PULLUSA

Spring 2019

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10 PULLUSA MAGAZINE SPRING 2019 THE LEAD S QUA D SP O T L IGH T N NORTHEASTERN COLORADO, surrounded by nearly 900 square miles of Pawnee National Grass- l a n d s, r a n c h e s a n d f a r m s, i s t h e small, 150-person town of Grover. That's where you'll find Pawnee School, which serves about 80 K–12 students, nearly a quarter of them in grades 6–12. And almost all of the students in those upper grades are hooked on the school's newest sport: trap shooting. "I get just as much of a thrill out of it as I do playing basketball, football, baseball— any of those sports," says Pawnee School senior James Krist. "It is a real sport and it is really enjoyable." The Coyotes trap squad g ot its start last year thanks to Pawnee School social studies teacher John Foster, now the head coach. Foster, a lifelong hunter and out- doorsman, approached the school superin- tendent about the idea after hearing about the League in 2017. The team was quickly formed with enthusiasm from both the school and community. "I just think teaching our kids proper and safe use of a firearm is very important in this day and age that we live in," Foster says. "And the more we can get them out- side and doing outside activities, I think it's beneficial to the students. And I just shot a lot of trap in my life and have always enjoyed it and would like for the kids to have that experience too." The team had 18 student athletes in its first year and 17 are participating this year. Foster expects the numbers to stay consis- tent given the size of the school. The team has a good mix of ages, and most students have had at least some firearm experience. Krist, for example, shot in 4-H before joining the team. He averaged 22.5 of 25 GUNNING IN THE GRASSLANDS THE PAWNEE SCHOOL COYOTES CLAY TARGET TEAM IS PUTTING THE SMALL TOWN OF GROVER, COLORADO, ON THE MAP by JAKE WEYER I

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