Dominic Mendlik, Sophomore, Creighton Prep
Although Dominic Mendlik often has a shotgun in his hands, his charming, well-spoken personality is immediately disarming. He’s quick to reassure anyone who might be concerned about a bunch of teenagers shooting trap. “Everyone has to take a mandatory gun safety course from the Game and Parks association before they can shoot. After that, they teach us protocol for walking out, walking in, which way you turn. You always point the gun in a safe direction, and that’s what they preach every day.”
Dominic initially learned to shoot while hunting with his dad. “My dad learned how to hunt himself and then passed it onto me.” As he became interested in trap shooting for Creighton Prep, he had to switch from shooting clay targets with a double barrel twenty gauge shotgun to using an actual trap shooting gun. The learning curve was steep. “I was really sad because I knew I was better than that, but I didn’t know how to use the new gun artfully.” His perseverance paid off, and now shooting trap is a huge part of his life.
Trap shooting is one of the largest athletic programs at Creighton Prep. Although practices are year-round on Sundays and Wednesdays, during the season the team has meets every Saturday from March to May. “Trap shooting at our tournaments builds a community among the families. At every meet, we have this big cook-out.” Even his twin sister, Lauren, enjoys coming to the meets. Dominic credits Coach Vasko and the coaching staff at Prep for his success. “Coach Vasko’s been instrumental in helping me develop trap shooting.”
In addition to trap shooting, Dominic participates in chamber choir, the speech team, the debate team, and the mock trial program at Prep. “I was fortunate enough to qualify for the national tournament in both mock trial and congressional debate as well as win the mock trial state championship last year.” He plans to pursue a career in law or medicine, but keep an eye out for Dominic Mendlik. An articulate and charismatic young man, he hopes to have a bright future in politics.