Winter 2018

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10 PULLUSA MAGAZINE WINTER 2018 THE LEAD S QUA D SP O T L IGH T WINNING MIGHT NOT BE THE FOCUS, BUT THAT HASN'T SLOWED STAUNTON HIGH SCHOOL'S SUCCESS by JAKE WEYER P A S S I O N I S A B I G PA RT o f what makes participating in a sport fun, and sharing that pas- sion with someone else can be just as rewarding. Brian Johnston, a longtime trapshooting enthusiast and member of Staunton Sports- man's Club in Staunton, Ill., can speak to that firsthand. Johnston and some fellow members developed the Staunton High School trap team a few years ago to share their passion and infuse some youth into the sport's aging participant base. "I love trapshooting and I saw a post on Facebook about putting a school team together. I went to a couple guys and they thought it would be good, so I got a hold of the school board, and went and did a pre- sentation to them," said Johnston, whose effort was rewarded with the creation of the Bulldogs team. Johnston coaches the team—which fin- i s h e d s e c o n d i n t h e S t a t e To u r n a m e n t the last two years—alongside fellow head coach Matt Schnefke. They also get help from nine assistant coaches and one Range Safety Officer. Johnston had a connection to Staunton High School through his wife, a special e d u c a t i o n t e a c h e r t h e r e , a n d h e h a s a grandaughter who will eligible to compete on the team in a couple of years. Staunton is a small town of about 5,500; high school enrollment is under 400 stu- dents. Now entering its third year, the trap team is at nearly 40 athletes in grades 6–12, up from 24 when it began. To prep for the season, Johnston starts working with interested athletes about a month before it officially kicks off in April. The primary practice rang e is Brittany Shooting Park, an expansive facility with 25 trap fields located about 20 minutes from Staunton High School. So far, the team is performing well. Aside from its two straight second-place finishes in the state tournament, the Bulldogs boast several All-State athletes, including Jonathan

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