Jeralyn Wessel – Staff Writer
At the end of October, the Trapshooting Club at Dordt University hosted South Dakota State University for a competition. After a quick game of rock-paper-scissors to determine who would start the shooting, Dordt’s team took to the range.
The team was composed of any students who wanted to compete, and the total team scores were combined at the end of the shooting rounds. With excellent weather and confident attitudes, Dordt’s Defender Clay Dusters beat SDSU with an ending score of 450-443.
Dordt’s Jason Enerson took first place and Dawson Teune took third place overall.
This competition was the first of the season for the club, and the National Collegiate Shooting Sports Athletic Association state competition was the last for the semester on Saturday, Nov. 5, in Waukee, Iowa.
Enerson, one of the leading members in the club, said the weather for the state tournament was not pleasant, with cold temperatures and rain. Despite the conditions, Enerson was the high shooter for Dordt with a score of 85/100. Official results have yet to be released, but Wyatt Evans, Ashayla Soodsma, and Eric Van Veldhuizen all shot in the 80s as well.
The Trapshooting Club was first discussed on campus during the fall of 2018. As a senior in high school, Enerson tested the waters of Dordt at the Taste of Sioux Center to see how many students might be interested in a shooting club.
Since its formation, the club has grown to include around ninety members, with 15 to 25 active participants. This semester, the club has seen even greater growth as various campus clubs and faculty have joined in for Tuesday night gatherings.
On Tuesday nights, the club meets to drive to Rock Valley Gun Club and shoot for a few hours. They welcome students who are experienced trapshooters as well as those who may have never shot a gun before. Safety and proper gun handling rules are strictly enforced. Meetings at the gun club provide a safe environment for improvement and encouragement, according to some participants.
“We all try and help each other figure out what we are doing wrong,” said Molly Galema, a sophomore participant. “It’s very easy to get in your head and then screw up.”
Galema also said this type of club can show campus that guns are more than just weapons; they can be used for fun, safe activities.
While the club members are welcoming to newcomers, the prices may be discouraging to some. Participants must purchase their own shells for competitions and practices, and prices continue to rise. Most events in a competition will require four boxes of shells, which will cost around ten dollars each.
Some club membership fees also apply, depending on where the club goes to shoot. The Trapshooting Club tries to limit the cost of entry any way they can, by hosting fundraisers and seeking funding from Dordt’s Student Government.
For more information regarding the Trapshooting Club, students can contact club president Eric Van Veldhuizen, or faculty advisor Tom Prinsen.