Trap Team Organizing Tuesday Night for Clay Target Shooting

Skylar Schultz, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Despite its name, NDA’s Trap Team is an open and welcoming environment for any and all students interested in guns, shooting and competition.

Interested students can attend Trap Team’s upcoming meeting on Tuesday, March 3, at 4:30 p.m. A parent is required at the meeting, at which any and all questions can be answered.

“The NDA Trap Team is made of athletes, grades 9-12,” said Elmer Waystedt, the team’s new coach. “Experience ranges from those who have been shooting for longer than they can remember to this being one of their first experiences using a firearm.”

Along with experience, time commitment is fairly minimal for team members. “We accommodate student athletes in other spring sports so that as many students can participate as possible,” said Waystedt. 

A member of the Wisconsin State High School Clay Target League, the team meets just once a week on Mondays, and has a season of only eight weeks, starting in April.

“Our home range is the New Franken Sportsman’s Club,” said the coach. “Athletes are encouraged to practice on our own, and our first two weeks of the season are also considered practice weeks.”

“We compete against thousands of other students, at about a hundred other high schools,” he explained. The team at NDA, however, is relatively small. “Last year we had almost 30 students on the team,” Waystedt recalled. “Students of all skill, academic and athletic backgrounds make up this great group.”

As for Mr. Waystedt’s experience, he has years, and then some. “I have been shooting since I was five,” he recalled. My best friend’s dad was the President of the Cudahy Gun Club, and we worked and shot there a lot over the summers and on the weekends.” 

Waystedt also used guns in a combat zone, using heavy machine guns during his service with the U.S. Marine Corps from 1987 to the end of the Gulf War. Now, he has passed his love of firearms to his children, saying, “My son Joe joined the team three years ago, and my daughter Nicki will start her first year this spring.”

“Being my first year as coach, I have a lot to learn,” said the veteran. “There has been a lot of preparation work over the winter, but we really look forward to getting to know the student athletes and parents better as we begin the season.”

For the students, Trap Team is also a place for learning and improvement. “The first expectation is safety first and always. After that, we want the team members to always be learning, growing, competing and having fun,” Waystedt said.

“The majority of the student athletes come from a shooting background of some sort, but the team is open to all experience levels and we welcome beginners as well as advanced shooters. The league supports competition at all skill levels (novice, junior varsity, varsity).” 

As for literal requirements, those are fairly minimal too. Any interested shooter will have to complete a hunter’s safety course, if they haven’t done so already, and have access to a 12 to 20-gauge shotgun of their own. These requirements, while minimal, ensure that all students have a basic understanding of guns and safety when handling such weapons.

“Once you pass hunter’s safety, you will have basic knowledge of how to safely shoot. The last day of the class is also Field Day when you are out on the range practicing,” the coach explained. “Safety is number one. Additionally, attendance, positive attitude, a drive to ask for help and keep growing and learning are important for any interested athletes.”

“We expect to grow the team this year, see improvements over the course of the season, and send as many athletes to the Wisconsin State Tournament in June as possible,” he said. 

As for the team size, Waystedt explained, “There’s no limit, the more the merrier! And yes, girls too!”

“The Trap Team is unique in that any type of student athlete can participate (co ed, all grades, etc),” he said. “There aren’t skill tryouts, and everyone makes the team.”

To reiterate, any interested students can attend Trap Team’s upcoming meeting on Tuesday, March 3rd at 4:30 p.m. A parent is required at the meeting, at which any and all questions can be answered.

“It’s a safe, great sport that anyone can do as long as you have completed a hunters safety class and have access to a 12 or 20-gauge shotgun,” said Waystedt.