Mabel-Canton and Leroy-Ostrander High School trap teams both bagged conference championships during the pandemic fall season of 2020. Kingsland was conference runner-up while Spring Grove shooters finished fourth in their clay-target league race.
The area’s two best individual scoring averages belonged to two Mabel-Canton marksmen, who were both All-State last spring. Senior Colton Heintz-Kuderer averaged an impressive 24.4 (out of a perfect 25.0) and junior Austin Snell 24.4 while finishing second and third among all the boys in Conference 1A-9. The best average in the state was 24.6 (Ian Wheatcraft, Prior Lake).
Another reigning All-State Cougar, junior Emma Middendorf (23.5), had the third-best average overall (boys and girls) while taking top honors among the conference girls in 1A-9. Kingsland’s Emily Miner (23.1) was the top-scoring girl in Conference 1A-8, Ashlyn Hammel (22.8) of Spring Grove was the 1A-9 conference girls runner-up behind Middendorf.
LeRoy-Ostrander, in addition to the team title, also claimed both individual titles in Conference 1A-2 with junior Anna Welsh having the best scoring average (21.9) among league girls while sophomore Tristan Lewison (22.9) was the top-ranked boy just ahead of freshman teammate Malyk Schaefer (22.1), who was the conference runner-up.
Each week, clay-target competition consists of 50 shots – two rounds of 25. Amazingly, Heintz-Kuderer had three weeks with perfect 50 straight performances (hit all 50 flying targets) plus 25 straight rounds in two other weeks.
Snell had the only other 50-for-50 perfect clay day during week two along with a 25 straight in week three. Middendorf had three weeks with 25 straight scores. Hayden Erickson, another Cougar, twice went 25-for-25, as did Hammel for Spring Grove.
Also firing 25 straight for the Lions were juniors Carson Gerard and Camron Kraus plus senior Garrison VanMinsel. For Kingsland, there was 25 straight club membership earned by Miner, Bradley Grabau and Carson Paul. The Cardinals received perfect 25 rounds from Lewison and senior Jeremiah Weiss.
Mabel-Canton shooters outscored their four conference competitors in each of the first two weeks and remained on top during the five-week championship race in Conference 1A-9. The Cougars had finished as conference runners-up in their two previous campaigns (spring 2020, fall 2019). With a season team total of 4,074.50, Mabel-Canton held off Lake of the Woods (3,995.00) with Ada-Borup third, Spring Grove (2,996.50) fourth and Comfrey fifth.
LeRoy-Ostrander (1,004.00), coached by Gary Schaefer, overcame a strong bid from Bloomington Kennedy (991.00) to finish on top of the six-team Conference 1A-2. This title follows the Cardinals’ spring of 2019 championship.
Kingsland, in Conference 1A-8, consistently outscored the competition each week except for eventual champion Brandon-Evansville. The Knights thus finished as runner-up in that seven-team race. KHS had placed fifth among eight teams last spring after winning a conference championship last fall (2019).
Unlike the more extended spring trap seasons, there are no state championship events during the fall seasons.