ALEXANDRIA - Nearly 4,000 student athletes from across Minnesota have been competing in the High School Clay Target League's 2014 Trapshooting Tournament in Alexandria.

The event is the largest youth trapshooting event in the world. Over 170 high schools are in the tournament.

Many of the students have had a passion for the sport for most of their life. Zach Byfuglien was competing with the Roseau Rams at the tournament, he says he picked up the sport at a young age.

"I've been shooting since I've been about seven-when our school started getting a clay pigeon team I figured I might as well go and try out," Byfuglien says.

Andrew Weiland was also competing with the Roseau Rams, he says competitors are judged based on accuracy.

"Your score is out of 25 and then with every one you miss, it counts against your score," Weiland says.

Athletes compete for individual and team achievements in Novice, Junior Varsity and Varsity classifications during the tournament.

The event goes through Tuesday, June 10th. Governor Mark Dayton attended the opening ceremony on Friday. Dayton is a lifelong outdoorsman and hunter and was proud to attend the event.

"I congratulate the thousands of young Minnesotans who are pioneering this new high school sport, and I thank the many coaches, parents and school officials who help provide these opportunities to learn and compete," Dayton says.

Dayton and the Legislature recently approved more than $2 million in trap shooting sports facility cost-share grants to develop public areas and to provide more opportunities for youth in the sport.

 

Dan DeBaun, WJON News