HASTINGS, Neb. – The 54th annual Cornhusker Trap meet is back in Doniphan. It's considered the 'state tournament' of trapshooting that marks the end of the trap season. 

Over 2,000 middle and high school shooters will compete for 250+ medals and trophies over the next three days.

Nebraska Game and Parks Shooting Sports Coordinator Rachel Carlson is leading the meet this year, and says this yearly gathering is an event like no other.

"If somebody shot in high school, their kiddo is probably shooting in high school as well," said Carlson. "It's just a great tradition in a great community, they love seeing the same folks come out to the event every year."

Thursday is the Juniors meet for 6th-8th graders. While the idea of over 900 pre-teens and teenagers shooting live guns may sound sketchy to some, Carlson assures everyone that the Game and Parks Hunter Education Program that the kids are required to take trains them well for the sport.

"It shows how safety is so important with these kids that are participating in this sport, and how responsible they are," said Carlson. "They've learned a lot through doing this program, and they are very confident in what they do. Not only to have that confidence and competence from being able to handle these guns safely, but their drive to do well and their competitiveness and sportsmanship is amazing to see."

Unlike other state championships, there are no district qualifiers or prerequisites. Teams just sign up, show up, and shoot.

At the top of the juniors leaderboard early Thursday afternoon were the Norris Titans. 

Individually after shooting 100 targets, Norris’s Britton Petersen was tied for the best score, scoring a 98 out of 100.

Their top team combined to hit 454 of 500 targets, good to win first place in the juniors division.

Britton’s brother Evan is a sixth grader and shot a 93 in his first year at the meet. Evan, a man of few words says it’s pretty simple for him.

"Just don't worry about what you shoot, just shoot 'em." said Petersen. 

Aubrey Zoubek is making her third appearance in Doniphan as an 8th grader. She says her score improved from 53 her first year to 82 this year. Her hard work had her promoted to the top squad this year.

"That feels pretty amazing because I've worked all season to get on top squad," said Zoubek. "To be able to have a girl on top squad, I feel is pretty cool."

High Schoolers (seniors) will begin competition on Friday which will culminate on Saturday to end this year’s trap shooting with a bang.

Results of the meet can be found on the Trap Reports website.