Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) students have the first opportunity in decades to participate in intercollegiate competition.
Last fall, the College formed the Sports Shooting team and joined the Iowa Collegiate Sports Shooting Conference with 10 other schools. Coach Paul Flynn is pleased with the young team’s performance in competition.
“Our team had a great inaugural season,” said Flynn. “We competed in a combined seven conference shoots, and our athletes performed extremely well. We had a great blend of seasoned competitors as well as some who had never shot trap. This was a great opportunity to expose them to the sport, and they all took to it quickly and are competing at a level on par with other athletes who came into our program with previous experience.”
So, what is trap shooting and how is the sport played? Athletes compete on a field with a trap house and five stations 25 feet away from the trap house. At each station, the competitors use a shotgun to shoot at five clay pigeons launched one-by-one into the field of play from the trap house. After taking five shots, the athletes move to each of the next four stations for an opportunity to hit 20 more. One competitive round is then complete, for a total of 25 pigeons, with a point scored for each successful hit.
Athletes, such as Dallas Bohr, an Associate of Arts student, is thrilled to continue the sport at NICC after competing at South Winneshiek High School.
“The Sports Shooting Team was a great way to meet students that I wouldn’t have normally met. I enjoyed being able to continue an activity I loved in high school and being part of Northeast Iowa Community College’s first team,” Bohr said.
The Sports Shooting program is the college’s first intercollegiate athletic program in nearly 40 years, and membership is open to student athletes enrolled at the Calmar and Peosta campuses as well as our service locations.
While student athletes dream about their next shoot competition, the College and coaches remind team members to keep their eyes just as focused on their classes. Athletes must maintain a 3.0 GPA. Yet, the excitement of sport shooting and competition is not surprising. This is the fastest growing sport in Iowa, according to the Iowa Collegiate Sports Shooting Conference.
In addition to NICC, members of the Iowa Collegiate Sports Shooting Conference include: Ellsworth Community College, Hawkeye Community College, Iowa Central Community College, Iowa Lakes Community College, Iowa State University, Scott Community College, Simpson College, Southeastern Community College, Southwestern Community College and the University of Iowa.
Be Bold. Join the Team. www.nicc.edu/sportsshooting!
Enrolling in Northeast Iowa Community College’s (NICC) Ag Business and Beef Science Technology programs was the logical decision for Andrea Baumler.
But joining the Sports Shooting team sealed the deal.
“By attending Northeast Iowa Community College, I could stay close to home, and the College has the best ag programs around. Why go anywhere else?” Baumler said. “Then I was looking into other schools to do trap shooting and heard that the College was starting a team; that got me to enroll at NICC ‘hook, line and sinker’ right there.”
Baumler quickly became a standout athlete on the team, placing 2nd in the individual female competition at the Iowa Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) State of Iowa Collegiate Championships. Her performance at the state contest is the culmination of years of practice. Baumler started competitive trap shooting when her father, Steve Baumler, loaned her an old Remington 870 to try during her first year at Turkey Valley High School.
“I started competing when I was a sophomore. I had never even shot a gun before,” Baumler laughed. “At the first practice, I only hit eight birds. By junior year, I was much better. That first year there were only three girls on the team, and when I graduated there were 10 – 15 girls – and I could beat the guys.”
Andrea encourages male and female athletes to join the College’s team, which was formed in fall 2015. “You have to have the right mindset. Sports shooting really is a mental sport,” she said.