Trap challenger?

Taking part in an unordinary sport, a BVNW junior participates in trap shooting competitions.


Photo from Lexi Liess

Junior Lexi Liess practices trap shooting with her father, Rich Liess.

Matthew Lemke, Writer

Junior Lexi Liess competes in a not so ordinary sport. Trapshooting has been a passion of hers since she was 13. Starting with her dad shooting when he was younger, Liess said that he was her motivation to get started in this sport.

“He had a lot of experience with it, and then he decided to get back into it. Once I got a little older and kind of grew a little bit to be able to hold a gun, I got started,” Liess said.

Rich Liess, Liess’ father, said he has been her coach and mentor since she’s been able to hold a gun.

“I started trap shooting when I was probably 10 or 11 years old, and I’m 48 years old now, so I have a lot of experience in the sport,” Rich said. 

Rich said he has a deep background in the sport of trapshooting. Starting when he was a kid, he is now said he is passing his experience onto Liess, he 

Lexi said there are many different types of clay shooting, but she focuses explicitly on trap shooting. Taking a little time off, Liess said she looks to start back up soon, shooting at least once a week. 

“My favorite part is traveling to the actual trap shoots because we take a camper down, and we just get to hang out. You’re kind of in a country setting, so I like being out in the country, and I like that it’s in the summer,” Liess said.

Getting to travel out to the countryside in a camper for tournaments is not an occurrence that most sports normalize, Liess said. This adds some uniqueness to a sport that many people don’t know about, a favorite part for her, Liess said.

Liess said has learned many lessons from trapshooting, with learning to be patient as the main one.

“I think I just encouraged her to pursue the sport, and then try to give her a good foundation, fundamentals, and actually how to shoot,” Rich said. “Early on I made sure to teach her good gun safety measures, how to build a good solid foundation, and how to progress to the sport.”

Since Liess was little, Rich said he has been persistent in teaching her the right fundamentals and the correct way to do certain things in the sport. 

“Definitely to be patient; I think the overall thing is to be patient. Slowing down helps me a lot in my shooting,” Liess said.

Trapshooting is a very technical sport. There are many different ways to hold a gun, swing your barrel towards the target, and many other factors, Liess said. All American shooters have many of these techniques mastered to the point where it is complete muscle memory, which Liess said is very interesting because it is so technical.

One thing that has really helped Liess in this sport is her hand-eye coordination. “She has great hand-eye coordination, and she naturally picked up the game fairly quickly,” Rich said.

Liess has picked up the sport fairly quickly and easily. With natural talent and the correct mentoring, Liess has found a passion in this unordinary sport.

Liess said she is planning on starting back up very soon, all preparing for the summer season. 

“I am not a superstar or anything, but it’s definitely like something I’ve learned to be patient with because I’ve experienced failure multiple times with trapshooting, but also I’ve experienced a few accomplishments that are accomplishments to me,” Liess said.