CEDAR FALLS — Michael Huygens did not want to get up Sunday morning.
At the encouragement of his father, Tom, Huygens of Shell Rock, was hesitant to head out to the State Association Grounds and partake in the 140th Iowa State Trap shoot at the Cedar Falls Gun Club.
It was very beneficial for Huygens to rise and shine, as he captured the Iowa State Handicap Championship.
“I had a rough day yesterday and I just did not want to get up,” Huygens stated. “I figured I would go down there and work on my hard right and hard left shots.”
“I told him if we are going out there that you are not going to just shoot 25 practice shots,” added his father. “If we go there, we are going to compete and shoot 100.”
With mother Sheryl and younger brother Christopher in tow, Michael decided to go ahead and give it a try.
Being the last entry for the day, Huygens took to the traps and splashed 99 out of 100 targets surprising even himself.
“I didn’t think about winning, I was just going to go out and try my hardest,” Huygens said. “I never won before, but I believe God was with me this morning, and I felt no pressure at all.”
It was Huygens first trophy at this level.
“This will help raise my confidence now and maybe I will come out and shoot more,” he said.
ALMOST TRIPLE CROWN: Shooting more clay’s has been Emily Klein’s target since her father, Matt, got her started four years a go.
Along with grandpa Harold (Chapman) being her biggest cheerleader, mother Jodi, and little sister and best friend Elizabeth, attending all her shoots, Emily found the family support to be very encouraging.
“It really does help to have their support,” said Klein, who graduated from Clear Creek-Amana high school.
Klein was looking to capture the triple crown of traps Sunday, after taking the Lady I championships in singles Saturday and doubles on Friday.
“I really wanted to win all three and I got 198 today and thought I had a good shot at it,” Klein said. “It seems like I shoot better under pressure, because I had to wait through a storm delay of a half hour yesterday and it was really hot Friday. I owe that to my coach, Lloyd Woodhouse, who taught me out in Colorado, that I need to relax and find a calm inside me before I shoot.”
Klein’s calming side was shaken early Sunday when she missed her very first target. She bounced back in style dropping the next 99 birds.
“I missed and one guy just looked at me and said ‘now you just need to run the rest’, I just relaxed and got in a zone and calmed down,” Klein had out shot many All-Americans that were in the field, but ended up one target shy of claiming all three titles.
“I did not know about the All-Americans shooting, so winning was really cool,” Klein said. “I still don’t think I am that good, and winning was kinda crazy,” Klein said with a big smile.
CLEANING UP: With the 140th state shoot coming to a close, most shooters were making their way to the trophy stand, while many of the youth that work the week long shoot, were just beginning their clean up duties.
Gilbertville native, Wendy Delagardelle has taken her job of training all trap workers, setters, relievers, and scorekeepers on task to make this event a smooth sailing endeavor.
One of Delagardelle’s top guns, is Amy Etringer, also of Gilbertville, who has been assisting for 12 years and never gets tired of the long week.
“I really like this job,” Etringer said. “I got started 12 years a go after both my sisters (Ashley, Emily) were doing it and they told me I should. I used to shoot and this was something new so I wanted to try it. I like to talk to people, and I like to help train new people.
“I remember a lot of what Wendy taught me and I use it out here,” said Etringer. “We have to be good with people because these shooters come out here and spend a lot of money to have fun. I have not had many problems with anyone, because they are like family out here and I know a lot of the shooters.”
Etringer kept score this season and with the aid of an official next to them during the rounds, has not endured any questionable scoring.
“It is the best job,” said Etringer. “It is easy money, you can get a good tan and you get to meet really nice people.”
The 2017 Iowa State Trapshoot will take place July 18-23.