Working with kids keeps drawing Les Hlavac back to the Cornhusker Trapshoot

Working with kids keeps drawing Les Hlavac back to the Cornhusker Trapshoot
Les Hlavac keeps score for a squad shooting in the Cornhusker Trapshoot on Friday in Doniphan, Nebraska. (Nebraska Game and Parks Commission)

DONIPHAN, Neb. – The Cornhusker Trapshoot is celebrating its 50th year in 2019. Les Hlavac has seen 44 of them.

That’s how long the Louisville resident has been bringing school shooters to the event. He’s current coach of the NV (Nemaha Valley) Trap Team, which includes students from six schools.

Hlavac, a former teacher at Nemaha Valley High School in Cook, coached one shooter at his first Cornhusker, then 10 the next year, “then it just grew.”

Why does he still do it?

“It’s the kids,” Hlavac said Friday. “You get them out there and maybe they’re not experienced or maybe they’ve shot a few off a hand trap. They break their first few targets and they get a big grin. It’s just sensational.”

Hlavac said the shooters keep him young. “It’s just fun to work with the kids. It’s a universal sport. Anyone can participate and you can do it when you’re 90 years old. That’s what makes it neat.”

Still a competitive shooter, Hlavac plans to stay involved with trap as long as he can. He won his first event at age 6. His prize: a live turkey.

In Friday’s high school 16-yard competition, Dillon Ryan of Omaha Skutt won the individual title after breaking all 75 targets and then overcoming seven other shooters in a shoot-off. Payton DeTavernier of Papillion-La Vista was second and Dagen Voightman of Louisville was third.

Oak Creek 4-H 2 won the 4-H team title with a 355 of 375, Norris Lady 1 won the girls’ team title with a 323, and Grand Island Northwest Crushers won the high school team title with a 363.

Saturday’s scores in the 75 handicap targets will be combined with Friday’s scores to determine the overall champion, the Cornhusker Cup winner.

On Thursday, 830 shooters competed in the junior high division; 1,576 shooters competed in the senior high division Friday.

Friday’s results in the 16-yard competition are:

Top 20 Individuals – 1. Dillon Ryan, Omaha Skutt, 75 of 75 (won shoot-off); 2. Payton DeTavernier, Papillion-La Vista, 75; 3. Dagen Voightman, Louisville, 75; 4. Hunter Howe, Platte Valley Claybusters 4-H (Mitchell), 75; 5. Logan Smith, Karp & Krow 4-H (Burwell), 75; 6. Calvin Price, Platte Valley Claybusters 4-H, 75; 7. Louie Podrazo, Louisville, 75; 8. Matthew McGovern, Omaha Creighton Prep, 75; 9. Will Hershiser, Lincoln East, 74; 10. Mitch Germany, Papillion-La Vista, 74; 11. Coleton Sorenfrei, Aurora, 74; 12. Kyle Frederick, Doniphan, 74; 13. Alex Wagner, Lincoln Pius X, 74; 14. Jaron Cooper, Sutherland, 74; 15. Brandon Schmidt, Grand Island Northwest, 74; 16. Hunter Wiseman, Sutton, 74; 17. Alex Papa, Omaha Creighton Prep, 74; 18. Colton Stava, Oak Creek 4-H, 74; 19. Sam Devereaux, Elkhorn South, 74; 20. Keegan Oettinger, Hershey, 74

Top Six Ladies – 1. Jade Chapman, Papillion-La Vista, 73 of 75; 2. Aleyna Mlnarik, Lincoln Pius X, 72; 3. Morgan Krinke, Lincoln Pius X, 72; 4. Star Eckley, Oak Creek 4-H, 72; 5. Jolene Dawson, Lincoln Southwest, 72; 6. Jancie Tejeda, Ashland 4-H, 71

Top Three 4-H Teams – 1. Oak Creek 4-H 2 (Wayne Moore, Colton Stava, Josie Johnson, Corden Novotny, Kolby Baer), 355 of 375; 2. Fillmore County 4-H 2, 353; 3. Ashland 4-H White, 351

Top Three Ladies Teams – 1. Norris Lady 1 (Chloe Bowman, Julia Stephenson, Seanna Woodward, Anastasia Davis, Haley York), 323 of 375; 2. Lincoln Southwest Teal, 318; 3. Omaha Marian Blue, 313

Top Six High School Teams – 1. Grand Island Northwest Crushers (Cole Sundberg, Brandon Schmidt, Ethan Roby, Hannah Jungck, Tyler Ericson), 363 of 375; 2. Papillion-La Vista Titan 1, 362; 3. Omaha Creighton Prep Blue, 360; 4. Lincoln East Blue, 354; 5. Waverly Maroon, 354; 6. Omaha Skutt Green, 354

Jim Carlisle Memorial Second Generation Individual (traveling trophy) – Kayl Ritthaler, Fremont, 73

For more information, visit cornhusker-trap.com.

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