Skeet and Trap Team is On the Mark at Coeur d’Alene High School
It began less than a decade ago, and started with just five members, but the Viking Skeet and Trap Team has already become a fixture at Coeur d’Alene High School. Under the leadership of CEA and IEA members Kiersten Kerr and Bill White, the team now boasts nearly 40 members, has collected four state championships, and has been a confidence-boosting support group for students.
While traditional team sports like football, basketball, baseball and softball still garner lots of attention at the school and in the community, the success of the Skeet and Trap Team is hard to ignore. And while competitive success is certainly part of the equation, the overall maturation and growth of the participants hits the target too. “Being a part of this team is an extra motivation for students, and results in better grades and better discipline,” says White.
“These kids have found something to connect with,” notes Kerr. “It is a unique and fun activity to do outside of school, but they also work very hard to be competitive.” Members of the team are also eligible to earn varsity letters for their participation. “Shooting is a lifelong sport that these kids can learn how to do now,” says White.
The Viking Skeet and Trap Team finished second in this spring’s state competition, which alternates between Boise and Coeur d’Alene, and was held in Boise this year. The 2016-17 squad features 33 boys and six girls. “The girls mix right in with the boys,” says Kerr.
The team has become a family affair for Kerr, who is a librarian, and White, who teaches wood shop, metal shop, and drafting. The two met through the school, got to know each other better through the shooting team, and are now engaged. Kiersten’s oldest son, Ryan, competed on the team for four years, and is now on the team at North Idaho College. Her other son, Travis, will be a junior at Coeur d’Alene High School this fall, and has been shooting since sixth grade. Bill’s kids are also involved—daughter Megan will be a sophomore this year, and eighth grade daughter Kate is on the middle school team.
Safety is also a major point of emphasis for the Viking Skeet and Trap Team, with hunter safety training a prerequisite for students to participate. “Our number one concern is safety, and the kids are really good about buying into that,” says Kerr. Friends of the NRA helps on that front, as well as grants from the Midway USA Foundation that help offset costs. The team also holds a raffle and other fund-raising events.
Kerr and White maintain that they are more advisors or facilitators than coaches. “We get lots of instructional help from several retired gentlemen, including Hank Williamson, Dave Daniel and Jim Self,” says Kerr. The team leaders are also quick to thank the Coeur d’Alene Skeet and Trap Club, where the team practices. Many of the team members also join the Skeet and Trap Club and use the facility with their families.
Did You Know?
There are four different disciplines within the sport of competitive shooting.
- Skeet-clay targets are launched from two locations to the side of the shooter
- Trap-straight away shooting with targets moving away from the shooter
- Sporting clays-replicates hunting situations (described as “golf with a shotgun”)
- Five stand-five shooting stations, with shooter receiving a menu card with target sequences