MHS Clay Target League team takes aim

RURAL MARSHALL – The Wednesday afternoon snow didn’t stop the Marshall High School Clay Target League team from trying to fit in a few rounds at the Redwood River Sportsman Club. This year marks the first time Marshall has had a team in the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League, and there are a lot of people excited about it.

Fifty-one students, including seven girls, from grades 7-12 participate in the league, and there are 13 coaches who volunteer their time to make the sport happen. Volunteers from Lyon County Pheasants Forever, Redwood River Sportsmen’s Club and Buffalo Ridge Gobblers National Wild Turkey Federation are helping the team. Local sporting goods retailer Borch’s also gave the team a discount on ammo and vests.

Nick Simonson, president of Lyon County Pheasants Forever, said that the support for the team was overwhelming.

“We also had random people say ‘we saw your article in the paper’ and want to help out,” Simonson said.

The league has an eight-week season consisting of two practice weeks, one reserve week and five scored weeks. At the end of the season, the Minnesota State High School League hosts an open tournament followed by an invite-only final tournament based on the season’s results. Ironically enough, this week was the reserve week that was put in place for submitting scores if weather canceled a scored week.

Brothers Skylar and Malachi Breczinski are participating on the team this year. Skylar, a junior, just came back from the state speech competition and enjoys playing guitar, while his younger brother Malachi, a sophomore, is active in golf and soccer.

“We’re opposites in just about everything,” Malachi Breczinski said.

“So this is our middle ground,” Skylar Breczinski said.

The boys remember growing up around guns and hunting, and Skylar Breczinski has been shooting trap since he was 9 years old. Malachi Breczinski, who primarily shoots archery, started trap shooting last year.

“It’s nice to have practice for the hunting season,” Skylar Breczinski said. “(I hunt) pheasant, duck, deer… starting turkey tomorrow.”

The league’s website says that its priorities are “safety, fun and marksmanship – in that order.”

“As a safety measure, no guns are brought to school,” Malachi Breczinski said. Shooters also are required to wear ear and eye protection. “They won’t let us shoot without it.”