlier this month. Nearly 1,800 participants from across the country participated in the annual national trap meet.

By Chad Koenen


Four Henning School trap team members broke out their guns and vests for one final time this summer—this time on a national stage.

Vincent Graham cracks a target during the national trap meet.

Adrian Jones, William Schwartz, Josh Larson and Vincent Graham competed with 1,718 of the best trap shooters in the country from July 5-10 at the National Trap Championship. The event was held in Mason, Mich., which featured 44 trap huts and shooters for almost one mile long at a time. 

This is the second straight year Henning has sent a competitor to the national championship. William qualified for nationals last year and attended the event. This year Henning had seven participants qualify for nationals, with four people making the trek to Michigan.

Adam Schwartz, who is a coach with the Henning trap team and supervised the trip to Michigan, said participants must qualify for nationals and apply to compete at the event. The first 1,800 people who qualify and register for the national championship have the opportunity to compete with high school students from across the country. 

Contributed photos
Adria Jones, William Schwartz, Josh Larson and Vincent Graham competed at the national trap shoot in Michigan earlier this month. They also made a stop in Chicago, Ill., during their trip out east.

On July 7 the Henning team competed in the team qualifier and finished in 239th place with a score of 314. 

The following day the four Hornets competed individually with 1,718 other shooters from across the country. Graham led the charge for Henning with a score of 88 to take 1,218th place, while Larson finished with a score of 79 with a score of 1,601. William finished with a score of 77 to finish in 1,629th place and Jones finished with 67 targets to finish in 1,703rd place. 

In addiiton to the competition, Adam said the team took a few days to explore Illinois and Michigan on their way back from the competition. 

“We just kind of a made a trip of it. We stopped in swam in Lake Michigan for a bit,” he said. “On the way back we went through Chicago and visited there for a while.”

Each participant was responsible to pay for their own way to the national championship, but Adam said arrangements were made to ensure each Henning shooter was able to attend the national championship at no cost.

“We made it a fully funded trip, and in the future, if the kids qualify we are going to try to get them out there (at no cost),” he said. 

This past year the Henning trap team had 28 participants in grades 6-12. 

The team wrapped up its season at the state shoot in Alexandria, Minn. in June. Head coach Dakota Aeling said the team did well at the state shoot, which featured thousands of participants from across the state.

A total of 34,629 student athletes representing 1,625 high school teams across the country participated in USA Clay Target League programs this spring. Only the top athletes and teams qualified to register for the National Championship, based on season averages at the completion of the spring season.