As trap shooting has grown in popularity across the state, more and more high schools have been offering competitive shooting clubs to keep up with the demand, giving more competition for the Badger trap shooting club in its 11th season.
With two new teams joining the Southeastern Wisconsin Youth Trapshooting Conference this spring, the now 14-team conference split into a Division A and Division B based on team size, with Badger fitting into the B division.
The restructuring was not the only change the team overcame this year, though. Trap shooting club founder Judd Klade stepped down from head coaching duties after last season, making this the first year under head coach Eugene Altwies.
However, that change did not break the team’s stride. Altwies was a longtime assistant coach with the program, and with Klade helping out as an assistant coach every now and again, the Badgers were able to overcome both the new conference alignment and new coach, finishing in second place in the Division B standings at the end of the year.
The conference championship meet on June 1 at the Waukesha Gun Club perfectly underscored just how competitive the sport of trap shooting is, especially in the Southeastern Wisconsin conference.
Badger’s best shooters were Hailey Martz and Bradlee Shea, who both shot 96 targets out of 100. In most sports, if you are successful 96 percent of the time, that is an incredible accomplishment that would put you into the hall of fame. For Martz and Shea, it put them in a tie for 19th place.
Allison Hauser of Jefferson High and Nolan Nissen of Marquette University High School tied for the championship, both with a perfect 100.
The highlight of the championship for the Badgers came in the junior varsity competition, where David Schiltz tied for the top spot with Ricky Fabry of Muskego by shooting a 98, including shooting 50 in a row at one point. Perhaps the most surprising part about Schiltz’s winning was the fact that this year was his first on the team, which means he succeeded on the big stage with only a few months of shooting under his belt.
“He is a very focused young man and a natural. We are very proud of him,” club administrator Diana Altwies said.
Badger wrapped up the season at the Wisconsin State American Trap Championship on June 23 at Woods and Meadow in Warrens. The Badgers finished in the top half of the varsity field, placing 24th out of 72 teams.
The top Badger performance came from Luke Coster, who shot a career-best 97 to lead the team and finish in a tie for 17th. Badger’s Austyn Hannah also shot his first career 97 for the best score on the JV squad, which tied him for the third-best individual score in the JV meet and put the team in 16th place.
After not being phased by a year full of changes, the Badger trap shooting club will keep moving forward next year in what is now the new normal.