Mt. Pleasant trapshooters open season with close secondClub team to shoot again this weekend when it hosts meet in Fairfield
OTTUMWA — The Mt. Pleasant trapshooting team competed in Ottumwa at the North Mahaska meet on Saturday, and Squad 2 for Mt. Pleasant placed second of nine teams at the event, missing first by just one shot.
“I’m surprised the kids were able to hit anything with the wind — we had sustained winds of more than 30 miles per hour, and those targets were flying around like crazy,” Coach John Klopfenstein said. “It was totally amazing that they were able to shoot the way they were.”
Mt. Pleasant Squad 2 — which is made up of Justin Doscher, Emma Ludwig, JD Klopfenstein, Nick Ballou and Jayton Phillips — was just one target behind the winning Montezuma squad.
As an individual, Ludwig was the second-place finisher in the varsity girls’ division of the meet.
Phillips tied for fourth on the boys’ side, but lost in a shootoff against his opponent from Grinnell.
Overall, Mt. Pleasant has three varsity squads this season and more than a full JV squad.
“The JV squad did exceptionally well for the first competition they had,” John Klopfenstein said.
Across the state, Klopfenstein noted, trapshooting is growing “by leaps and bounds.”
“We’re seeing a lot more girls (come out for the team),” Klopfenstein said.
The state championships in Cedar Falls saw 1,100 shooters last season; the expected number for this year is 3,000.
The Panthers will be shooting in a conference for the first time this year, a conference that covers most of the southeast quadrant of Iowa. Knoxville will host the conference tournament, but most shoots will be “virtual” shoots — where teams compare scores, but don’t actually travel to compete against each other.
“If it goes well, we’ll see conferences in other quadrants,” Klopfenstein said.
This weekend, Mt. Pleasant will host a four-team meet at the Southeast Iowa Skeet Club in Fairfield, which is Mt. Pleasant’s home club.
North Mahaska, Ft. Madison and Burlington will attend to compete against the Panthers.
It will be the first-ever competition for the brand new Burlington team.
The meet begins at 10:30 a.m.