Summer 2017

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36 PULLUSA MAGAZINE SUMMER 2017 T he trap and skeet team at Concor- dia University in the small, rural town of Seward, Nebraska, began as an offshoot of a popular club for out- door enthusiasts. Dr. Joel Helmer, a geography professor at the small, Lutheran, liberal arts college, and a lifelong outdoorsman, developed the club. Recognizing an interest among members in hunting and shooting sports, he applied for and received a grant for team startups from the National Shooting Sports Foundation in 2013. With a nod from Concordia adminis- trators, Helmer launched the Bulldogs trap team in 2014. "I said this is something that's growing at the high school and college level and pre- sented it to them and said this is something we ought to take a look at, and it kind of just happened from there," Helmer said. "It's been really rewarding to grow it and see it take shape." Helmer coaches the team with graduate student Dustin Renfo, who shot for Texas A&M University. In its first year, the Con- cordia trap team totalled five shooters. That grew to 12 the next year and 20 this year. Their experience and backgrounds are mixed, Helmer said. Some only know trap, others have a wide range of shooting disciplines on their resume. All shooters are on scholarship and held to the same standards of other student ath- letes. The school covers the cost of ammuni- tion, gear, and travel, as well as tournament and practice fees. THE FIELD C OL L EGE SP O T L IGH T MAKING ITS MARK CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY'S YOUNG TRAP TEAM IS CEMENTING ITS PLACE IN A STATE WITH A RICH TRAP SHOOTING HISTORY by JAKE WEYER Seward, Neb. E N R O L L M E N T S I Z E O F T E A M 3,700 20 L O CAT I O N DID YOU KNOW? CONCORDIA UNIVERSIT Y, NEBRASK A, IS ONE OF 10 SCHOOLS IN THE CONCORDIA UNIVERSIT Y SYSTEM OPERATED BY THE LUTHERAN CHURCH-MISSOURI SYNOD.

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