Prescott senior trap shooter Maya Pechacek takes aim during her round against Osceola at the Hudson Rod, Gun and Archery Club on Monday, May 16. Photo by Reagan Hoverman
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Prescott trap team eyes top-10 finish at state

By Reagan Hoverman

After finishing the regular season schedule with a 116 118 loss against Osceola on Monday, May 16, the Prescott trap team will take two weeks off before practicing three consecutive weeks in preparation for the state tournament the weekend of June 24.

Despite a regular season that has included some ups and downs, the Prescott trapshooting team remains confident in its experienced roster and continues to eye a top 10 finish at the state tournament in Nekoosa, Wis., according to head coach Chris Pa traw.

“My goal is still top 10 at state,” Patraw said after the Monday night meet against Osceola. “That’s what we want to do. At state

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trap, there are no divisions (like other sports have). We’re against 125 schools.”

For Patraw and the Prescott program, a top 10 finish at the state meet is more than achievable if the student athletes shoot their season averages or even exceed them. He spoke about ex pectations and the Cardinals’ averages for the year.

“It should be more than achievable for them,” Patraw said. “If they shoot their average it is. If they shoot above their averages we could win.”

Confidence remains high for a team that has experienced shooters that have been under Patraw’s direction for nearly a half decade. Many of the shooters – now on the varsity portion of the roster – began shooting during middle school and have worked their way to the peak of the program.

Seniors Liz Rohl and Philip Seifert lead the way as two of the best shooters in the conference. Seifert currently holds the official title of “Top Gun” in the conference. Experienced shooters for Prescott include the aforementioned Rohl and Seifert, as well as Maya Pechacek, Mason Lewis, Gavin Carey, Eric Korfhage, Henry Gray, Hunter Lubich and Graham Linderholm.

Rohl, Lubich and Linderholm all shot 97/100 at the state com petition last season. En route to Rohl’s 97, she managed to hit 82 straight targets and posted one of the 10 best female scores at the entire meet. Seifert didn’t quite reach the success of those three at the state meet, but he was Prescott’s most consistent shooter with an average of 23/25 for the 2021 season.

Prescott unquestionably has the talent to win a state title. How

ever, there have been some inconsistent scores this season, in cluding the regional meet on Sunday, May 8, in Eau Claire, where the team finished sixth out of 24 total teams.

“We didn’t shoot well and we still took sixth place,” Patraw said. “Everyone shot below their averages. Liz (Rohl) took top gun, but basically, everyone else shot below their average. If we would have shot our average, I think we would have won.”

Some of the conditions in Eau Claire weren't exactly favor able. Some of the Cardinals’ groups were competing in gusty winds that were swirling at the course, according to Patraw. Not every team competed on the same day, so other schools played in different – and likely more favorable – conditions.

“The win was pretty bad for two of our groups,” Patraw said of regionals in Eau Claire. “Twenty some teams shot there Friday through Sunday. If they shoot on a different day they can get dif ferent conditions. (Our team) will get on it at state.”

While conditions certainly played a factor, sometimes shooters just aren’t mentally locked in. Patraw spoke about how coaching can only take a student athlete so far. He spoke about how men tality is the difference between good and great in trapshooting.

“I can coach a kid to get to 20,” Patraw said. “The difference between 20 and 25 is between their ears. It’s all mental.”

Historically speaking, Prescott has been mentally strong, as they’ve posted averages well above 20 for years. Despite the struggles in Eau Claire, Patraw and the Prescott roster are confi dent that they will have a strong showing at state and are even capable of capturing a championship in the field of more than 100 schools.

“I think if we’re all on our A game, we could win it,” Hunter Lubich said.

Pechacek also spoke about what success would look like for her this season. “I always look forward to just going to the state tournament. Whatever happens, happens.”

Since the Monday, May 16, meet against Osceola was the reg ular season finale, the team will have two weeks off to refresh and regroup before starting to ramp up practice leading into the state meet near the end of June.

After the two week break, the team will practice for three con secutive weeks before heading to the state tournament in Nekoosa on June 24.

May 24, 2022