The 2018 New Jersey State Shoot rotated back to Joint Base, and shooters were treated to outstanding targets and terrific referees. The tournament started on Friday August 3 with the Doubles event, and Leo Nebbia’s 96 earned him his first state championship. John Zema claimed AA1, Ben Galioto A1, Jay Taylor beat out 11 shooters to win B1, non-resident Stu Slovsky C1 and Howard Mann D1.
On Saturday, the weather gods gave us a full menu, consisting of sun, thunderstorms, and wind with puffy white clouds, but none of this deterred Hall of Famer Holly Paul, Nick Pino and Jim Barnes, who all broke 97s in the 20-gauge event. All three made their way to the shoot-off field, and in the end, it came down to Paul and Barnes. After 10 stations, a tenacious Barnes won his first state title. Class winners were Ben Galioto AA1, Holly Paul A1, Bob Vrablik B1, Tony Viel C1 and Greg Khalaf D1. Non-resident Joe Attard shot a strong 97 and walked away with eight boxes of 20-gauge ammo for the day.
The weather improved slightly for Saturday afternoon’s 28-gauge event, and a determined Ricky “Bags” Bagni stepped up and shot a solid 98 to claim his seventh state title. Class winners were John Zema AA1, Dick Lukasik A1, Nick Pino B1, Bob Vrablik C1 and Ray Stas D1.
On Saturday evening, NJSSA hosted a delicious catered dinner for shooters and Joint Base staff at the Joint Base Clubhouse.
The weather improved for Sunday, and Leo Nebbia shot the only 100 straight of the weekend, claiming the 12-gauge championship and his second state title. Class winners were Ben Galioto AA1, Rick Bagni A1, Jim Barnes B1 with a strong 98, Keith Wilber C1 and Tommy Surman D1.
The last gun was the .410, and Ben Galioto’s 95 was enough to crown him champion. John Zema claimed AA1, Dick Lukasik A1, Nick Pino B1, Bruce Gordon C1 and Joe Madlinger D1.
The HOA had to be settled on the shoot-off field. Ricky Bagni and Ben Galioto were tied, and after an intense shoot-off, Galioto claimed the 2018 HOA title. This was Ben’s 12th career state title. Class winners were John Zema AA1, Leo Nebbia A1, Nick Pino B1, Keith Wilber C1, Greg Khalaf D1 and Raymond Stas E1.
Thanks to Ben Galioto, president; Nick Pino, treasurer; Russell Paul, secretary; and Eddie Amaty, chief referee, for their dedication and hard work in making this NJ State Shoot a success. Thanks also to our referees, Mark Bricker and Sophia Galioto, for doing a superb job, to our skeet administrator Kevin Dawkins and the entire Joint Base staff, and to Rob Madowsky for donating our event t-shirts. We also thank everyone who participated in this year’s NJ State Championship for their commitment to New Jersey skeet shooting.
– Contributed by Ben Galioto