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Pequot Lakes School: Trap shooting sponsorship discussed at work session

At their next regular meeting, the Pequot Lakes School Board may consider sponsoring a new sport.

The board used its work session Monday, Jan. 29, to look into the possibility of adding trap shooting as a school-sponsored sport for the 2018-19 school year.

A club-sponsored Pequot Lakes trap shooting team has existed for several years - with the team dependent on fundraising and volunteerism - but a proposal to sponsor the team could see a budget of $8,000 coming from the school. Any funds required past that amount would have to be accrued in fundraisers.

The team had 42 participants last spring from grades 9-12, but the board would consider opening the program to seventh- and eighth-graders, similar to cross country and track and field, which could greatly increase participation numbers.

"Who do we open this up to?" activities director Marc Helmrichs asked. "The majority (of area schools) have opened it up to 7-12 ... Well over 50 percent are allowing seventh-graders to participate."

The team currently competes at the Lakeshore Conservation Club, but a host facility would have to be determined in the event the team becomes school-sponsored. Athletes would be required to complete firearm safety training prior to competing.

The board asked why it shouldn't sponsor the team for the upcoming 2018 season, in an effort to make sure senior participants could earn letters in the sport this year.

"It's a transition process. Money is one question, and that is a question we don't have a clear answer to. It's a variable we have to work through," Superintendent Chris Lindholm said.

The board may approve an activity once it meets the following criteria:

• The activity exists at the youth level.

• Participation numbers are sustainable.

• Necessary facilities are available.

• The activity complies with gender equity standards.

• Area schools offer the activity so contests can be scheduled.

• The district is financially capable of sponsoring the activity.

"We have so many groups, so many issues and so many wants, and we don't have all the needs," board chair Mike Erholtz said. "We have to be very careful as we put things on ... We needed a way to do this as humanely as possible and as sensibly as possible so it benefits this school district forever."

Dan Determan

Staff Writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper.

(218) 855-5879