Temperatures in the low 80s and a light summer breeze on Saturday was just the right combination for an annual fall shooting competition.
Thirty-eight gathered in Effingham County with their shotguns, competing to be Schuetzenkönig (champion marksman) for 2020 in one of two divisions for the Schüetzenfest Trap Shoot in cooperation with the Effingham County Sportman’s Club near Lake Sara.
Each participant in the youth and adult divisions shot four rounds of 25 clay targets (birds). The first two rounds of competition (total of 50 birds) at the 16-yard line determined each competitor’s handicap. The second two rounds were handicap rounds.
“The better your score, the further away you have to stand for the third and fourth rounds,” Event Organizer Dave Miller said.
Someone hitting all 50 birds in the two 16-yard rounds would have to stand back 27-yards for his or her final two rounds of 25 birds each, where someone who only shot 40 or less birds would stand at the 20-yard line.
Also, there was a Lewis Class competition Saturday running along with the regular competition. Lewis Class rules are a little different than the regular competition. Tie scores are shared between shooters.
“Lewis Class is an event in the event,” Miller said.
Only one shooter would take home the 2020 Schuetzenkönig honors.
Kyle Painter of Effingham earned the title of 2020 Schüetzenfest Schuetzenkönig, first place overall in the Class A adult division and first place in Lewis Class A. He hit a total of 89 out of 100 birds, shooting 23 of 25 birds in the first round and 22 of 25 birds in the second round at the 16-yard line.
This gave Painter a first two round score of 45 placing him on 23-yard line to shoot two handicap rounds of 25 birds. Painter took 22 birds in the first handicap round and 22 in the second.
Jeremy Hites of Edgewood placed second overall and second in Lewis Class A shooting a perfect 25 in the first round at 16-yards and missed only 1 bird in the second giving him 24 birds. Shooting a 49 in the first two rounds, his handicap forced him to shoot back to the 26-yard line for his handicap rounds. He scored 19 and 18 in his handicap rounds giving him a four-round total of 86.
Charles Butt of Gays took the third place overall in Class A adult division competition and third in Lewis Class A, shooting 47 birds in his two 16-yard rounds placing him at the 24-yard line for his two handicap rounds of 18 and 20 for a four-round total of 85.
Rounding out the Class A shooters were Bruce Albright with a four-round total of 83, Larry A. Himes with 80 and Lyle Kruger with 78.
In adult Class B action, Darrel Mellendorf had a four-round total of 75 earning him a first place title in Class B and first in Lewis Class B.
Jim Mellendorf scored a four-round total of 74 taking home second place in Class B and sharing second place honors in Lewis Class B competition with Marty Wilhelm who also had a four-round total of 74. Larry Lee Himes took third place in Lewis Class B with a four-round total of 73.
Chris Ordner captured first place in adult Class C competition and tied for first place in Lewis Class C action with a four-round total of 63. Second place winner Nathan Schnarre also had a four-round score of 63 tied with Ordner in the Lewis Class C for first place. Cory Woodyard and Adam Hazlett both had a total of 60 for four rounds leaving them tied for second place in Lewis Class C competition. Jeff Muchow captured third place in the Lewis Class C with a 58 four round total.
Jim Mellendorf won an award for highest scoring Schüetzenfest, Inc. member.
Three generations of the Himes family from Cumberland County took part in the competition Saturday. Fourteen-year-old Brandon Himes and his 16-year-old older sister Emma Himes shot in the youth division. Brandon and Emma’s father Larry A. Himes and his father Larry Lee Himes entered the adult division competition.
“I’ve had better days,” Emma Himes said. “The bird would go up a lot when it got caught in the wind.”
Larry A. Himes is Cumberland High School Trap Team coach and leads an Amateur Trapshooting Association (ATA) / Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) team named Cumberland Boomsticks.
“We have 24 kids on our high school team,” Himes said.
In the youth division, it all came down to a shoot-off between two shooters in Flight A for second place overall.
Brandon Himes took home the high honors in Flight A youth competition missing only one in the first 16-yard round for 24 birds and hit 21 birds in the second round giving him a two-round total of 45, sending him to the 23-yard line for rounds 3 and 4. Himes finished with a four-round total of 88 bringing home Flight A first place overall and Lewis Class A first place.
Second place was determined by a 10-bird shoot-off between Lucas Smith of Greenup and Kindyl Ingle of Toledo both scoring a four-round total of 85. Smith’s handicap placed him at the 22-yard line while Ingle stood ready at the 20-yard line for shoot-off competition.
“I’m just a little nervous,” Smith said just before the shoot-off.
Kindyl Ingle is a sixth grader from Toledo. She said she started shooting 3 years ago and Lucas Smith who lives in Greenup is a Freshman at Cumberland High School and has been shooting between 2 and 3 years.
Smith won the shoot-off scoring 9 of 10 while Ingle hit 8 of 10 birds. Smith placed second overall in the youth division and tied for second place with Ingle in the Lewis Class A competition. Kolton Tedrick took home third place in Lewis Class A with a four-round total of 82.
The top three winners in the Flight A group Himes, Smith and Ingle are all members of the Cumberland High School Trap Shooting Team and Cumberland Boomsticks ATA/SCPT team.
Rounding out Flight A was Emma Himes and Shawn Hickey both scoring 78 for four rounds.
Flight B and C winners only placed in Lewis Class competition.
In Flight B action, Paula Holland placed first in the Lewis Class B with a 70, Joel Miller scored a 67 four-round total taking 2nd place honors in Lewis Class B, Colton Loy and Ciara Hankins both earned scored 63 for the day putting them in a tie for third place in Lewis Class B action. Connor Beckman closed out the day with a score of 62 and Calvin Althoff went home with score of 57 in Flight B action.
Andrew Hazlett scored a 56 to put him in first place in Lewis Class C, Kolton Hardiek had a 54 for the day giving him the second place spot in Lewis Class C and Owen Hickey took third place in Lewis Class C with a score of 53. Brayden Schnarre had a four-round total of 48, Jacob Hazlett had 46 birds for the day and Harley Smith shot a total of 25.