Fall 2019

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THE LEAD S QUA D SP O T L IGH T L ily Erickson was a ninth grader practicing softball in her Maple Grove, Minnesota, yard when a neighbor approached her about trying trap shooting. Lily 's family had no experience with firearms—never hunted or shot targets. But the neighbor, a retired police officer who volunteered with an area clay target team, was persistent, noting Lily 's arm and accuracy. "Within a week they had gone down to the Minneapolis Gun Club—my neighbor, my husband and my daughter," said Lily's mother, Rachel Erickson. "And she just fell in love at first sight. Absolutely loved it and was thrilled with the whole sport." After completing gun safety training, Lily started her first season on the clay tar- get team at her school, Groves Academy, in St. Louis Park. She was one of 17 members on that first Griffins team in 2016, and all but a handful had as little experience as she did. The team finished at or near the bottom of its conference the first couple of years, but shot up to second in the spring of 2018. Then in the fall of 2018, the Griffins won their conference—and they did it again last spring. The team also finished fourth in its class at the 2019 state tournament. "It's been incredible, how far we've come," says co-head coach Rich Knowlton, GROVES ACADEMY HAS CLIMBED TO THE TOP OF ITS CONFERENCE AND CHANGED LIVES ALONG THE WAY by JAKE WEYER 10 PULLUSA MAGAZINE FALL 2019 GROVES GREATNESS

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