Wow, what a great shoot this year for the 99th annual Georgia State Trap Championships! I can't say enough good things about how well everything went. We were beyond lucky on several fronts - weather, targets, participants, safety. and the staff at South River. I hope everyone who came out had fun, broke some targets, took home some trophies, met up with old friends and made some new friends and good memories. I hope you plan to join us again in 2023.
I would like to thank everyone involved with the shoot. Bill Clay, Len Evans, Josh Harper, Boone Butler and the rest of the staff at South River. I heard one shooter from Tennessee say the grass at the club looked like Augusta National of Gun Clubs. I could not agree more. South River Gun Club looked the best I've ever seen it. The GATA Board of Directors and their family and fiends who help make this a great shoot, everyone pitched in and did a stelar job. The 2022 program and participation pins looked wonderful and there were even free pins from previous years if you missed out last time.
Special shout-out to Hannah and Tami Daniel for the outstanding job they did with registration, cashiering and reviewing and posting scores. Everything was done efficiently, with a smile and a kind word for even the silliest of questions. And I overheard a few silly questions. I probably asked some myself. Hope to see them back again next year. A found and heartfelt thank you to Billy and Marie Griffin for the generous donation and all you do for trapshooting in the Southeast. It's always a pleasure to see you both out having fun and shooting. This year they brought a few friends along from Savannah and they looked like they were having a ball. Solid competitors and great for the game of trap.
Wonderful to see a good showing of student athletes from around Georgia. Harris County was well represented as always as was the Wolf Creek SCTP team and several other teams were out wearing their team jerseys and vests. Championship weekend saw 435 entries for Singles, Double and Handicap. Solidly a category 3 shoot with the ATA. We had a good mix of resident and non-resident participants. 220 total shooters with 147 from Georgia and 73 from out of state.
Mike Westjohn, from Illinois, a perennial participant at the Georgia State Shoot, won the preliminary singles event with a 99 followed by a two box carry over the next day. Preliminary Handicap was won by Olivia Ferguson from Arkansas with a 95, tied with Georgia shooter Darnell Wesley. Preliminary Doubles was won by Zeke Yeager with a 100 straight, one of two he would post over the 4 day shoot. 54 shooters stayed to shoot the 2nd doubles of the day with prize money awarded for combined double events.
Friday started off with Doubles with two sub-veteran shooters posting 98's, Michael Castle from Kentucky and Michael Gooch from Kentucky. Junior Tyler Honnold from Tennessee posted a 96 along with Veteran Lewis Knack from Florida and Senior Veteran Mike Wasieleski from Georgia. The Hiter Memorial Handicap followed with Kevin Polson from Kentucky posted a 96 from the 26 yard line. Singles was the next event with two 100 straights by veteran shooters Matt Smelser from Tennessee and Thomas Campbell from South Carolina. Mike Wasielewski senior veteran from Georgia also posted a 100 straight.
Saturday saw the start of Championship Singles. Congratulations to Mike Schildgen from Georgia who posted a 98 in the morning and a 98 in the afternoon for a top score of 196. Next time you see him congratulate him on an outstanding job and kindly ask about the four targets that got away. There is a story behind each and every target. For Georgia shooters there were two category ties, Junior and Lady I. and both went two extra boxes in the shoot-offs. Congratulations to Ethan Ledford and Mike Lachey who both posted a 194, Ethan won in the second box. Shirley Duong and Jocelyn Garmendia both posted a 188. The shoot-off was pretty exciting with Shirly dropping a bird early and Jocelyn dropping one late in the first 25 shoot-off targets. The next box Shirley shot a 25 to Joyceln's 24. Just a one bird difference out of 10 boxes total for the day. Two non-residents also posted a 196 for the event, Veteran shooter Brian Hezel from Illinois and Junior shooter Tyler Honnold of Tennessee, with Brian taking Champion and Tyler taking Junior.
Sunday saw more great weather for the Doubles Championship. With Ethan Ledford posting the only 94. Runner-up was a three way tie between John Rossiter, Boone Butler and Shannon Rankin. With John winning the shoot-off later that afternoon. Mississippi shooter Zeke Yeager posted the only 100 straight for the event for the Out of State Doubles Championship.
Congratulations to junior shooter Ethan Miles who posted the high score of 95 to win the Handicap Championship. Runner-up was a tie between two friends from the Atlanta Trap League, Amir Pourmorteza and Joe Baker both shootings 92's. Amir won the shoot-off by one target and Joe Baker came in 3rd place. Two out of state shooter posted 97's both from Virginia, Caleb Delp and Diane Rick. Shoot-off went three boxes with Caleb edging out Diana by one bird. HOA (1000) targets and HAA (400) targets champion went to Ethan Ledford. Frederico Ramirez from Florida won out of state HAA champion.
The 2021 Georgia State Team was recognized during the annual GATA meeting on Sunday mornings. Congratulations to Ethan Ledford Captain and Junior. Stephen Williams, Joe Turner, John Davis, Boone Butler John Rossiter, Shirley Duong, Ed Wolf, Bruce Swinsky rounded out the team. John Rossiter was recognized as the Most Improved for the year.
Al Kent, Chairman of the Georgia Hall of Fame Committee, announced Bill Ponder will be the 2022 inductee in September. Well deserved after a long and prestigious shooting career I'm sure he will have some stories tell at the shoot. Currently Bill stands at 115,150 Singles, 115,575 handicap and 78,600 Doubles, total ATA registered targets over 300,000, with 5 pages of scores listed back to 1973, next year will mark 50 years of shooting trap. Well done.
Want to thank Bruce Swinsky, Skip Varnado, Jim Meucci and Joe Turner for their service on the GA Board of Directors last year. The new board was voted on and will consist of
Mike Reed - President
Stephen Williams - Vice President
Phil Graves - combined Secretary / Treasurer
Dave Hollinsworth - ATA Delegate
Sam Lamont - Alternate Delegate
Thanks again for your devotion to Georgia Trapshooting!
Also want to say a special thank you to David Hollingsworth who had some pretty scary health issues this year. It was great to see you back out at the state shoot again this year. Thanks for all you continue to do.
So that is my wrap up for the 2022 Georgia State Shoot. Apologies for any oversights or errors I might have made, I can assure you it was not intentional. It takes little time and effort to write this up and post the pictures. Hope you enjoy it and I do hope to see you out shooting on the range soon. Take care, be safe and join us next year for the 100th Annual Georgia State Trapshoot.
Thanks! (Posted by David Witt)