Bluejay Varsity shooters win 6 out of 9 meets; three Merrill shooters finish in top five in 3 out of 4 levels
TINA L. SCOTT
The final scores for the May 18, Week 8 competition found the Merrill Bluejay Varsity Trap Team shooting off against the Medford Trap Club, and the Bluejays emerged the winners with a score of 111 – 51. The Bluejays won against Medford at all four shooting levels.
Last week, on May 25, the Merrill Bluejays were up against Wausau Skeet & Trap. The Bluejay Varsity shooters took the win with a score of 115 – 100. JV and Intermediate also won their rounds.
High scoring shooters for Week 9 included Brindelyn Eternicka who was the high Varsity scorer with a 24, and Cali Brown, Jase Glaze, and Cameron Stadler, three Varsity scorers who each scored a 23.
Overall, in the nine-week competition, Merrill Bluejays won six out of nine of their meets.
At the individual level, two Varsity shooters finished the season in the top five shooters in the conference. Jordan Smukowski was fourth in the conference with a score of 207, and Cameron Stadler grabbed fifth place in the conference with a score of 206. They were just five and six points away from a first place finish, respectively.
Two other Merrill shooters also placed in the top five conferencewide at the JV and Entry levels. Robert Hoff came out in second place for JV conferencewide, with a score of 204, just 3 points below the number one JV shooter in the conference for JV. Merrill’s Maria Ashbrenner took third place in the conference at the Entry level with a score of 177.
In addition, Merrill shooters also competed in a S.E.a.L. (Screaming Eagles and Loggers) Shooting Club event in Harshaw on May 21-22.
“209 total athletes entered sporting clays from 13 different programs,” Jim Nesbit said. “It was a sporting clays event which means the stations were all different.”
Merrill Bluejays had 23 kids who signed up to go, and the Bluejays competed against Antigo Red Robins, Bruce Red Raider Shooting Team, Clearwater Explosion, Lakeland Union High School, New Richmond-Somerset Trap Team, Northland Pines Eagles, Rhinelander High School Trap Team, Rice Lake Warrbirds, S.E.a.L. Shooting Club, Shooting Tigers, and Tomahawk Claybusters in the sporting clays venue of the event.
Some have compared sporting clays to “golf with a gun,” as participants walk more than a mile through a fully automated course through the woods, where each shooter is presented with 12 different small game and bird hunting type scenarios. Clay pigeons are thrown in pairs and include a variety of target presentations, such as straight away, incoming, bouncing, crossing, quartering, straight up, or a combination of those, with both close up or far off shots required. The results of the event are not yet available.
One adult who attended said the kids had a lot of fun with the experience “and it was fun to do something a little different and it really helps get you out of your head and just think about the birds and less about scores.” Merrill Trap Team leaders said they will continue to attend this event in the future as it is a nice break towards the end of season and before conference and state tournaments.
This year’s event was billed as the 3rd Annual Team S.E.A.L. Northwood’s Open and was held in Harshaw and Minocqua over the two days. Participants could select the venues they wanted to compete in.
This week the Bluejays started practice shooting for this Saturday’s Conference competition. Forty Bluejays are signed up to shoot at the Conference level.