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Taylor Riehl of the Williston Coyotes fires away during the first week of the 2020 Clay Target League regular season on Tuesday, May 12.

While every other spring sport has been sidelined due to the coronavirus pandemic, the North Dakota State High School Clay Target League is gearing up for another season.

Starting on Tuesday, May 12, Williston High School, which now enters its third season in Clay Target League competition, will begin the 2020 spring campaign with a modified schedule. The typical eight-week season, which includes two practice weeks, and one reserve week to record scores in the event of inclement weather, has been reduced to five weeks as practice and reserve sessions have been removed from the schedule.

Additionally, the Clay Target League will not hold any regional or state tournaments at the conclusion of the regular season in 2020. The final deadline for teams to submit season scores has been set for Wednesday, June 24.

According to Williston trap shooting coach Penny Slagle, the spring squad has a total number of 84 participants, down two members from the fall shooting team.

On Tuesdays, half of the spring team will shoot for scores at the Pistol and Rifle Club, located adjacent to the Williston Municipal Golf Course. Then on Thursdays, the other WHS shooters will have an opportunity to record their scores.

Meanwhile on Wednesdays, the range will be open for public practice sessions. Regarding social distancing precautions, Slagle says there will be some changes implemented this spring to ensure the safety of both coaching staff members and competitors. For example, shooters will not enter the range until their names are called, and coaching commands will be given verbally with no physical contact.

Simply put, the Williston shooting coach says she is very excited to have the chance to coach her club for the upcoming season.

With all that is going on in the world right now, we are very fortunate to have a season of competition ahead of us,” Slagle tells the Williston Herald. “And because of the nature of target shooting, I think following social distancing regulations will not be much of a problem because this is obviously not a contact sport.”

Despite the restrictions of the shortened season, Slagle believes the extra time at the shooting range will go a long way towards helping Williston’s overall improvement as a Clay Target League participant.

“I’m just excited the kids get a chance to shoot, this experience will be very beneficial for them, and they should not be denied of this great opportunity,” she adds. “The progress of our program over the past few seasons has been amazing, and I’m very happy we have a chance to build from that this spring.”

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