Generations Skeet Club’s 21st annual Firebird 400 was held at its beautiful four-field club near Patton, Pennsylvania, on July 19-21. The weather was oppressive all weekend – hazy, hot and humid with variable wind, but no lightning! Fifty-one shooters shot at least one gun. Joe Vescovi was HOA Champion with a fine 393. HOA runner-up was Chris Kline with a nice 392, and Becky Myers was the Lady HOA Champion.
Doubles were shot on Friday afternoon with 30 shooters. Kline shot the lone 100 straight and was Doubles Champion. Class firsts went to Clay Gormish (A), Adam Vollmer (B), Jerry McCullough (C) and Joe McGarvey (D).
The 28-gauge shooting, with 45 shooters, began on a muggy Saturday morning under overcast skies. Frank Smithmyer ran them and was outright champion. Class firsts included Kline (AA), Dan Felton (A), Mike Naleppa (B1 after winning a shoot-off of 96s with Michael Moats and Kevin Spessard), Joe Paul (C) and Mark Strickland (D).
Shooting continued on a hot and sunny Saturday afternoon with the 12-gauge event for 46 shooters. Gormish posted the only 100 straight and was 12-gauge Champion. Vollmer, Felton, Michael Vescovi, Moats, Colby Eckert and Vance McClaughlin, respectively, were AA, A, B, C, D and E class champs. This was after Vollmer won a shoot-off of 99s with Kline and Smithmyer, and Eckert won a shoot-off of 96s with John Davies.
As usual at Generations, the Saturday night feast in the Youth Barn was superb. It began with drinks, melt-in-your-mouth venison bites with homemade dip and various cheese squares. Joe Vescovi prepared, carved and then served the delicious prime rib. Numerous volunteers prepared fancy baked beans, skin-on potatoes, corn-on-the-cob, green beans and various vegetable salads along with a large selection of yummy desserts to round out the meal. Beverages included cold beer on tap, soft drinks and homemade wine. On Saturday night, the group headed to Lake Eddie to enjoy swimming, jet skiing, tubing, fishing and a campfire (not sure the fire was necessary!).
Sunday morning, still muggy and time for the .410 bore, had 45 shooters taking the field. Joe Vescovi’s 98 took the championship outright; class firsts went to Tom Shields (A1 after a shoot-off of 96s with Kline), Gary Nace (B), Mike Norris (C) and Terry Smith (D).
The 20-gauge event was last and took place on Sunday afternoon with 44 shooters. Weather was hot and hotter! Joe Vescovi had the lone 100 and was 20-gauge Champion – it was quite a weekend for Joe! Kline, Vollmer, Spessard, McGarvey and McLaughlin took firsts in AA, A, B, C and D classes.
The three-man blind, based on .410 scores with teams picked by the computer, was won by the team of Dan Felton, Ryan Holtz and Mike Norris, each receiving $60. Ryan Holtz bought the winning team in the in the exciting live auction on Saturday night and pocketed $555!
Ryan Holtz handled registration and scorekeeping/posting, with assistance from Katie Eberhart on Sunday. Michael Vescovi performed chief referee duties, and a fine group of young referees including Paige McMullen, Abbey Lansberry, Adam Bobak, Zach Stoltz and Scott Kutruff did a great job under less than comfortable conditions. Numerous members of the Generations family pitched in as needed to keep things running smoothly. Last but not least, Pat Leyo provided delicious doughnuts on Saturday and Sunday morning – thanks so much, Pat!
– Contributed by George Gleich