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Duane Kashmark was named the head coach for the inaugural Concordia clay target program, which will start competition in the fall of 2024.
Duane Kashmark was named the head coach for the inaugural Concordia clay target program, which will start competition in the fall of 2024.

Concordia Adds Clay Target; Kashmark Named Head Coach

MOORHEAD, Minn. (12/28/23)--- Concordia Athletic Director Rachel Bergeson announced that clay target will be the newest addition to the Cobber athletic department. Bergeson also named Duane Kashmark as the head coach for the inaugural Concordia clay target program, which is set to begin competition in the fall of 2024.

"Anytime you can add a program for students to participate in it is a positive," Bergeson said. We are excited about being able to offer a sport that is popular in the region and has a growing participation rate among high schools in our surrounding states."

Concordia will compete in the USA College Clay Target League, which features over 35 teams and 400 student-athletes. It is a co-ed sport with college clay target consisting of four different shooting disciplines: trap shooting, skeet shooting, sporting clays and 5-stand.

Kashmark has been the head coach of the Moorhead High School clay target team since 2019.

"We are thrilled to have an experienced coach in Duane and us through the starting of the program," Bergeson added. "Duane is a Cobber graduate familiar with the college and has positively influenced the growth of the Moorhead High School clay target program. We are excited for the ways we can continue to partner with area high schools."

Kashmark is a 1992 Concordia graduate who was the assistant coach for the Moorhead clay target program for two years before becoming the head coach. His experience in the sport will help with the inaugural season for the Cobbers in the fall of 2024.

"I am excited to start and build a new program at Concordia that will give students the ability to continue a sport they are passionate about," Kashmark said. "Being the first coach at Concordia gives me the opportunity to set the tone and direction for the program and its future. Clay Target is a life-long activity, and having the ability to compete at the collegiate level gives athletes the opportunity to compete against the highest level of competition."

The USA College Clay Target League is mainly a virtual competition with colleges, universities, community colleges, junior colleges, career schools and technical schools competing in September and October. Last fall, the national championship was held in the first week of November and was for trap shooting only. The USA College Clay Target League hopes to add other disciplines in the future.

More from head coach Duane Kashmark:
What is your goal for the Clay Target program in the first year?  
"My goal for the first year of the clay target program at Concordia is to get the program some positive recognition both on campus and around the tri-state area. I hope to help student-athletes achieve success, whether that's helping them get their first 25, 50 or 100 straight targets or just improving their season average. If I could help an athlete or two qualify for Nationals, that would be an added bonus."

What are one or two things you want people to know about the sport of Clay Target for those who may be unfamiliar with the sport?
"Clay target is like golf in a lot of ways. You complete against yourself as much as your competition. Each week, athletes compete with their teammates at the range. Athletes do not always know how their competition is doing until the end of the scoring period, so it's up to you, your teammates, and the coaching staff to provide the focus and drive to improve your own skills and post the best score you can.  It is a great sport in that one athlete's success does not hinder their teammate's success.  Everyone can be successful, so it naturally builds a united and supportive team environment."