With COVID-19 causing cancellations and postponements around the state, the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League was able to complete its five week fall season. As the virus forced some schools not to participate, both Princeton and Milaca decided to compete.
The Tigers and the Wolves both benefited from the decision to compete this year despite COVID-19 as both took home team awards and individual accolades. Princeton placed second in 1A Conference 10, while Milaca also placed second in 1A Conference 6.
The Wolves finished behind Irondale for the conference title while Proctor edged the Tigers for first.
Princeton Coach Scott Moehlmann noticed that this year was similar normal compared previous years even with COVID-19 running amuck. “This fall wasn’t too different from past fall seasons. The sport lends itself to social distancing, so we didn’t have to change much about how we go about practicing and competing, but a few things were different,” he said, adding that little changes such as meeting outside or limiting those who were inside shooting were among those differences.
Even with the team missing its spring season, Moehlmann was happy with the results the team put together this year as well as picking up a couple new shooters to the team. “The team did great this fall; We finished second in our Conference and added eight new members to the team who drastically improved from week to week,” said Moehlmann.
Princeton’s Randy Peterson led the Tigers to the second-place finish as he led the team with the highest average score in the conference with 24 out of a possible 25 points. The 24-point average also gave Peterson a 16th place finish in the state.
Moehlmann was not surprised by Peterson’s season. “He had an incredible fall, which is par for the course for him. He is very dedicated to this sport and team and it shows with his performances and his leadership on the team,” Moehlmann said.
As for Milaca, Tanner Farnick paced the team as he secured a second place finish in the conference for the fall year averaging 22.6.
Milaca Coach Dave Totzke was pleased with Farnick’s season with some factors stacked against him. “Not being able to help the kids like have in years past made it tough and for him to do that, it was very good,” said Totzke.
Some of the changes to limit contact with players and coaches made it difficult for some of the coaches but they persevered according to Totzke. “It made it difficult for us but we pushed through,”
With winter sports on hold as of now, there is uncertainty regarding the spring season for both Milaca and Princeton.
Moehlmann hopes for the sakes of the seniors, the season will be able to be ran and possibly sanctioned by the Minnesota State High School League. “We’re hoping that the upcoming spring season is sanctioned by the MSHSL and we’re able to compete and continue to grow. We have a lot of graduating seniors this year who are a big part of this team’s identity and have been with the team for a long time; so we’re hopeful that these students can compete with the team for their final season,” he said.
For now, the teams will enter the offseason hoping for the chance to shoot this spring.