The Minnesota College Athletic Conference started clay target to allow member schools to draw from both local populations as well as compete regionally for students who view the opportunity to compete in new varsity sport as a major factor in their decision as to a school and/or education program of choice. Because of this offering, the MCAC has seen significant participation growth since the sport was added.
2022 Fall Season:
– Student athletes: 302 (78% increase from 2018)
– Teams: 16 (99% increase from 2018)
– Championship: 273 student athletes (110% increase from 2018)
– Reported injuries: 0 (no change from 2018)
Other benefits include:
– High school student recruiting: 25% MCAC students athletes participated in the USA High School Clay Target League.
– Some coaches are full-time faculty college members: From gunsmithing, wildlife management, and college leadership.
– Clay target is growing: While other sports are stagnant or declining in student athlete participation.
– Coach recruiting: 80% of MCAC coaches came from teams in the USA Clay Target League.
– Top recruiting opportunities: 10 MCAC colleges were vendors at large high school clay target tournaments.
– New member colleges added: Attracted 8 non-intercollegiate athletic program colleges to join MCAC since 2018 (35% increase).
– More sports added: Some clay target new member colleges added other MCAC sports.
What others have said:
Kurt Kohler – Executive Director, MCAC & Clay Target Committee Member
“MCAC Clay Target, through our partnership with USA Clay Target, has seen unprecedented growth since our inaugural season in 2018. Through USA Clay Target’s leadership and their professional event operations, MCAC Clay Target has been able to expand to 15 teams (2021) participating throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin; and the annual MCAC Clay Target Championships now engage over 220 (2021) student-athletes. Participating colleges have seen campus enrollments and program participation rise because of our partnership with USA Clay Target, and the ease of registration for the league has helped encourage more programs and students to get involved. It is through USA Clay Target that the MCAC Clay Target League is experiencing the success we are having. They are an outstanding group to work with.”
Mike Flaten – Director of Athletics, Hibbing High School & Clay Target Committee Member
“The addition of a Clay Target team at our college has been a great experience. We reach a segment of our student body that previously has not been associated with athletics at our school. We have had shooters range in age from 17 to 52 on our squads over the past years. USA Clay Target has been a pleasure to work with. Their scoring system is second to none and the support from there technical people has been great.”