FIrst-year Truckee trap team having a blast | SierraSun.com

FIrst-year Truckee trap team having a blast

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun
Community Submitted/to swright@sierrasun.comJon Friesen of the Truckee High trap team blasts a clay target during a competition at Angels Camp, Calif., on April 10. The first-year team has 17 members.
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Who knew the Wolverines had a trap-shooting team?

They do. And the first-year squad is surprisingly stacked with participants.

The brand new Truckee High trap team is up and running with 17 members and#8212; more than the varsity baseball and softball programs carry and#8212; as well as two tournaments and a preseason charity shoot under its belt.

Anthony Zissimos, head coach of the team, said the 17 students who came out exceeded his expectations. But then again, he wasn’t even counting on receiving the go-ahead from Truckee Principal John Neary to start the team in the first place.

and#8220;I was a little bit surprised,and#8221; said Zissimos, whose son Stephen, a Truckee sophomore, competes with success outside the school team. and#8220;I was also a bit surprised that (Mr.) Neary was as open-minded as he was. We wouldn’t have been able to start the team is he wasn’t (supportive). You definitely have to think outside the box for a high school trap team.and#8221;

The coach said he and Stephen set a goal at the end of Stephen’s last season to start a trap team at the high school. This past fall they followed up by presenting a proposal to Neary and Superintendent Steve Jennings detailing the logistics and explaining why they felt Truckee would benefit from having the team.

It worked, in part because the team is self-funded, meaning it does not suck precious resources from the school’s sports department during tough financial times, said coach Zissimos. Instead, the Truckee team relies on parental support and sponsorships from a number of community businesses.

and#8220;The community support has been overwhelming,and#8221; said coach Zissimos, who is joined on the coaching staff by Tobe Stone, Dick Hadsell and Sandi Zissimos and#8212; all of whom passed a Coach Training Course and Double Goal Coach Course, which emphasizes sportsmanship and team citizenship. The Wolverine squad is bolstered by the additional shooting experience and help from Pam Fine and Carl and Renee Morrow.

Because Truckee’s league, the NIAA, does not include trap shooting, the Wolverines compete in the Northern California chapter of the national Scholastic Clay Target Program. There are a total of eight schools in the Northern California chapter, with Woodcreek High School of Roseville spearheading the effort as the original member. The Wolverines compete on the junior varsity level, although coach Zissimos would like to compete in varsity events starting next year.

and#8220;Our goal here is to have fun. Our success has been icing on the cake,and#8221; the coach said.

A number of shooters have, indeed, enjoyed success in the early going, which came as another pleasant surprise to coach Zissimos. and#8220;Each week someone else steps up and has a breakout shoot,and#8221; he said.

The first week it was Wyatt Turner, who tied for first place at the end of regulation, shooting four rounds of 24 for a total score of 96 out of a possible 100.

Truckee’s first league shoot was held March 27 at Coon Creek Trap Club in Lincoln, Calif. Led by first-year shooter Jon Friesen’s 91, the Truckee squad finished third, picking up a point in the team competition edging out Woodcreek by one shot, 398-397.

On April 10 the Wolverines competed at Angels Camp, Calif., where Jason Smith set the pace with a team-high 92 and in the process shot his first ever-round of 25 straight. The entire team shot well, coach Zissimos said, as Bryce Walker, Turner, Friesen and Rachel Zissimos shot individual rounds of 23. Will Kazen posted a 20 and Marni Horn shot a personal-best 19 as the team placed fourth in the High School Team Competition.

Stephen Zissimos is Truckee’s only varsity shooter, meaning his scores do not count toward the team’s result.

The Truckee team should only improve with more practice and competitive experience, said coach Zissimos, who holds shooting practices every other week at Sage Hill Clay Sports in Reno.

and#8220;It’s not enough. Woodcreek practices twice a week,and#8221; he said. and#8220;But I’ve been proud of our team for doing so well in shoots without having much practice time.and#8221;