Two shooters for Powell’s Polestar Outdoors competition sporting clays team took several honors at the three-day Cody Round-Up Regional Shoot at the Cody shooting complex last …
Two shooters for Powell’s Polestar Outdoors competition sporting clays team took several honors at the three-day Cody Round-Up Regional Shoot at the Cody shooting complex last weekend.
Hannah Sears took second place in trap and scored third place in skeet, sporting clays and 5-stand while Jace Nordeen won third place in trap and 5-stand. Sears is a sophomore and Nordeen a junior at Powell High School.
The event featured 25 teams from across the West, including competitors from Utah, Idaho, Washington, Colorado, Montana and Wyoming. The Scholastic Clay Target Program-sanctioned meet was hosted by the Cody Clay Crushers. It was the final competition of the year for the Polestar team, which has nine members from Powell and one from Clark. However, Josh Lancaster, the coach and new executive director of Polestar, said it’s just a start for the 10-student team.
“It’s a rookie squad. They’d never shot 100 rounds before,” Lancaster said. “They weren’t quite ready earlier in the season, but they’ve moved up and are shooting phenomenal now.”
Nordeen had a personal record of 91/100 in skeet and Sears hit her personal record of 75/100. Team member Cadence Hoffert also scored a personal record in all her events and, although she didn’t place, the sophomore was four to five targets away from medaling in every event. Hoffert “will be a contender for years to come,” Lancaster said.
“It’s been a lot of fun this year. I love Polestar,” Hoffert said. “I’ve gotten to go on so many different hunts and so many new opportunities.”
Nordeen is a leader on the team and has been shooting with his family since he was 8 years old.
“I hunt a lot and this gets me ready for hunting and it’s just something that I’m into. I’ve been doing it since I can remember shooting with my dad,” said Nordeen, who also shoots in the 4-H program. “I got on my head today during skeet, and I shot the best score of my life.”
Lancaster was ecstatic about his team’s performance and, as the new shooting coach, hopes to make Powell a team to contend with in the future. He has replaced Ron Vining as executive director, bringing a degree in outdoor venture youth leadership ministry from Liberty University to the position.
“God put it in my heart to move to Wyoming from South Carolina to do this. I mean, this is a blessing to be here,” he said. “As a kid I got to hunt and fish anytime I wanted to. There’s a lot that don’t. That’s why I had the passion for Polestar.”
Vining is now the president of the nonprofit organization. Randy Sears and Tanner Eller are both assistant coaches for the team. Lancaster said the program offers kids a chance to learn proper gun safety and “true sportsmanship.” He was competitive in high school and college shooting and hopes the chance of getting scholarships to shoot for college teams might inspire his team to continue their education.
“This is about getting these kids ready and really opening up doors for them,” Lancaster said.