Two years ago, Lake Fenton High School didn’t have a trap shooting team.
Two years later, Lake Fenton is the home of the 12th-best trap shooting team in the state of Michigan.
The squad recently competed at the Michigan State High School Clay Target League and despite its small size, placed 12th overall.
“We only have 12 kids on the team, and that’s one of the reasons we are very proud of the team,” Lake Fenton trap shooting coach Donald Doyle said. “We competed against teams like Richmond with about 50 (athletes) on their teams. Of those 11 that finished ahead of us, you’d be hard-pressed to find one our size.”
“This was our second season and to be in our second year and take 12th is a lot,” senior competitor Hannah Doyle said. “My mom was overwhelmed. (The team) started with me and about five or six other kids. ... This year we had over two squads and opened up the team to the middle school (students).”
See Trap Team on 37A
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The state meet has each competitor attempt four sets of 25 shots at birds (the clay targets). The five highest scorers on each team take their score to make up the squad’s position. Lake Fenton’s Ethan Johanninsmeier led Lake Fenton by hitting 96 of 100 targets, including having a first round of hitting a perfect 25-of-25 birds. After Johanningsmeier, Lucas Northrup hit 92 of 100 targets. The rest of Lake Fenton’s scorers were Cooper Groat with 91; Doyle with 88; and Cayden Donnell with 86. Doyle finished tied for 10th overall against the women in the competition. Doyle used to be on Fenton’s squad, but when she moved to the Lake Fenton school district, her parents helped create the Lake Fenton squad.
“I’m proud of my boys and this team,” Doyle said. “Watching this team go from nothing to 12 kids and take 12th is amazing. It makes my heart happy that the sport is still growing and is not going to die.”
Doyle only began trap shooting when she became a freshman. Her family wanted her to do at least one extra cirricular activity and trap shooting appealed to Doyle.
“I don’t like running and my brother said you should join the trap shooting team. I said ‘I don’t shoot guns,’” Doyle said. “I went one day and fell in love with it.”
The squad placed second in the final all-around standings in its Conference 3 standings in the Michigan State High School Clay Target League.
Northrup ended up being the conference’s top shooter, averaging 23.7 targets out of 25 for each of the five weekly shooting sessions.
Lake Fenton had six of the conference’s top 25 male shooters. After Northrup, Samuel Snyder finished in ninth place (21.6), and Johanningsmeier finished tied in 11th (21.1). Cade Holland placed in a tie for 20th (20.2), followed by Glen Langosch in 22nd (20.0) and Cooper Groat in a tie for 23rd (19.8).
Doyle, who will continue her shooting career on Concordia Wisconsin’s squad next fall, was the conference’s top female shooter, averaging 22.9 targets for every 25 attempts. She averaged two more than any other girl in the conference. Oddly, the team felt like they could’ve performed better during the season.
“We didn’t do as good as we usually do,” Doyle said. “Last year I averaged 24.1 in the fall, but this season me and my teammates didn’t compete to our full potential. We knew that but we had a lot of fun.”
Coach Donald Doyle loves the sport.
“The sport gives the kid who don’t have the physical gifts to thrive in a specific sport like basketball or football,” Doyle said. “We can take any person — boy or girl — and make them excellent at this sport.”
The squad is preparing for the national tournament in Mason being hosted from July 10 to July 14.