Senior Ryan VanMoer and Freshmen Karter DeSmet and Tannyr Curry became the first MHS CTL shooters in the four-year history of the program to finish in the Top 100 of all participants in the Minnesota High School Clay Target League’s regular season and earn invitations to the State Tournament individual competition in Minneapolis, Minn. on Sat. June 24. VanMoer, on a weekly total of 47 for League Week 5, finished the season with a league average of 24, the highest in team history and the ninth best average overall out of 11,400 shooters in the state for the 2017 season. DeSmet, with a season average of 23.8, also qualified for the event with classmate Curry, who ran four impressive final league weeks to make the cut for the big event with an average of 23.5.
“The coaching staff was pretty sure about Ryan and Karter coming into League Week 5, but after running the possibilities, we realized Tannyr had a shot of getting an invite as well,” said coach Nick Simonson, “he came on strong in the last four weeks, and in the clutch did everything it took to punch his ticket to the big event; we’re thrilled for all three,” he concluded.
DeSmet and Curry traded perfect rounds and one-off 24s to lead the team in League Week 5 with totals of 49, while Sophomore Nick Atcher followed a perfect 25 with a 23 for a total of 48 and a top-three finish. Top shooters for MHS CTL in League Week 5 were:
First Last R1 R2 Tot
Karter DeSmet 24 25 49
Tannyr Curry 25 24 49
Nick Atcher 25 23 48
Ryan VanMoer 24 23 47
Samuel Dieken 24 23 47
Zach Fischer 24 23 47
Derrick VanOverbeke 23 23 46
Owen Banks 24 22 46
MacKenzie Schultz 21 24 45
The team average jumped by .5 targets over the previous week to an even 36, the highest regular season team average for a week in the history of the program, and more than half of the team logged at least one round of 20 in the final stretch of competition. The team average total never dropped throughout the season and over eight weeks jumped nearly four targets, despite some challenging spring shooting conditions.
With his league average of 24, VanMoer earned this year’s Top Gun honors for MHS CTL. With an average of 19.4, Junior Tessa Coudron nabbed the Top Gun title for the ladies in 2017. Most improved on the year was Freshman Anna Timmerman, who nearly doubled her average to 15.9, adding 7.2 targets over 2016. The Hot Shot Award for highest average for a new shooter in Grades 7 to 9 went to Eighth Grader Brock Schultz, with a league average of 20.1. In total, 31 shooters qualified for letters by maintaining a league average of 19 and staying academically eligible for the program.
Up next for MHS CTL is the Class 9A State Championship on Tues. June 20 in Alexandria Minn., an invitational-style event where 61 members of the team will attend and represent MHS against the biggest schools in the state with a chance to qualify the team for the State Tournament where VanMoer, DeSmet and Curry will already be representing MHS CTL in the individual competition on Sat. June 24, in Minneapolis.
MHS CTL is coached by a staff of 13 volunteers, and supported by a number of parents who help instruct, score and supervise 80 youth. The program is funded by generous donations from a number of local conservation and sportsmen’s groups and area businesses including: Lyon County Pheasants Forever, Redwood River Sportsmen’s Club, National Wild Turkey Federation, Minnesota Trappers Association, Quality Deer Management Association, Marshall Radio, Lockwood Motors, ABRA Auto Body & Glass, Friends of the NRA, Gustafson C&C Course, Don & Gena Atcher.
For more information on the team and to keep up with MHS CTL, visit their official Facebook Page: facebook.com/mhsctl