Hannah shoots straight at state
Hannah Brewers took up trap shooting — and went to the Minnesota State Trap Shooting Champions for just one reason — “For the fun of it.”
But she came away with so much more, hitting 42 of 50 clay targets and for second place in the Novice Division.
While the kids go as teams, Brewers calls it more of a, “You game ... because it’s all up to you!”
Up to two weeks before the state she didn’t even realize she was ranked in the Top 20 in Class 2A, Conference 2. “It was exciting when I heard I was in the top 20,” she said.
But nothing could beat the excitement of placing second in state.
It was when she heard about the ranking that she first thought she could do well at the state meet.
“I put it in my mind that I could do good,” said the soon-to-be Minneota sophomore.
She was trilled to know she was just one “birdie” below the eventual champ, who had a 43 — and only two behind the top Varsity shooter at 44. “I guess us Novice people shot pretty well at state,” she chuckled.
While she was ranked, her scores were no where near what she shot at Alexandria. “I don’t really know (why) — maybe it was the atmosphere. I just go there for fun. I’ve always had fun shooting up there,” said Brewers.
Actually, her trap shooting ability began at the 4-H Level, where she’s competed with the “Sharpshooters. She’s excited about the upcoming 4-H Trap Shoot during Boxelder Bug Days in September. It will be held in Fairmont and Brewers said, “I’m excited to see what I can do.”
This is only her second year shooting trap and she takes pride in the fact she’s succeeded while others have spent years in the sport and haven’t done as well.
When she first heard about 4-H shooting, “My friends egged me on and I figured, why not?”
She hasn’t turned back and even finds some time to deer hunt with uncle Corey Magnuson.
Near the end of the regular season the trap shoot team lost their Coach William Delaney, who retired. “He told us he’d be leaving,” said Brewers, so it was no surprise.
But the nice part was the way Troy DeSmet and a team of volunteers including Ken DeBoer and Kevin Swedzinski picked up the ball and ran with it. “It’s good to see parents helping out,” Brewers said. It appears DeSmet and other volunteers will help out again next year.
The team, which depends on outside money for the purchase of shells and supplies, got funding help from Pheasants Forever and through other grants.
Conditions at the state meet were anything but desirable. It was cold and windy with lots of rain — so much so that the shoot was reduced from 100 birds to 50.
“It wasn’t the nicest weather,” said Brewers.
She likes the sport because it allows kids who aren’t necessarily in other sports to compete, “We’re a part of a group, too. It doesn’t matter what size or shape you are, if you can shoot,” she said.
She relayed an example. “One kid up there (at Alexandria), shot with a broken foot.”
She also credited the mandatory “gun safety class” that helps kids do things correctly. "I think that’s important,” she added.
Minneota’s boy leader all year was Travis Engels. While he didn’t have a stellar state, hitting 38 of 50 targets and finishing way back in the varsity shoot — he did come home with some hardware.
He brought home two medals by winning the “Overall” Conference crown and First Place in conference with an average shoot of 23.1 targets.
That was the same as Blake Henry of Mabel-Canton High School.
Minneota’s top boy shooter at the state was Michael Gratz. He hit 44 of 50 targets in the junior varsity division and placed ninth. Brenden Kimpe shot a 43 in the varsity match.
Also having a good shoot was Kaden Myhre, whose 38th put him in a tie for 15th place in the Boys Novice Division.
Other Minneota Shooters were:
Garet DeBoer 36; Diana DeSmet 32; Elizabeth DeSmet 31; Tony DeSmet 35; Brady Gifford 22; Cody Gifford 36; Kira Gifford 30; Noel Swedzinski 39; Ryan Vlaminck 41