The 2022 Kentucky State Skeet Championships returned to Chief Paduke Gun Club after a four-year hiatus. Junior star Donald Ryan Kitchen subdued his closest competitor, Gavin Stevenson, by three targets in the HOA contest. Participants were rewarded with a smooth-running shoot and only slightly high temperatures. Maybe the highlight of the event was a fish fry hosted by the home club and served up by Earl Yarbrough and his entourage; it was enjoyed by all.
Kitchen got off on the right foot, breaking 98 to take Friday afternoon’s doubles event uncontested. Other class winners were Les Lala (AA, 97), Brad Felton (A, 96), Gavin Stevenson (B, 95), Nick Harwood (C, 84), and Bobby Blalock (D, 81).
In the all-bore event Saturday, Jody Stevenson of the five-man team champion Calvert City Gun Club prevailed over Don Donnelly in a tiebreaker of perfect 100s. Barry Stevenson defeated Kitchen in a shoot-off of 99s in AA, Donnelly led A, and Bart Redman won his B class. Charles Castle with 97, new registered shooter Lane Wicker, 88, and Timothy Thompson, 94, won C, D, and E, respectively.
The yellow shells came out Saturday afternoon, and this time, Les Lala and his 100 prevailed over Kitchen in a miss-and-out decider at 3-4-5. While Joseph Charles was best in A by virtue of his nice 98, Kitchen was tops in AA, Barry Garner grabbed B1 with a 97, while Timothy Thompson garnered a second class champion medal with a 94. Also notching another class win was veteran star Bobby Blalock, breaking 91 for D1.
The hot-shooting Calvert City squad showed their five-man team victory was no fluke in the 28-gauge event, with Jody Stevenson, Gavin Stevenson, and Ken Ford each putting red marks on the board with their perfect efforts. The gun championship shoot-offs ended in that order. T. D. Berkes made his trip from the Volunteer State pay off by finishing first in A with a near-perfect 99. Mark Hammond led the B-class gunners with his 94. Bobby Garner was the winner of C with his 97, and another Calvert City shooter, Zach Oden, got his first class award, this time with his 91 in the D division.
Shooting in one of the last squads, Gavin Stevenson inkballed 99 in the baby bore with a smooth 99, taking state gun champ (and his first) uncontested. Barkley Lister prevailed over Lala and Kitchen in a shoot-off of 98s in class AA. Donnelly marked again with his 96 in A, while another Calvert City hot shot, Nathan Harrington won B class with 89. Garner and Thompson grabbed more gold in C and D, with scores of 91 and 84.
Trailing Kitchen and Gavin Stevenson in the HOA tilt were Donnelly (A, 391) and Jeff Pope (B, 367). Garner and Thompson again triumphed in their respective HOA divisions, breaking 378 and 359, respectively.
Chief Paduke would like to thank all those that supported and participated, especially the KSSA leadership. We invite each and every one back for the 2023 version of the Kentucky Lake Open.
– Contributed by Bob Toy