Guns a blazin': Hardwood Challenge switches from hoops to trapshoot tourney

Keeley Meier, staff writer

Keeley Meier/BV Journal 

BVHS trap team head coach Jason Woidyla and wife Melissa celebrate their 23rd wedding anniversary by raising money for future BVHS classes. (Below) Eli Woidyla shoots at a clay pigeon at Garretson Sportsmen’s Club. (Bottom left) Raffle prizes and a silent auction helped aid the fundraising efforts. (Bottom right) Kamryn Hunt (left) and Hayden Poppe man the shotgun raffle table.

Trap shooters kept their eyes peeled on the clay pigeons flying through the air as they carefully aimed. They braced for the kickback of their guns while the shotgun shell fell to the ground. If the bullet hit its target, the shooter cheered and quickly turned their attention to the team member to their right as they took their turn. 
This year’s Hardwood Challenge, which serves as a fundraiser for Brandon Valley High School’s classes of 2024 and 2025, took the form of a trap shooting tournament on Sunday at the Garretson Sportsmen’s Club. 
The tournament replaced the traditional Hardwood Challenge youth basketball tournament due to social distancing suggestions.
“We wanted to find a place outdoors where we could spread out,” Chad Poppe, who chaired the event, said. 
Teams were made up of five adult or youth shooters, or a combination of both, and they competed for a cash prize. 
Team PSS took home the prize in the adult division while the Rock Valley Clay Crushers were the youth division champions. 
Despite winds reaching 35 mph, 33 teams and a large number of spectators enjoyed the unseasonably October sunny day. 
Among the participants were Brandon Valley High School trap team head coach Jason Woidyla and his wife, Melissa, who were also celebrating their 23rd wedding anniversary, ironically so, with guns in hand. The couple, who competed with their son Eli and another couple, said they were happy with the turnout and thought it was a “great fundraiser,” Melissa Woidyla said.
The tournament, which required a $400 registration fee for adult teams and $150 for youth, was not the only fundraiser of the day.
A silent auction and raffle prizes brought in additional funds for the future graduation celebrations. One of the coveted prizes was a CZ 612 Magnum 12-gauge shotgun, which retails for about $500. According to Poppe, all 52 of the $20-tickets were sold. 
The other major prize is a Polaris Ranger UTV, tickets for which will be available until Dec. 18, when the winner will be announced at a home boys’ basketball game. Tickets for the Ranger are $100, but only 300 tickets will be sold.
“Because it’s a limited number of tickets, your odds are really improved over other raffles,” Poppe said. 
For those interested in purchasing a ticket for the Ranger, which retails between $13,000-$15,000, Poppe said they will be sold at BVHS events. Additionally, you can contact Poppe or visit the BV Hardwood Challenge page on Facebook, Poppe said. 
In terms of fundraising, Poppe also said Sunday’s tournament will come close to matching the usual basketball tournament.
“We’re extremely satisfied and happy with the turnout,” Poppe said. 
The event also offered concessions, including the Family Treats ice cream truck. The tournament was an overall success as an alternative to the longstanding youth hoops tournament. 
“I’m amazed at our volunteers that put on the event, the shooting that went on, the generosity of everybody for buying raffle tickets,” Poppe said. “I want to say an overall thank you to all the volunteers and to the Garretson Gun Club. I couldn’t be more pleased with how big of a success it was.”


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