Memorial skeet shoots are all about remembering and memorializing some of our greatest shooters. That’s the case with the Gil Rodler Memorial. He attended every Pennsylvania State Skeet Championship from 1954 until 2013. Further, he won more of those PA Championship titles than just about anyone. But the longevity of his year-after-year PA State Championship attendance does set him apart – 60 straight years.
But there’s more. He won national titles like the U.S. Open Doubles Championship. While Gil shot a Krieghoff Model 32 for most of his 4-gun career, he shot Doubles with a Perazzi MT6 with a Modified choke in the second barrel. He was noted for shooting the second doubles target way, way out there and smashing it. Gil was also well known as not only a serious competitor, but one with grim determination that showed on his face, his body, his every muscle. These days we’re told to relax while shooting. Rodler never shot relaxed.
September 3, 2018, was the fourth annual Gil Rodler Memorial. It takes place at the Tarentum District Sportsman’s Club near Sarver, PA. Our tradition for this shoot is always Labor Day – as well as 50 targets in the .410, 28, 20 and 12 gauge – in that order – so a one-day shoot. With the club’s three fields we are limited to 30 4-gun shooters (four flights), and this year’s shoot was filled within 24 hours of announcement – testimony to local shooters who have such respect for Gil Rodler, and to the Tarentum District Sportsmen’s Club as well, with its totally renovated clubhouse and all new Lincoln skeet, trap, 5-stand and sporting clays traps.
Well-known Pennsylvania shooter Roy Holtz won the High Overall Championship with a 195. Josh Crofutt was only one target behind for runner-up. Crofutt also won the .410. Tom Shields was 28-gauge champ, Josh Crofutt the 20-gauge, and Tim Holtz won the 12-gauge.
The club always puts out a great lunch spread, and this year’s Rodler Memorial was no exception. Kudos to kitchen help Regina Nemergut, Marie Palmer (who also shot the full program) and all the others who helped. Running the shoot was Dave Cominsky, using the NSSA skeet shoot software.
This club intends to keep the Rodler memory alive with a Labor Day shoot for years to come. The 50-target, 4-gun format has been very popular with our local shooters. We shoot the 12-gauge last to eliminate the need for cleaning barrels by tube-set shooters. We shoot 50 .410s first. Shooters bring their 28-gauge guns or tubes and shells. Consequently, immediately following the 50 .410 targets, we’re able to start the 28-gauge with no delay. Same with the 20- and 12-gauge events: shoot the 20 first and go right into the 12-gauge with no time lost. We find this an efficient way for each competitor to get in 200 targets in the day. We try to finish shoot-offs early enough that shooters can get back to their families for the rest of the Labor Day holiday.
– Contributed by Nick Sisley
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