PSSA held the 87th annual Pennsylvania State Open Skeet Championships at Shenecoy Sportsmen’s beautiful 16-field facility in McConnellstown, PA, on August 18-20. Overall, the weather was nice. A bit of wind on Friday afternoon, a bit of fog Sunday morning, nothing too bad, although some of the doubles shooters (Friday afternoon) might not agree.
One hundred ninety-five participants shot at least one gun, including 45 out-of-state shooters from 14 different states. Thank you so much for coming, folks! There were 178 four-gun shooters, and the shoot difficulty factor was 24.6.
Open HOA winners were Josh Crofutt (champion, 397), Mike Stasio (runner-up, 395) and Tyler Mroczka (third, 394). PA HOA winners were Crofutt (champion), Mroczka (runner-up) and Fran Kosmacki (third, 393). Open HAA Champion and runner-up, respectively, were Crofutt (494) and Stasio (493); Mike Rykacewski Jr. (491) was third. PA HAA honors went to Crofutt, champion; Rykacewski Jr., runner-up; and Mroczka, third.
The .410-bore Prelim on Friday morning involved 32 shooters. Lissette Grunwell-Lacey broke 95 birds and was the open champ. Alyssa Gormish (93) and Peter Bogdon (93), respectively, were open runner-up and third. PA winners were Alyssa Gormish, champion; Clay Gormish, runner-up; and Joe Gans III, third. David Darrough, Meghan Darrough, Charles Ford and Shawn King, respectively, took PA class A-D firsts.
There were 145 doubles shooters on Friday afternoon, and some pesky wind. Mike Rykacewski Jr. (98) was open champion, while Mike Stasio (98) and Kenny Riddile (97), respectively, were runner-up and third. PA champion, runner-up and third, respectively, were Rykacewski Jr., Riddile and Crofutt. PA class firsts went to Chris Kline, Frank Smithmyer, Mroczka, Steve Hildebrand, Gavin Glossner and Mark Hunt (AAA-D).
In the main event, there were nine 100-straights in the 12-gauge, six in the 20, seven in the 28 and three in the .410.
PA champion, runner-up and third, respectively, were Mark Eckert, Mroczka and Crofutt in the 12-gauge (with Jack Krispin as open champion); Rykacewski Jr., Jack Harshbarger and Crofutt in the 20 (Krispin and Meredith Tunick, respectively, open runner-up and third; Crofutt, Kosmacki and Nick Boerboon in the 28 (Sam Armstrong and Tunick, respectively, open champion and third), and Roy Holtz, Rich Vensel and Tom Hillard in the .410 with PA shooters taking the top three open spots with 100-straights.
Class first places (PA) were won by Denny Lehman, Smithmyer, Joe Vescovi, Michael Vescovi, Kurt Fisher, Gavin Glossner and Andrew Wojtaszek (12-gauge AAA-E); Kline, Ed Call, Tim Vescovi, Evan Martin, Bill Sellitto and Gavin Glossner (20-gauge AAA-D); Rykacewski Jr., Tom Johnson, Mroczka, Joe Paul, Grant Glossner, and Colby Eckert (28-gauge AAA-D), and Kline, Joe Vescovi, Adam Vollmer, Meghan Darrough, John Stough and Jerry McCullough (.410 bore AAA-D).
Grant Glossner, David Darrough and Ryan Harshbarger, respectively, were Sub-Junior open and PA HOA champion, runner-up and third. Kyle Krispin, Gavin Glossner and Marcus Rosenstiel Jr., respectively, were Junior open HOA champion, runner-up and third; Gavin Glossner, Rosenstiel Jr., and Adam Smith, respectively, were Junior PA HOA champ, runner-up and third.
Open Lady HOA winners were Meredith Tunick, champion; Meghan Darrough, runner-up; and Crystal Stoddard, third. PA Lady HOA winners were Meghan Darrough, champion; Alyssa Gormish, runner-up; and Missy Vescovi, third.
Saturday evening was busy, beginning with 12- and 20-gauge shoot-offs and ending with several hat shoots and the BCDE Challenge shoot-off.
Tyler Wagner had his first registered 25-straight in the 12-gauge event; Rich Vensel and Tom Hillard had their first 100-straights in the .410. All three of their hats were well ventilated.
Between the shoot-offs and the hat shoots:
Roy Holtz from Generations Skeet Club was inducted into the PSSA Skeet Shooting Hall of Fame. Roy is and has been a strong ambassador for skeet for many years. His favorite avocation is teaching youngsters what skeet is all about, often providing guns, ammo and targets. I can think of no one in the State who deserves this honor more than Roy. He is not a bad shooter either, as evidenced by his 100-straight in the .410 which was good for the gun championship.
PA’s top shooters for 2023 (2022 data) were recognized. All-State first and second teams were named, and each received a nice wooden plaque. The first team includes Mike Rykaczewski Jr. (state high gun with a 0.9824 HOA average), Josh Crofutt, Fran Kosmacki, Tom Hillard and Alyssa Gormish; second team members include Denny Lehman, Clay Gormish, Jack Harshbarger, Gary Nace and Debra Meade.
All Juniors (8) and Sub-Juniors (15) who shot in the 12-gauge had 50% of their entry fees paid by PSSA.
Denny Lehman, again, conducted a fund drive for the State Shoot that resulted in over $26,300 added money. Many thanks to Denny, and especially to Elite Shotguns, the major sponsor of the PA State Shoot, who matched donations received from businesses and individuals up to $10,000. Special thanks also to all the businesses and individuals that made donations.
The PSSA President’s Cup award for 2023 was presented to Lori and Barry Sheffield for all their work over the years to make and keep Shenecoy the premiere shooting facility that it is.
Added money was capped so that gun champion, runner-up and third received $400, $300 and $200, respectively. All class first through fifth places received cash from added money (e.g., in the 12-gauge E1, E2, E3, E4, and E5 received $90, $85, $80, $75 and $70, respectively).
In a field of 67 shooters, Gavin Glossner won the BCDE Challenge shoot-off. Class champs B-E, respectively, were Ted Capers, Grant Glossner, Gavin Glossner and Luke Holtz. All winners were from PA, and all received cash awards.
The 5-person team belt buckle championship involved three teams. The winning team members were Jared Shaffer, Mark Eckert, Bill Calvert, Stephen Rupprecht and Tim Vescovi. Each received a beautiful belt buckle.
Members of the Petersburg Volunteer Fire Company served a tasty dinner of tortillas and tacos with all the fixins to the shooters and their guests on Saturday night. Many thanks to John Ramagli who graciously paid for the meals of the competitors!
Kudos to: Tami Daniel-Means and her hubby Al for handling registration, scorekeeping and posting; Bobby Wilkin, Chief Referee and shoot-off announcer and his outstanding group of referees; the Generations Skeet Club team who handled medal preparation and distribution; and Nick Boerboon, PSSA President, who was involved in most everything, in addition to shooting very well.
Special thanks to the following folks whose hard work was greatly appreciated: Barry and Lori Sheffield and all the Shenecoy staff; Rod Shyda (Lincoln Traps); Bob Woods (Elite Shotguns); and all of the crew from Petersburg Volunteer Fire Company for running the kitchen throughout the shoot and feeding the hungry masses.
Please mark your calendars for the 2024 Pennsylvania State Skeet Shoot which will be held at Shenecoy on August 16-18. We are anticipating having $20,000 plus added money, again, and being the most highly attended State Shoot in the country again.
– Contributed by George Gleich
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