MHS CTL Press Release
Registration for the Marshall High School Clay Target League (MHS CTL) team will open on Jan. 10, 2017 on a first-come-first-served basis to all Marshall Public School System students in grades 7 through 12 who have a valid firearms safety certificate. Sign up and informational meetings for students and their parents will be held at the MHS Media Center on Tue. Jan. 10 and Tue. Jan. 17 at 5:30 p.m. At this time enrollment is guaranteed for the first 50 students, with the potential for more. Previous participants must still attend one of the two meetings.
Thanks to fundraising efforts by local sportsmen’s groups including the Redwood River Sportsman’s Club (RRSC), Lyon County Pheasants Forever (LCPF), Prairie Highlands Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) and the Buffalo Ridge Gobblers chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, the cost is just $150, which includes activity fee and a family membership to RRSC. Weekly league shoots will be held at the RRSC facility located 8 miles southeast of Marshall from Apr. 3 through May 23, and the cost of ammunition and targets for the league will be paid for through grants and other local financial support.
“We had an incredible turnout last season with our numbers jumping from 50 participants to over 70,” said coach Nick Simonson, “I am excited to build on that turnout and enthusiasm and field a team that will be a perennial contender on all three levels in the league,” he concluded.
The CTL, which began with just 30 students from three schools in 2001, is an independent provider of the trapshooting extracurricular co-ed activity and operates as a virtual competition which will include over 300 schools and 10,000 participants this spring. This format allows participants to travel a short distance to a local gun club to compete each week with hundreds of other students on similarly-sized teams. All scores are submitted online and compared against other scores from teams of similar sizes making up a school’s conference, and league points are awarded to determine season standings.
“Last year was our first year losing a number of Senior shooters, so this year’s need is to find younger shooters and develop their skills,” said Simonson, “so we’re seeking interested seventh and eighth graders and new shooters to learn from our upperclassmen and continue to continue this tradition of excellence,” he concluded.
Unlike sports such as baseball, where the tenth best player sits on the bench, each and every student athlete gets to shoot each week and measure their progress against all other athletes in their conference and contribute to their team’s success. The popularity of the CTL has grown so rapidly in part because it provides an alternative outdoor sport and boasts a flawless safety record. Since its beginnings, there have been zero injuries in CTL practices and competitions.
“I’m proud of the community’s efforts and the support we’ve had in bringing this program together over the past four years,” said Simonson, “it shows the solidarity between our sportsmen’s organizations, Marshall Public Schools, our media and our community’s collective desire to get the next generation involved in safe and enjoyable shooting sports.”
With $9,500 in dedicated funding each year for the next two years from area sportsmen’s groups and other sources, including a MidwayUSA Foundation Grant, solid financials will continue to carry the team at no added cost to the School District.
In addition to attending the sign-up and informational meetings on Jan. 10 and Jan. 17, parents can enroll their youth or learn more about the MHS CTL team by calling Simonson at (507)829-9553 or emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org. For immediate registration, parents should email a copy of the participant’s Firearms Safety Certificate. Registration will be open until Sun., Mar. 1, which is a firm and final deadline set by the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League.