DONIPHAN, Neb. – Cody Grusing is one of five shooters on Norris High School’s top trap squad. At first glance, there is little difference among the those shooters.
But while Grusing’s teammates rest the forearms of their shotguns in their hands when they shoot, Grusing rests his shotgun across his partially-developed arm. The 16-year-old sophomore was born with a radius bone, but no ulna in his right arm.
He doesn’t make a big deal of it. “I try not to stand out too much,” he said.
Grusing broke 69 of 75 targets at 16 yards Friday in the senior high division at the Cornhusker Trapshoot at the home grounds of the Nebraska Trapshooting Association.
“A lot of people ask ‘How do you shoot?’ Grusing said. “It feels natural to me, I guess. It doesn’t feel different because I don’t know how to shoot any other way.”
Said Norris coach Keith Brunkow: “I think he is just one of the guys out there.”
Grusing is no stranger to shooting sports. He has been competing in trap for four years and is participating in this third Cornhusker Trapshoot.
“I do a lot of shooting at home,” Grusing said. “We’ve built a shooting range at home and I also do a lot of hunting.”
Grusing is a sportsman and an athlete. In addition to trap and firearm hunting, he shoots and hunts with archery equipment. He plays football at Norris and used to play basketball, baseball and compete in track. Track and baseball conflicted with trap, though, and now he concentrates on shooting.
“I can do trap the rest of my life,” he said. “I can’t play baseball forever.”
Norris has six boys squads competing in the Cornhusker Trapshoot. Brunkow said participants shoot their way onto the top squad and that Grusing is among his best.
“He was always pretty close to the top,” Brunkow said. “They have to shoot good to stay on the top squad. He has improved quite a bit from last year to this year.”
Before anyone believes the competition has an advantage over Grusing, they should know one thing: “I’ve been shooting since I could walk. I’ve been around it all my life.”
The Cornhusker Trapshoot concludes Saturday when shooters compete in the handicap event. The highest scorers Friday shoot from farther distances than those who did not score as high. Saturday’s scores will be combined with Friday’s to determine the overall winner, the Cornhusker Cup champion.