Above: Front row from the left Tucker Simms, Cohen Harre, Kierra Papik, Cheyenne Krupicka, Jackson Brandt, Jacob Spohn, Brett Kallhoff, Carver Kanode, Zach Spohn, Rylan Bartels, Dayton Kremer. Second row from the left: Coach Jeff Combs, Kain Combs, Grady Bresson, Lily Jeffries, Noah Schilz, Casper Mertz, Ja Soukup, Mikey Bartu, Jacob Klooz, Preston Knollenberg, Jordan Lawver, Josiah Oceguera, Chase Paulsen, and Head Coach Justin Harre. Back row from the left: Coach Shane Bristol, Andrew Vavra, Savana Krupicka, Kynli Combs, Andrew Lunt, Tyler Due, Daysan Staskal, Jaiden Papik, Cori Combs, Kaeden Bristol, Jonah Barrow, Gage Rhodes, Cade Kresak, Ben Bartu, Trenton Naber and Coach Travis Combs.
Not pictured: Aiden Vavra, Draven Payne, Zoey Borgman, Tucker Borgman, Andrew Fennell, Devin Harrison, and Jake Leif.
Below – Conference awards and scholarships were presented to (l-r): Jaiden Papik, Kynli Combs, Kain Combs, Cori Combs, Cohen Harre, Mikey Bartu, Aidan Vavra, and Kierra Papik (weekly award). (Kaedan Bristol, Carver Kanode and Tucker Simms were not pictured).
The Exeter-Milligan-Friend Trap team had another successful year. This year, 44 students comprised the team which is divided into Juniors (age 12 through 8th grade) and Seniors (9 – 12th grade). They competed with around 160 other shooters every Saturday morning at Crooked Creek club near Aurora.
This year the team included 24 juniors and 20 seniors. Each Saturday the seniors would shoot 50 clays to start the day at the 16 yard line followed by the juniors who shot 50.
In the afternoon, each senior would shoot handicaps, shooting at the line which was half the distance of their score in the first round (i.e. if they shot a 46 out of 50 in the first round they would be at the 23 yard line for handicap).
The participants pay no registration fees on the Exeter-Milligan-Friend team because each team member raised funds selling raffle tickets for a gun. Harre was encouraged to see more team members, “We had quite a few new shooters from Friend this year.”
“The support from all the communities was amazing this year. We can’t thank them enough as this helps to fully fund the kids’ trap team.”
Harre, along with additional coaches Travis Combs, Shane Bristol and Jeff Combs keep busy observing the team and monitoring their shooting during practices and at the meets. They spend the entire day outside no matter what the weather and with the season starting in mid-March there always seems to be snow and rain for those Saturday mornings
Part of the conference fundraiser goes to fund scholarships and this year EMF team member Jaiden Papik received a $500 scholarship from the Central Nebraska Trapshooting Conference this year.
At the end of the conference season, awards were passed out with Cori Combs as team captain of the first female team and Kynli Combs also on the first team female. Kaeden Bristol was on the third team for senior males.
Receiving Junior team honors were first male team members Kain Combs, Cohen Harre and Aidan Vavra and Mikey Bartu, Carver Kanode and Tucker Simms on the third team junior male.
The season culminated with the team participating in the 51st Annual Cornhusker National Jr/Sr High School Shoot sponsored by the Nebraska Game and Parks and held in Doniphan each year in May. Over 2400 students participated this year.
The junior team of Combs, Bartu, Vavra, Simms, and Harre won second place team overall in the junior division. Individually Combs placed seventh and Bartu finished in 16th in the state.
In the senior division Cori Combs won runner-up for high female handicap.
Harre added, “We had another fun year with a great group of kids and parents. We had so many great coaches and parents that it really showed with the kids and how much they improved throughout the year. Trap shooting is an individual sport as well as a team sport so the participants learn that their team is dependent on them to be there.”