Red Wing Clay Target Shooting Minnesota 2021 champs

Jacob Quade, Isaac Kosek, Chloe Struss, Will Ahrens and Sam DeLain celebrate their victory June 26, 2021. Photo courtesy of Red Wing Public Schools

The Red Wing trap shooting team wasn't quite satisfied with winning its first state title June 19 — that of 6A state champions. So on June 25, they went one step further and won the overall state tournament — a 40-team grouping of the state’s most elite trap shooting teams.

Hundreds of schools competed over nine full days of events, starting in Alexandria and concluding at the Minneapolis Gun Club in Prior Lake. The first event was the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League’s Championship in Alexandria — the world’s largest trap shoot. In total, 183 schools competed in nine divisions. Red Wing was grouped in 6A with 19 other schools.

The Wingers dominated the 6A championship with a team score of 483, five ahead of second-place Blaine and seven ahead of third-place St. Michael-Albertville. Only three schools had a better performance than the Wingers in any class — Badger-Greenbush-Middle River with a 486, and Roseau and Prior Lake with matching scores of 485.

Individually, seniors Chloe Struss and Sam DeLain topped the leaderboard in the female and male categories, respectively. Struss shot 97 while DeLain was near-perfect with 99. Will Ahrens and Isaac Kosek also cracked the top 10 with scores of 97 and 96, respectively.

With a 6A state championship in the bag, Red Wing was then invited to the state tournament in Prior Lake on June 25.

“A lot of people say, ‘Well I thought you won a state championship in 6A.’ We did, but it'd be like if they put all the basketball 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A championship teams together and had a playoff,” Red Wing trap team head coach Scott Kosek said. “That's what we had happen. Forty teams were invited to the state tournament and we beat everybody.”

The Wingers upped their previous score by one to top the field with 484. Trailing Red Wing in second place was Tri-City United with 483 and Alden-Conger with 482.

“So the margin was tight and the competition was incredible,” Scott Kosek said. “Our kids had unbelievable mental focus and that's what it takes. We just had a stellar mental focus day.”

Leading the way for Red Wing were Ahrens with 98, DeLain, Struss and Isaac Kosek with 97, and Jacob Quade with 95.

Struss had another sterling performance in the individual portion of the state tournament as she was the top finishing Winger with a score of 94 to tie for 43rd.

The strong finish to the season was a testament to the work the Wingers put in throughout the months leading up to the championship. Red Wing’s spring season started in April where it started to make a name for itself at trap shoots at Zumbro Valley Rifle Club and Owatonna. After a higher than anticipated trophy collection, the coaching staff began to realize they had something special brewing.

The Wingers made good on those raised ambitions with a state title and as a result, Scott Kosek said he’s beginning to receive more inquiries about how kids can join the team.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Scott Kosek said. “We are the number one trap team in the whole state of Minnesota right now.”

If interested in joining the Red Wing trap team, contact Scott Kosek at smkosek@rwps.org.

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