Generations Skeet Club near Patton, Pennsylvania, hosted the 17th annual Holtz Memorial Shoot on June 5-7, 2020. The shoot name was changed from the Ralph Holtz Memorial to the Holtz Memorial this year in memory of Ralph, his wife Mary Louise and their grandson Kyle Holtz. Ralph died in 2003 and Mary Louise died in 2018; both are members of the PSSA Hall of Fame. Kyle, who was a former Pennsylvania Junior HOA Champion, died in 2004 at 16 years old.
Sixty-two shooters shot at least one gun; 11 out-of-staters were in attendance, coming from Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia. Chris Kline was HOA Champion after he won a shoot-off of 389s with Denny Lehman, HOA runner-up. Missy Vescovi, Ralph and Mary Louise’s daughter, was HOA Lady Champ.
Forty-five shooters shot doubles on Friday afternoon in partly sunny, warm, and breezy conditions. Kline’s 98 made him the outright champion. Class firsts went to Tim Vescovi (AA), Adam Vollmer (A), Jeff Wright (B), Paul Hunt (C, after a shoot-off of 87s with Joe Gans V) and George Gleich (D).
The 28-gauge shooting began on a sunny, warm, and windy Saturday morning with 57 shooters participating. Kline was outright champion with a 99. Class firsts were Lehman (AA), Clay Gormish (A), Tim Vescovi (B), John Davies (C) and Gans V (D).
Shooting continued on Saturday afternoon as 60 shooters took on the 12-gauge. It was warm, humid and even more windy. Kline and Lehman recorded 99s, with Kline winning the shoot-off to take champion. Joe Vescovi took AA1. Lehman, Mark Eckert, Bryson Fox, Colby Eckert and Katelynn Decker, respectively, were A, B, C, D and E class winners.
Boxed grilled chicken dinners (grilled by Ryan Holtz) were provided on Saturday evening. Cookies in plastic baggies were also provided. Beer, homemade wine and some harder liquids from Chris and Ashley Kline’s Chicken Hill Distillery were available, along with soft drinks. The Three-Man Blind event (to be based on Sunday’s .410 scores) was set up with lively auction bidding for the 18 computer-picked teams after dinner. A total of nearly $1,800 was collected. After eating, several shooters and friends went over the hill from the skeet fields to Lake Eddie to fish, relax, discuss the weekend’s events, have a drink and recreate.
The .410 bore was shot on Sunday morning under clear skies with little wind. Fifty-seven shooters participated, and Jeff Holtz emerged as champion with a nice 96. Class firsts went to Jeremy Dvorak (AA), Frank Smithmyer (A), Rich Vensel (B), Mark Eckert (C) and Fox (D).
The 20-gauge event (59 shooters) was last and took place on Sunday afternoon under warmer conditions with white puffies and some wind. Kline and Gormish shot 100 straights; Kline won the shoot-off and was champion. Gormish, Missy Vescovi (after winning a shoot-off of 98s with Michael Moats), Mark Eckert, Allison Shaffer, and Jack Harshbarger (after winning a shoot-off of 96s with Colby Eckert), respectively, took firsts in AA, A, B, C and D classes.
Ryan Holtz handled registration and scorekeeping, and Michael Vescovi was chief referee. Non-shooting referees included Abby Lansberry, Paige McMullen, Adam Bobak and Zach Stoltz, and all did a great job. As usual, Pat Leyo provided yummy doughnuts, much to everyone’s delight, especially the youngsters.
The Three-Man Blind winners were Kenny Riddile, Tim Holtz, and Joe Gans V, who won $63 each. Tim Botwright and Ron Johnson jointly bought the winning team and took home $550. Payouts went to the four highest-scoring teams and buyers.
Notable events included: Tim Vescovi shooting a 97 in his first-ever round of registered doubles; Colby Eckert breaking his first 50 straight in the 20-gauge event (his hat was properly destroyed); Chris Kline NOT winning the .410 event; and everyone enjoying a piece of Missy Vescovi’s birthday cake.
The most remarkable thing about this shoot was the overall sense of relief and thanks expressed by all at being able to be compete on a skeet field again, see old friends and make some new friends. This feeling was truly palpable and lasted the entire weekend.
– Contributed by George Gleich