Magic trapshooters continue to set the pace

The Monticello trapshooting team continued its strong start to the season in Week 3, posting a total of 8,101 points. That is Monti’s second-highest total of the season, and was the second-highest total in Class 7A – Conference 3 during Week 3. NRHEG, who is chasing Monti for the top spot, posted a score of 8,162.5. Monti maintains a lead of just more than 1,100 points in the overall standings.
Magic coach Tammy Baloun said it’s a fun race between the top two teams in the conference.
“It’s neck and neck,” she said. “We’re just going to take it one week at a time.”
Baloun said Monti has as much talent this year as she’s ever seen.
“We actually have a stronger team than we’ve ever had before as far as our top shooters,” said Baloun.
Monti has nine kids shooting an average of 23 or higher through three weeks. Six of those kids (Dylan Evans, Aaron Nyberg, Matt Baloun, Ryder Beckman, Sam Hedtke, and Carter Knudson) are in the Top 100 shooters, which represents less than one percent of the best shooters in the state.
Every kid that finishes in the Top-100 is guaranteed an individual spot at the state meet at the end of the year. The most kids Monti has ever placed inside the Top-100 at season’s end is three. Most impressive, according to Baloun, is that as the number of trap shooters in the state continues to grow, the average needed to crack the Top-100 climbs right with it.
Evans currently has the best average on the team, with 24.33 birds per round. Nyberg is second with 24 even. Baloun averages 23.83 per round, and Beckman, Knudson, and Hedtke are all at 23.67.
“We’ve got some phenomenal top shooters,” said Baloun. “And our next group of kids is right up there as well.”
Baloun said one thing Monti is benefiting from this year is a lot of experience. Five of Monti’s top six shooters are seniors, with Hedtke being a junior. In addition, she said, no one is taking it too seriously.
“They’re having fun out there,” said Baloun. “Their scores are reflecting that.”
Monti held it’s Week 4 shoot on Monday night, and Baloun said it went very well. Scores from Monti’s shoot, as well as the rest of the conference scores, don’t get posted until Saturday. Next week will be the final week of the conference season.

Contact Clay Sawatzke at [email protected]