Trap Spring Season


Lucy M., Journalism I Student

When the word “sport” is used, it typically refers to football or basketball, not trap shooting. Most sports surround a type of ball, like baseball or soccer. Trap is definitely not your typical sport. Trap shooting is a gun sport where a clay pigeon is released from a spring trap and a shooter fires a shotgun at the clay, hoping to hit it and score a point.

As spring season competitions near, the Papillion La Vista Trap Team has been gearing up to hopefully hold onto titles and take new ones home. By practicing twice a week at Papillion Gun Club, the team hopes to do well this season, even with the challenges they have faced. 

“We prepare for competitions by doing a number of skill building drills,” Coach Jake Mohr said. “Trap is a sport where being very methodical and repetitive in your setup and movement pays dividends, so the more rounds we can get in at practice, the better we do at competitions.”

Although repetitiveness is important with shooting, the ongoing ammunition shortage has not been easy to deal with for the team.

“Struggles this year are mostly related to ammo shortages or COVID,” Mohr said. “Ammo shortages have led to some shooters practicing less than normal. The result of that is scores aren’t picking back up like they usually would.”

The ammo shortage has been a struggle since the fall season.

“It affects some [shooters] but we shoot what we can and get as much [ammo] as we can,” Shooter Vesta Fitton for the Lady Monarchs said. “Our coaches team with organizations like the NRA to get us ammo.”

Other than the required Hunter Safety course shooters take before starting the spring season, they learn many other safety precautions to take when handling firearms. Shooters also learn how to handle different weather conditions.

“Spring trap season is an exercise in preparedness,” Mohr said. “We practice twice per week to be ready for competitions and constantly monitor the weather to ensure we have the appropriate gear for the conditions. The team has a lot of fun and wins a lot of awards thanks to their efforts.”

Shooters, coaches, and parents enjoy watching the team receive awards for high scores.

“Competitions are always a blast,” Fitton said, “and when my team is doing well it’s always amazing cheering them on and winning competitions.”

Shooters who want to improve shoot outside of practice to get better or just for fun. The all-female Lady Monarchs squad is among those who practices more than the twice a week regimen the coaches have assigned.

“We shoot outside of our Tuesday and Sunday practice and usually go on a Friday and shoot out the jitters before a Saturday morning competition,” Fitton said. “It’s something I love to do and I’ve been shooting since I was little. It’s something I look forward to.”

At the Nebraska state trap shooting competition in 2021, the Lady Monarchs placed first for both sixteen-yard and handicap shots, meaning their squad scored the best out of every other all-female squads in the state. They hope to do it again at this year’s state competition in April.

“[My goal is] to remain state champs of the ladies individual and handicaps,” Fitton said, “and to do well as a team.” 

Preparations are underway for the Papillion La Vista Trap Team to improve their shooters, one practice at a time, to hopefully place at upcoming ECTC competitions this spring.