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Trap shooting coming to West Fargo schools

The first-ever North Dakota high school state trapshooting tournament was held Saturday, June 13, 2015 near Horace, N.D. Carrie Snyder / The Forum

Trap shooting will be the newest sanctioned sport in the West Fargo Public Schools system after the board signed off on the proposal Monday.

The idea was proposed by Mark Sahli, who coaches the Shooting Clay Target Program, for the last few years and West Fargo Activities Director Curt Jones, decided to bring it to the board for consideration.

"I've just been kind of pounding on the ADs in the West Fargo district for quite a while and they're willing to look at it now," Sahli said.

Sahli said Jones has been the main driving force to get the sport sanctioned. He did not return calls for comment but wrote in a memo that several other schools in the state, including Devils Lake, Enderlin, Fargo Oak Grove and Larimore high schools, have sanctioned teams.

"Once the ball started rolling finally with some teams, it was just a matter of others coming on board," Sahli said.

Jones and Sahli note there is interest in Fargo and Grand Forks school districts to sanction the sport, as well.

He noted in his memo that there is a lot of interest in the sport from West Fargo students, too.

Jones said there are 18 West Fargo High and 10 Sheyenne students on the SCTP team Sahli coaches.

"With the solid number of students from both West Fargo High School (CMS) and West Fargo Sheyenne High School (LMS), WFPS would not need to submit a coop application with either of our schools and/or with an outside school district," Jones wrote in the memo.

The sport is co-ed and girls and boys compete against each other in some categories in competitions.

"It would be another opportunity for youth to compete in a non-traditional sport," Sahli said. "It's something that anyone can do."

If Sheyenne and West Fargo get teams, they would practice and hold meets at the Shooting Park in Horace. The sport will be open to students in grades 7-12 on non gender specific teams.

"There were some girls that were very prolific shooters compared to the guys," Jones said Monday.

Jones said Monday that the sport does not include travel. Each team shoots at its home course and then records scores electronically. The guns stay at the range are never brought on school-owned grounds.

Jones said the only opportunity to travel would be for a state tournament. If a state tournament is held, the students would travel in one vehicle and coaches would travel with the guns and ammunition in another vehicle.

The sport would be self sufficient and wouldn't require much if any funding from the school district, Jones said.

Sahli asked the board to consider allowing students to letter in trap shooting as well. He said he will form a plan for students to letter in the program that follows sports such as golf or swimming. The sport will be considered a spring sport and the season would likely start around April 1.

If there is enough participation, there can be a team to represent both high schools.

Ross Richards, Sheyenne's activities director, said he supports Jones' proposal.

Josh Francis

Josh is a general assignment reporter for The Forum and the sports reporter for the West Fargo Pioneer. Josh previously interned as a reporter for the Reading Eagle in Reading, Penn. and worked as a freelance reporter for the Orange County Register in California. He welcomes story ideas via email or phone. Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send to letters@forumcomm.com.

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