Jun. 25—PRIOR LAKE — The Bemidji High School trap shooting team performed among the best in the state on Friday in Prior Lake.
The Lumberjacks finished 11th of 40 teams at the MSHSL Clay Target State Tournament, posting a five-shooter score of 475.
Wayzata (489) won the team competition, with Tri-City United (481) and Sibley East (480) rounding out the top three.
Taylor Kehoe led the Jacks with a perfect score of 100, while Matt Rud finished with a 99. Rud's reverse run of 80 broke Bemidji's tie with United South Central, awarding BHS sole possession of 11th place.
Senior Avery Geiser finished with a score of 94, while Bjorn Krona and Eric Bittmann scored 92 and 90, respectively.
Head coach Jeff Krona was hoping for an even better performance from his team, but he was proud of how the Lumberjacks fought through some adversity in the competition.
"Today went well," coach Krona said. "Our trap house wasn't very pleasant to us. The Canterburys (release device) didn't work for us. But a lot of our kids, they fought through it. It was great."
The inability to consistently release the clay targets on call may have disrupted the Jacks' rhythm, but they still managed some excellent performances on a big stage.
"They'll feel good," Krona said. "They should feel good. They fought through everything that they needed to, and they came away with a 475, which is really good."
Krona was particularly happy for Geiser, who has set an example for Bemidji's younger shooters for a long time.
"I was extremely excited for Avery," Krona said. "He's been a producer for us for years. He's been a two-time alternate for the state team, and he made it this year, which I was extremely proud of. He's the captain, and he's a role model for our team. And he has been for years. When Avery walks to the line, he has a certain cadence that he'll do. And now I've got eighth graders that will do what Avery does, because he's that person that people look to. It's really cool to see."
Krona is closing out his first year in charge, and he credits the team's support system for helping him make it a successful season.
"I'm very thankful for the parents, that needs to be first and foremost," Krona said. "The parents have been great, and my athletes have been stellar. My coaching staff, that needs to be mentioned too. We're all volunteer, and my coaching staff is phenomenal. I've got great coaches behind me."