Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
This year has been another year of considerable growth for the Cardinal Pekin Dust Devils Trap Shooting Program. Between the Cardinal and Pekin School Districts, the team has grown from 29 athletes participating in 2021 to 49 athletes for the 2022 season.
The team participated in weekly practices and seven scheduled shoots over the regular season and had near perfect weather for many of the these events. There was concern that the athletes wouldn't know how to shoot since they had gotten used to less than desirable weather conditions from past seasons. After reviewing the scores, it was found that these concerns were unwarranted.
Many of the athletes placed at either the squad level, individual level, or both. Several athletes shot new personal bests over the course of the season and the growth in the practice of safe firearm handling by first year shooters was amazing.
The Dust Devils are fortunate to call the Ottumwa Ike’s their home range. All practices and five of the shoots were scheduled at this location giving the team a bit of a home court advantage.
Obtaining ammo this year for the team was definitely challenging due to availability and increase in cost. What used to be $5.50 for a box of shells at Walmart, is now selling for almost $9.00 a box.
The Dust Devil athletes raised the funds needed for the program by selling raffle tickets and conducting their annual fall battery fundraiser. Because of their efforts and grants that were secured, the cost of the program for each athlete was reduced from approximately $700 to $150 participation fee and $37 registration fee. Not only are the athletes contributing to the team’s success – the parent participation continues to grow as well. This is greatly appreciated as this type of program demands a great deal of work and the coaches would not be able to do this alone.
Shooting still continues for the 2022 State and National Qualifiers. There will be 13 athletes competing at the State competition this Sunday, June 12 in Cedar Falls. Nationals is scheduled in Ohio between July 13 and 16.