PSSA held the 86th annual Pennsylvania State Open Skeet Championships at Shenecoy Sportsmen’s beautiful 16-field facility in McConnellstown, Pennsylvania, on August 26-28. The weather was great! Not too hot, not too humid, not much wind, no rain, not many clouds.
Two hundred nineteen participants shot at least one gun, including 50 out-of-state shooters (from AZ, CA, DE, FL, IL, IN, MD, NC, NY, OH, TX, VA, and WV); thank you so much for coming folks! There were 183 four-gun shooters. The shoot difficulty factor was 22.8.
Open HOA winners were Owen Knight (Champion, 397), Mike Rykacewski Jr. (runner-up, 397) and Nick Boerboon (third, 396). PA HOA winners were Rykacewski Jr. (champion), Boerboon (runner-up) and Chris Kline (third). Open HAA Champion and runner-up, respectively, were Kline (495) and Knight (493); Boerboon (492-PA) was third. PA HAA honors went to Kline (champion), Boerboon (runner-up) and Rykacewski Jr. (third).
The 28-gauge Prelim started the festivities on Friday morning with 59 shooters participating. The top score was 99, and there were three of them. After shooting off, Tyler Mroczka was Open Champion, Alyssa Gormish and Larry Blount, respectively, were Open runner-up and third. PA Prelim winners were Mrozcka (Champion), Alyssa Gormish (runner-up) and Ethan Cree (third). Mike Zavasky, Clay Gormish, Mark Eckert, Greg Valentine, and John Tucker, respectively, took PA class AA-D firsts.
There were 158 doubles shooters on Friday afternoon and two 100 straights. Chris Kline emerged as Open Champion by winning a shoot-off of the 100s with Alyssa Gormish, runner- up; Sam Armstrong was Open third. PA Champion, runner-up, and third, respectively, were Kline, Alyssa Gormish and Josh Crofutt. PA class firsts (AAA-D) went to Boerboon, Denny Lehman, Carl Biddle, Andy Trayer, Marcus Rosenstiel Jr., and Mike Rykacewski Sr. In the main event, there were ten 100 straights in both the 12 and 20, eight in the 28 and one in
PA Champions, runners-up and thirds, respectively, were: Tyler Mroczka, Pat Leyo, and Adam Vollmer in the 12-gauge (215 shooters with PA shooters taking the top three Open spots); Jeff Holtz, Carl Bathurst and John Brickner in the 20 (205 shooters with Sam Armstrong Open Champion, Brian D’Souza Open runner-up, and Mike Stasio Open third; Tyler Mroczka, Mike Rykacewski Jr., and Tom Shields in the 28 (194 shooters with Kurt Suprynowicz Open Champion); and Nick Boerboon, Mike Rykacweski Jr., and Chris Kline in the .410 (187 shooters with PA shooters taking the top three Open spots).
Class first places (PA) were won by Mike Rykacewski Jr., Frank Smithmyer, Gary Nace, Allison Shaffer, Mark Strickland, Greg Mahoney and John Lavrich (12-gauge AAA-E); Nick Boerboon, Joe Vescovi, Pat Leyo, Ed Call, Joe Gans V and Kurt Fisher (20-gauge AAA-D); Joe Vescovi, Fran Kosmacki, Matt Sanders, Pat Leyo, Zak Sutton and Bill Plunkett (28-gauge AAA-D); and Adam Vollmer, Rich Vensel, Mark Saussure, Marcus Rosenstiel Jr., and Allison Shaffer (.410 bore AA-D).
Grant Glossner and Wade Smith, respectively, were Sub-Junior Open and PA HOA Champion and runner-up. Owen Knight, Zak Sutton and Marcus Rosenstiel Jr., respectively, were Junior Open HOA Champion, runner-up and third; Sutton, Rosenstiel Jr. and Colby Eckert, respectively, were PA HOA Champion, runner-up and third.
Open Lady HOA winners were Meredith Tunick Kling (Champion, 391), Sue Huszai (runner-up, 383) and Allison Shaffer (third, 379). PA Lady HOA winners were Allison Shaffer (Champion), Alyssa Gormish (runner-up) and Debra Meade third.
Saturday evening was busy, beginning with shoot-offs and several hat shoots. Evelyn Zutter had her first 25 straight, Gavin Glossner and Dan Amsler had their first 50 straights, and Allison Shaffer had her first 100 straight this weekend. All had their hats well ventilated. Chris Kline was inducted into the PSSA Skeet Shooting Hall of Fame. Chris has been one of Pennsylvania’s top skeet shooters for years, and he is one of the very best people in the
Pennsylvania skeet community. Congratulations, Chris!
PA’s top shooters for 2022 (2021 data) were recognized. Fran Kosmacki with a 0.9767 average was the state’s Top Gun. All-State First and Second teams were recognized, and each member received a nice wooden plaque. The First team included Fran Kosmacki, Mike Rykaczewski Jr., Josh Crofutt, Tom Hillard and Alyssa Gormish; Second Team members included Denny Lehman, Clay Gormish, Kenny Riddile, Gary Nace and Jack Harshbarger.
All Juniors and Sub-Juniors (25 shot in the 12 gauge) had 50% of their entry fees paid by PSSA.
Denny Lehman spearheaded a drive for the 2022 State Shoot that resulted in over $22,250 in 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 2021 was presented to Murry Gerber of Elite Shotguns in recognition of his ongoing and outstanding support of Pennsylvania skeet. Murray is leading from the front in growth of this sport, and we look forward to continued successes together.
Added money was capped so that gun champion, runner-up and third received $350, $250 and $150, 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 $75, $70, $65, $60, $55, respectively).
In a field of 43 shooters, Guy Barr won the BCDE Challenge shoot-off and received $220. Class champs, B-E respectively, were Tyler Mroczka, Colby Eckert, Ethan Cree and John Lavrich, and each received $75. All winners were from PA.
The Three-Man Team event involved 16 teams picked by the computer. The winning team included Randy Browning, Brian D’Souza and Allison Shaffer, whose 12-gauge scores were 97, 95 and 93, respectively. Each received $80.
The 5-person team belt buckle championship involved 10 teams. The event started and finished on Station 3 with the second team up breaking nine of 10 birds (5 doubles) and none of the other nine teams matching that total. The winning team members, from Tarentum District Sportsmen’s Club near Sarver, PA, were Josh Crofutt, Murry Gerber, Mike Rykacewski Jr., Mike Rykacewski Sr. and Bob Waite. Each received a beautiful belt buckle.
Five shooters participated in the HOA handicap option on Sunday afternoon. Nick Boerboon, Chris Kline and Rich Vensel were first-, second- and third-place winners.
Tyler Mrozcka had quite a weekend shooting his first 100-straight in the 12-gauge and then breaking his first 100-straight in the 28-gauge as an encore. His hat was demolished, of course. Tyler was Open Champion in the Prelim and 12 and PA Champion in the 28.
Members of the Petersburg Volunteer Fire Company provided the delicious catered dinner for all, at no extra cost to the shooters and their guests, on Saturday night. Many thanks to John Ramagli who graciously donated this dinner!
Kudos to Tami Daniel-Means and her hubby Al for handling registration, score keeping 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 lights out.
Special thanks to the following folks whose hard work was greatly appreciated: Barry and Lori Sheffield and all the Shenecoy people who always work so hard; Rod Shyda (Lincoln Traps); Bob Woods (Elite Shotguns); and Wendy and Steve Dunmire and crew (Petersburg Volunteer Fire Company) for running the kitchen throughout the shoot and providing tasty food. Make sure to mark your calendars for the 2023 Pennsylvania State Skeet Shoot which will be held at Shenecoy on August 18-20. We are anticipating having $20,000 plus added money again, along with many other great things.
– Contributed by George Gleich