Four years ago, senior Seth Scheuerman helped start a fledgling student group that simply liked to shoot. Now, he’s an All-American on a team that’s one of the top 10 in the nation.
To him, there’s no better way to go out.
“I was pretty surprised,” Scheuerman said. “I never expected that would happen, going into it. But, you know, I was pretty happy with it.”
The team finished ninth out of 38 at the Association of College Unions International 41st Annual Clay Targets Tournament. The tournament consisted of international trap, American trap, American skeet, five-stand, international skeet and combined events.
Scheuerman placed 10th overall by placing fourth in international trap, third in American trap and second in combined trap. However, Scheuerman said he was excited for how the team performed as well.
Freshman Jennifer Newman placed fifth overall and third in American trap while freshman Mark Nollette placed eighth in five-stand.
Faculty adviser Duane Shepherd said Nollete’s potential as a freshman bodes well for the future of the team.
“Mark’s a young man who grew up with the opportunity to shoot,” Shepherd said. “He’s a very quality young man from the standpoint of character … and he has the ability to be really, really good if he chooses to stay with it. He’s got his priorities in line.”
Shepherd also said Newman’s remaining two years of schooling also show the team is in good shape in the coming years.
Newman was the first student Shepherd actively recruited and served as a prime example of Shepherd’s intent to develop talent.
“She was a young lady who primarily shot one event in high school,” Shepherd said. “Part of our club is we want all our shooters to be competent in one event and Jenny struggled a little bit at the beginning and stuck with it.”
Although each shooter competes in individual events, Scheuerman said the team aspect adds another element to the competition.
“I think the teams aspect messes with your mind a little bit,” Scheuerman said.”Whenever you’re standing up there shooting you aren’t just worried about your score, you’re thinking about everyone else’s, too. So that puts a little more pressure on you.”
One of the challenges the team faced was the departure of junior Ben Avery and senior Travis See for unspecified reasons.
See was a charter member when the group was started in 2006 and Avery transferred in as a noteworthy former 4H competitor. Last year See finished first in trap shooting after a shoot-off.
Despite losing two of their top shooters, the team still finished with the same score as last year.
“It’s important to note that every one of these people have contributed,” Sheperd said. “Maybe they weren’t the ones that were recognized as being All-American, but everyone has contributed to bringing the club to where it is now. All these people have contributed in their own ways and most will be back next year.”
As Scheuerman prepares to leave the group he helped start, he said he was happy with the group he was leaving for younger shooters.
“We’ve got a lot more opportunities now,” Scheuerman said. “We get a lot more out of the club than when we first started, and it’s a much better deal.”