Ottawa Sportsmen's Club NewsAugust 16th, 2007
Ron Granroth, OSC instructor & Coach
Saturday, July 7th, 8:00AM:
We are ready to pull out after enjoying Chassell's Strawberry Festival pancake breakfast, our now, traditional first stop. The two, jam packed mini vans, trailer and car are carrying the Springfield Armory/Ottawa Sportsmen's Club Junior Pistol Team. The two coaches and nine boys aged 14 to 20 are starting the first leg of the 700 mile trip to Camp Perry, Ohio, to compete in the National Pistol Matches. Their first nights destination will be the Comfort Inn near Ann Arbor, the same place where last year on their return from the Matches, one of the vans and a whole bunch of match grade pistols and competition equipment was stolen. The hotel manager has offered us a "good rate" and has reserved ground floor rooms overlooking the parking lot, with quick access to the exit for the unlikely event that we need to use it. We'll post a parking lot watch tonight.
Sunday, July 8th:
After a leisurely start and a stop at Cabela's in Dundee, we arrive at the Camp Perry military reservation at around noon. The first stop is the "Clubhouse" where we pick up the keys for the 3 huts we requested. These huts, by the way were built for Italian POWs during World War II! We lucked out by getting the ones that we requested (never a guarantee) as these ones are close to the latrine and have been somewhat refurbished with newer windows and door, T 1-11 siding and upgraded electrical. They are still very austere. The huts are furnished with 4 army cots and old mattresses, 4 hanging shelves, 3 windows, 1 light and 2 electrical outlets. The floor is original concrete complete with cracks and a year's worth of accumulated dirt. The first order of business is to set off a bug bomb in each hut, close the doors and leave to finish our check-in. We head to the In-processing area for the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) to get registered for the National Trophy Individual (NTI) and the National Trophy Team (NTT) matches. We also need to get the "Release of Liability" forms turned in along with other necessary paperwork. These procedures plus lunch at the Caliber Café takes enough time for the bug bombs to do their job, so it's back to the huts, open them up, get out the brooms and the shop-vac and get to work. The mattresses get hauled outside for a beating and cleaning, the vans, trailer and car get emptied out, the sweat starts to drip cause it's about 92 degrees, but gradually things start taking shape. Beds get made up, throw rugs go down, tables set up, refrigerators and fans plugged in ("Someone get some ice and water!") With things pretty well set up, the boys head to the Camp Perry Beach for a quick swim in Lake Erie, get cleaned up, do a quick walk through on "Commercial Row", then head to Port Clinton with coach Bob Gardner for the nightly "Kroger Run". After their return to Camp Perry, the grub, ice and drinking water are distributed among the 3 huts. Showers are taken, and things get quiet after a very busy day. In hut # 1376 are 4 of the shooting team members. Patrick Miller, son of Chris and Cindy Miller of Atlantic Mine; Jack Ladd, son of Dr. Jeff and Dena Ladd who have the Keweenaw Veterinary Clinic in Keweenaw Bay; Jesse Larson, son of Mike and Dianne Larson of Chassell and Alex Tuomi, son of Bob and Suzy Tuomi also of Chassell. Patrick, who just finished his first year as an engineering student at MTU will be competing with the team at Camp Perry for the 4th time this year. Jack who will be a Junior in Chassell this year shot in the "Made in America" match at Camp Perry last year, but only recently started shooting the .45. Jesse and Alex are also going to be Juniors at Chassell High and are competing for the first time at this huge event. Hut 1375 is occupied by Coach Bob Gardner with his (and his wife) Mary's son Calvin who also finished his Freshman year at MTU this spring, and Joe Ruohonen, son of Jay and Dorothy Ruohonen of Atlantic Mine rounding out the occupants. This is Joe's last year as a Junior competitor as he has just finished his 2nd year at Tech and is now 20 years old. In hut 1374 along with Head Coach Ron Granroth are our 3 newest shooters, all of whom are going to compete in the "Made in America" match. This event, open to young juniors under age 17 is shot "shoulder to shoulder" with all the other shooters throughout the entire National Championship series. The difference is that the youngsters in this event must shoot only a .22 caliber pistol that has been made in America, along with made in America ammunition. Coach Ron says that this is a terrific introduction to competing in "the big matches" The OSC's "Made in America" shooters are Ethan Arten, age 15, the son of Lee and Kathleen Arten of Laurium. Ethan just finished his "freshman year" of home schooling. Also in the hut are Daniel Saari, age 14, son of Gary and Carol Saari of Chassell who along with his cousin Karl Szyszkoski, age 14, son of Steve and Judy Szyszkoski also of Chassell both just finished the eighth grade.
Monday, July 9th, 07:00AM:
Although all 300 firing slots were taken by the time our entry forms made it to Camp Perry, our crew was still at the Hough Auditorium for the start of the annual "Small Arms Firing School" (SAFS). The morning session of the SAFS consists of training seminars put on by the US Army Marksmanship Unit, followed by a panel discussion featuring 3 or 4 of the top ranked military pistol marksmen willing to share all of their "secrets" with the audience. Coach Ron says that "although there may be nothing new covered by the SAFS, often an old tried and true method is explained in a way that brings a new understanding of the concept. The SAFS is great training for all levels and helps get you "into the swing and spirit" of the Nationals."
In the afternoon while the registered 300 SAFS students were on the firing line shooting the Army Issue M-9s, our crew relaxed or went shopping on Commercial Row. So much to see and buy, so little money to do it with. Naturally a trip to Commercial Row wouldn't be complete without a stop at Springfield Armory to meet and greet old and new friends. Here we have to talk a little about the fine folks at Springfield. This year we're sporting new red and black shooting shirts with our names and the "Team Springfield" logo on the front and with "Ottawa Sportsmen's Club Pistol Team" printed on the back. We are also flying the "Team Springfield" Banner during the team matches. To be frank about it, we couldn't have a Junior Pistol Team without the help that Springfield has given us in the past. That help has been in assisting us acquire their top of the line, factory made .45 pistols at an incredibly low prices, a price that they cannot build the guns for! This year, after the loss of many of our match pistols in the robbery, they called to ask how they could help. To make a long story short, they ended up building us 7 match pistols in their custom shop (and have just finished an 8th one), and letting us have them for an even lower price then what we've been paying! We're talking big money here! Their "Trophy Match" pistols (the ones we had been getting) retail for over $1,500 and their custom shop guns sell for nearly $1,900! Our price is about 16% of that! Let's face it, how many Dads or Moms do you know will pop $1,500 for a .45 for their 15 year old?? Does Springfield have to do that? Springfield is the country's premier maker of .45 Cal. Pistols and their guns are always in very high demand. They don't have to, but they do know though that if we don't support junior shooting programs now, the sport might not have a future. They are a terrific company! OK, back to the narrative.
4:30PM: Sporting our semi-dressy green polos and khakis we head to the range for the "First Shot Ceremony". 2007 marks the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Matches being held at Camp Perry, and signs of the Centennial are popping up everywhere. We find a long empty row in the bleachers for our crew and get to enjoy the music from a live Army Band as we wait for the venue to fill up with spectators and dignitaries alike. The bleachers are filled, the flag detail is at attention, a helicopter flies over and 2 paratroopers jump out, landing just out of sight. They're carrying "the Colors" which are presented to the commander and then to the flag detail. The American flag rises on its pole followed by the Ohio state flag and the CMP flag. The band plays the National Anthem, 2 F-16 Jet fighters from the Ohio Air National Guard roar overhead and the traditional First Shot Ceremony begins. After invocations and introductions, the Deputy Secretary of the Army is introduced as the First Shot speaker. His speech is stirring and mercifully short, he doffs his suit coat and puts on a shooting coat. He is handed an M14 rifle and is invited to fire the first shot of the matches. He shoots, his target at the 1,000 yard line (it's a big one) explodes, red, white and blue balloons rise up. This is the beginning, and it's awesome. Ceremony over we all head to the Clubhouse for the annual Chamber of Commerce reception. There's free food there guys, this is supper, chow down! Later we head to town for a Kroger/Wal-Mart run, plus a stop at "Andy's" for the best ice cream you can imagine.
Tuesday, July 10th:
It's "Pistol Packet Day". After breakfast (cereal, yogurt, juice and "sticky buns???" the crew heads to the Entry Office to pick up their Pistol Packet. The packet contains a couple of pages of name tag stickers, their book of score cards, an NRA Rule Book, plus other useful information concerning the National Championships. It also has everyone's "Squadding Ticket". This vital piece of paper shows what range and firing point the shooters will be on during the individual phase of the Matches. It also shows what relay they will be shooting on each day. Let me explain: The firing ranges at Camp Perry are HUGE! They consist of 4 individual ranges of 100 firing points each, all in a row. Each range has its own Tower and operates independently of each other (though they try to keep on the same schedule). The squadding ticket shows which of the 4 ranges and what firing point the shooters will be on for the rest of the week. Only 3 of the ranges are being used for competition this year to accommodate the nearly 750 competitors. Range 2 is being called the "Function" or Practice Range. It's primarily used to test the "zero" of a gun or to make sure it still functions properly after it has been worked on by one of the factory or military gunsmiths. It looks like all of our guys will be shooting on Range One for the individual competition. Now, to the "Relays". It's obvious that not all of the competitors can shoot at the same time. To solve that problem the competitors are divided into 3 groups, more or less by class. In competitive shooting you are assigned a shooting classification; Marksman, those averaging under 85 points per target, Sharpshooter, those averaging between 85 and 89.999, Expert, shooters who average from 90 to 94.999, Master, 95 - 97.999 and High Master, those scoring 98 or above per target. Our boys are all in the Marksman Class, Coach Bob is an Expert and our friend Mark Knoebel from Marquette is a High Master. At the Nationals, the Marksmen and Sharpshooters shoot as one group; the Experts (typically the largest group at the Nationals) shoot as a group; with the third group made up of the Masters and High Masters. These groups are what make up the "Relays". Now, to accommodate each relay, the matches are run at 3 different starting times. The first one starts at 07:30AM, the second starts at 09:30 and the 3rd begins at 1:00PM. The National Championship Series takes place over 4 days, starting on Wednesday with the "Preliminary Championship Match". The scores from this match do not count for the Championship but the match serves as a "dry run" for everyone from the shooters to the volunteers running the matches. It is a for the record "Registered Match". On Thursday is the "22 Cal. Match" (everyone shoots a .22 cal pistol), Friday is the "Centerfire Match" (you shoot any caliber of Centerfire pistol from .32 to .45 calibers), and Saturday is the ".45 Cal. Match" (you obviously shoot a .45 which nowadays most folks also shoot on Centerfire day). Each relay is assigned a different starting time each day, with .22 day usually being the same time as they shot the Preliminary Match. This year our guys shot the Preliminary and .22 Match at 09:30, the Centerfire Match at 07:30 and the .45 Match at 1:00PM. In this fashion everyone gets to shoot during each time frame to even out any hardships caused by weather conditions. For example, shooting conditions are usually best during the early morning session. The weather is cooler and the wind usually not as strong. The mid morning match usually is still not too bad, but the wind is often starting to be a factor. The afternoon relay is typically the toughest with high heat and sometimes even higher winds! Incidentally, the Team Matches start after the afternoon relay is finished, usually at the hottest time of day and if the wind is up, it does get interesting!
OK back to our day. Getting back to the huts, the boys get busy going through their packets and putting their stickers on each of their scorecards. After lunch it's off to the range, find your firing point and get in line for a practice session. We want them to practice on their exact firing point to get used to how it feels, the range is grass covered so each firing point is a little different from the others. It's just a little thing, but they add up. They're instructed to shoot both their .22s and .45s to make sure that they are zeroed correctly and that they function perfectly. Meanwhile, coach Ron has been to the Entry Office to pay for and get registered for the Team Matches. He takes the score cards back to the Huts and collects a page of stickers from each of the Team Shooters. Next he puts stickers on the Team scorecards, finishes up the rest of the team paperwork and brings it all back to the Entry Office to get our official squadding. We'll be shooting the Team Matches on Range 3, Targets 322 and 323. The boys, meanwhile, after returning from the range go over their equipment, cleaning guns as needed and load up their shooting chairs and gun boxes for tomorrows competition. Time to clean up and head to Nick's Roadhouse for the Team Springfield party! Springfield has invited us and their other "factory teams" to a get acquainted get-together! Half pound burgers and brats are served up with soft drinks for the boys. Remember guys, NO CAFFIENE! After dinner and a short speech by Springfield's Trade Show manager Mike Doy, everyone introduces themselves and that is followed by a "Presentation of the Banners and Shirts". Our guys and the Ohio Rifle and Pistol Association Junior team are each presented with a "Team Springfield" banner and all the Juniors get a red and black Team Springfield polo shirt. Pictures are taken, names exchanged and "good nights" are said before we head back to Camp Perry for the night.
Wednesday, July 11th, Preliminary Match Day:
It's 7:00AM. Rise and Shine guys! Time flies. Breakfast over, last minute equipment check, don't forget your scorecards! Put your stuff in the vans, it's nearly 9:00, time to head to the range. Last minute instructions from Coach Ron are "Have Fun!"
It's afternoon, everyone is back from the range, they're not too thrilled with their results. Not to worry, it's just the preliminaries. Today's match was a little different from what is to come. It consisted of shooting 3 "National Match Course" matches. First, with a .22, second with a Centerfire Pistol and third with a .45. Each National Match Course (NMC)) consists of one Slow Fire target, 10 rounds in 10 minutes at 50 yards; one Timed Fire target, two 5 shot strings in 20 seconds each at 25 yards; and one Rapid Fire Target, two 5 shot strings in 10 seconds each at 25 yards. With all of the gun and yardage changes, this match took a little longer than what the matches will. It does sound like our "made in America" kids did pretty well today. We'll check out "the Wailing Wall" later.
Lunch is "good" bread, cold cuts, cheese, yogurt, milk and juice. This is followed by a gun cleaning session. Our portable picnic table sports gun mats and cleaning kits. The "sweet smell of Hoppes" is in the air and the scrubbing has begun. More work on the Ruger barrels to get rid of the lead fouling and make sure that our .45s are spiffy clean! Close tolerance match pistols don't work very well if they're dirty. Our good friend and mentor Mark Knoebel shows up and pitches right in, showing the kids some new techniques for "getting the lead out". Mark has also purchased and installed an air conditioner in hut 1376. He has expressed concern for Ron's health and comfort. What a guy! As it turns out, he has a hut all to himself with the Michigan Rifle and Pistol Association crew. That's no fun so we invite him to take the empty bunk in 1375 with Bob, Cal & Joe. This he does and brings along another air conditioner for that hut! 1374 now gets all of the fans...it is warm down here, but being right on Lake Erie, the nights cool off enough to need a blanket to stay comfortable.
It's about 4PM and everyone heads to the "Wailing Wall" to check out today's scores. The Wailing Wall is an open, one story building, sitting near the Entry Office. The walls are the bulletin boards where all the scores for all the matches and sub matches get posted. For some shooters it's merely a place to verify what they pretty well already know, but for others, it is unfortunately, well named. For most people though, it is simply a place to satisfy their curiosity. We're pretty much in that category. Our top 2 shooters turn out to be Patrick, ranked number 32 out of 107 Marksmen and Alex at 39th place.
Evening approaches and it's time for the "Larry's Guns Barbecue". Larry Carter, the owner of Larry's Guns (a major "Ultra Dot" distributor) has also been very helpful to our team. He has supplied us with reconditioned and like new red dot electronic scopes for those of our team that are using them. In fact, this spring he shipped me 6 of the scopes which retail new for about $130 apiece. We are now equipped for at least several years. Larry, each year sponsors a catered barbecue and sells a limited number of tickets for $1 apiece. For that buck you get half of a chicken, potato salad, cole slaw, a roll and lemonade! That, plus a DJ and music makes for a fun evening. Dinner is followed by giving away door prizes donated by the various vendors at Camp Perry plus an auction for a donated, match grade, .22 cal. pistol, to raise money for junior shooting programs. This year the auction raised over $4,000!
The auction is over, time to head back to the huts, gather the dirty clothes and head to the on base Laundromat. Luckily there's only one other person there because we take over all the rest of the machines! The clothes are finally clean, folded and/or hung up, we head back to the huts. It's past our bedtime.
Thursday, July 12th, .22 Match Day:
Cloudy, humid, it's going to be a warm one. 7 o'clock boys, up and at 'em. Breakfast done, it's time for your equipment check. Make sure you have everything; score cards, at least 100 rounds of ammo, load up your magazines, let's head to the range. Don't forget, have fun.
Noontime, the shooters are back, sounds like they did OK today. The youngest boys are all fired up, they did good. They head back to the beach for a cool down. Oh- Oh! It's clouding up pretty quick. Someone hears thunder, the boys are out of the water and head back to the huts in a light rain. There's time for a little rest before the team matches start. Back in the huts it's pretty easy to tell the progress of the afternoon relay. We can easily hear the shooting and it sounds like the Timed Fire match has started. Gather up all the gear and head to Range 3 for the Team Match.
On the Range we gather at the "Assembly Line" and get our Springfield Banner set up and flying. Now we need ten targets, two Slow Fire targets and eight Timed & Rapid Fire targets (there will already be the first 2 Slow Fire targets left in place by the shooters on Relay 3). Now, who is going to shoot? We have six shooters on the Team, but only 4 shooters will shoot the match. The boys have selected our traditional method of having the 4 shooters who scored the highest in the Individual National Match Course, shoot the team match that day. We compare scores and it turns out that today's shooters will be Patrick Miller and Joe Ruohonen for the first relay and Jesse Larson and Alex Tuomi shooting the second relay. On the line, the shooters will fire the National Match Course of fire (10 rounds slow fire, 10 rounds timed fire and 10 rounds rapid fire). Everyone and I mean everyone else, gets to do whatever is necessary to support the shooters. That means getting the equipment to the firing line, setting up and checking targets, scoring the team to our left, the Puerto Rican Commonwealth team, and monitoring the scoring of our targets by the Michigan State Police team shooting on our right. Our shooters job is simply to shoot their best.
The sky has cleared up and it's bright, sunny, a little humid and hot. The weatherman said that there will be light wind this afternoon. He hasn't been to Camp Perry. It feels like the wind is around 20 mph with frequent gusts over 30 mph. Coach Ron tries futilely to act like a wind barrier and the match goes on. The 50 yard slow fire hurts us a little. 1/100" movement at the rear sight moves a bullet 3" on the target at 50 yards. It's tough to hold still in the wind. Joe ends up with a 66 and Pat does a little better with a 75. Time to move to the 25 yard line. Joe and Pat shoot a 91 and a 92-1X in the timed fire and a 92 and an 88 in the rapid fire. Next relay, it's time for Jesse and Alex to do their stuff. On the slow fire line, Jesse shoots a respectable 75 and Alex comes in with a terrific 87. In the timed fire, Jesse shoots an 83 while Alex fires a 92-2X. In the rapid fire, Jesse shoots an 89-3X and Alex finishes with an 86. We are competitive, with a team total of 1016-7X.
Now it's back to the huts. Ethan, Daniel and Karl need to clean their .22s as they'll be shooting them again tomorrow. Who is heading to the "wailing wall"? How did we do today guys? The results aren't bad. Patrick came in ranked # 17 with a score of 789-8X, Jesse was 22nd with 780-9X, Alex was 24th with 779-7X and Cal was 27th with 777-4X out of a possible 900 points. Now, all of these guys have proven themselves capable of shooting over 800 with relative ease. Why the 700s now? The answer to that is pretty easy, this is Camp Perry! Our "made in America" shooters did good too. Today it looks like Daniel led, squeaking by Ethan with Karl shooting better than his average. Good Job!
Although Ron is really looking forward to one of Bob's good meals, we get back to find out we've been invited to yet another get together. This time, some folks from Ohio have invited all the Juniors at Camp Perry, along with their sponsors over for burgers and brats. It's a "junior" event so we troop over and enjoy good company and yet more picnic food. The burgers and brats expand to include pizzas and salads with a delicious fresh fruit salad topping it off. Ron is stuffed, don't know about anyone else.
Friday, July 13th, Centerfire Match Day:
6 O'clock guys, lets hit it. Quick breakfast, equipment check - don't forget your .45 ammo and remember, have fun.
07:00AM: The boys are on the range, most are awake. Head to the target trailers and pick up your targets (9 of them).
07:15AM: From the tower. "SHOOTERS, YOU MAY MOVE YOUR EQUIPMENT TO THE FIRING LINE."
07:28AM: "ATTENTION ON THE LINE, ONE MINUTE TO COLORS." Everyone quiets down and starts looking toward the flag pole.
07:28:30: "30 SECONDS TO COLORS."
07:29AM: ..BOOM, the cannon goes off, everyone is facing the flag pole, hand salute by the uniformed military, hats off and hands over their hearts for everyone else, the STAR SPANGLED BANNER plays on the loudspeakers.
7:30AM: "ATTENTION ON THE LINE, YOUR 3 MINUTE PREPARATION PERIOD BEGINS NOW, YOU MAY OPEN YOUR GUN BOXES AND HANDLE YOUR GUNS, BUT DO NOT LOAD UNTIL THE COMMAND TO LOAD HAS BEEN GIVEN."
Following their training, the boys open their gun boxes, set their spotting scopes on their targets, put on their shooting glasses, blinders and occluder, get out their guns, check their stance to find their "natural point of aim", grip their pistols and begin to "dry fire".
7:33AM "YOUR 3 MINUTE PREP PERIOD HAS ENDED. SLOW FIRE, 10 ROUNDS IN 10 MINUTES, LOAD. IS THE LINE READY?... THE LINE IS READY, READY ON THE RIGHT, READY ON THE LEFT, READY ON THE FIRING LINE." 3 seconds later the targets turn to face the shooters and the match has started.
The sun is out, it's warming up, and the wind is already picking up. It's a beautiful day at Camp Perry.
09:30: Everyone is back. Pat says he had "feeding problems" with his gun. "Did you check your ammo before we left?" Better clean your gun again. Check your boxes guys, make sure we're ready for the team matches this afternoon. On to Commercial Row and the Springfield lounge, for some, though, it's back to bed.
2:30PM: Sounds like the 3rd relay is into the "sustained fire" part of the match. Time to head to the range. The weather is bright and the wind is really blowing now. It should be an interesting match. Shooting today are Joe and Cal on the first relay with Jesse and Alex shooting last. Bob coaches on the line today, he's a better wind barrier. Wow, it happened again, there are "wind flags", big red pendants on both ends of the range and they are pointing at each other! That should make the shooting interesting.
Well, it looks like the wind was a little too strong for Joe and Cal as they turned in identical scores of 208-2X each. Jesse and Alex both do better with scores of 231-1X and 248-4X respectively. Alex shot an outstanding 97-4X in the timed fire phase. The team total ends up being 895-9X. Checking the scores at the wailing wall on the way back to the huts, it looks like Alex was our top individual shooter today, coming in at 29th place with an individual score of 738-14X. Ethan is pumped as he got past Daniel, winning today's made in America competition. The team competition though, shows us in pretty tough shape. Ohio is ahead of us, as is the Texas Junior team.
Finally we get to eat some of Bob's good cooking! Bob serves up grilled, marinated chicken breast, rice and vegetables to the hungry crew. Delicious! It's time to get the dishes done, clean the guns and head to town for the Kroger/Andy's (ice cream) run.
Saturday, July 14th, .45 Match day:
The kids mostly sleep in this morning. We're not shooting until this afternoon. Get your shopping finished today guys, we leave tomorrow. "ALREADY?" Where has the time gone?
Noon: Let's get the vans parked over by Range 3 so we'll be sure to have a parking place for the team matches. You can pick your equipment up from there when you head to the range. Yes, you'll have to carry it all the way down to range one. 12:30, better get down there, the match starts at 1 O'clock. The weather this afternoon is in the 80s, with fairly light and variable winds. Not bad.
2:45PM: Everyone is at range 3 waiting for the team matches to start. It seems that no one is very thrilled with the scores from the Individual match. Shooting for the team today will be Patrick and Cal on the first relay and Jesse and Alex shooting second.
When it's all done, Pat & Cal have scored a 224 and 207-2X with Jesse and Alex leading them with scores of 226-1X and 228-1X for a team total of 885-3X. It doesn't look good for the Junior Championship. At the wailing wall it's confirmed, with Ohio named the 2007 National Champion Junior team. It's OK guys, you did your best, besides it looks like we did end up winning the .22 and .45 match in the "Open Club/Svc" category! We won't be getting on the stage tonight, but we can still hold our heads up high. In the individual .45 match, it looks like most everyone in our class shot lower scores than yesterday. Alex again leads our guys with a 28th place finish followed by Jesse at 39th. In the overall Aggregate of the whole series, the new National Champion is once again, GySgt. Brian Zinns, USMC with a total score of 2640-115X (2700 possible). It doesn't look like either the wind or Camp Perry match pressure bothered him. Our crew finished up as follows: Alex, in 24th place with a score of 2196-25X, Patrick in 38th with 2142-25X, Calvin in 44th with 2125-12X, Joe in 46th with 2118-19X, Jesse in 49th with 2101-28X and finally, Jack with a 93rd place finish and a score of 1768-7X. Although Jack isn't ranked very high, we're proud of his results, especially seeing he only has about 1 month of shooting his .45. Besides that, acting as our team Captain, he did a great job throughout the matches. Coaches note: We've got to work hard to get control of the effects of match pressure before the next shooting season.
Finally, our "Made in America" match shooters. Karl out shot his average and came in 5th with a score of 1694-7X, Daniel, after winning the first phase, ended up 3rd scoring 2046-17X and the Match Winner is our own Ethan Arten! Outstanding! Ethan finished with a score of 2106-22X.
Back to the huts. Bob is cooking again tonight. Pork chops, sweet potatoes and rice. Delicious. OK, clean it up, we need to get ready for the awards ceremony.
Looking good in our green, Ottawa Sportsmen's Club dress shirts and khakis, we file into the auditorium to give honor to this year's champions. Some of the presenters themselves are legends of the sport and others are honored dignitaries. Most important of all though, are all of the people getting awards, the National Champion, the Civilian Champion, the Women's Champion and the Junior Champion, a young man named Anton Silva from California who claims his title for the second time. There are numerous other categories with winners, along with all of the Champion Teams. It takes a couple of hours to go through them all, but it's worth it. After the ceremony, the OSC Pistol Team follows one more tradition, and heads to Andy's for a last taste of "group tightener" ice cream.
Sunday, July 15th, The National Trophy Matches:
The National Trophy Individual and Team Matches, plus the "Presidents 100" Match are known as "Excellence in Competition" (EIC) matches or "Service Pistol Matches". Shooters who enter must shoot either the traditional 1911 or 1911A1, .45 Cal. Service Pistol, with 230 grain Full Metal Jacket ("hardball") ammunition, or the M-9 or civilian version such as the Berretta 92. They also must use "Full Metal Jacket" round nose, 115 or 124 grain bullets. The guns must have "open sights" (no scopes), must look like the pistol used by the Military and have a trigger weight of a minimum of 4 lbs. Youngsters in the Junior NTI may shoot a .22 cal. Pistol. In the Junior NTI, Joe and Pat are shooting our new .45 cal, 1911A1, hardball guns, while the rest of the boys shoot .22s. The morning has the team on the firing line while Ron stays behind to turn in the keys and "check out" before the 10:00AM deadline. That finished, he starts the tedious job of packing. It's slow going until the boys get back. OK, it looks like everyone's back. Pack it up guys, scientifically, cause it looks like we have more than what we came with!
A couple of hours later and the job is done. The vans, trailer and car are all packed up. Make sure you leave your overnight bags and a set of dress clothes handy. Last good byes are said, one more trip to the wailing wall for the NTI results and we'll be on the road. At "the wall", it looks like Heather Deppe won the Junior NTI. Jesse came in 5th with a score of 264-6X, Ethan was 7th with a 259-5X and Alex was 8th with a 256-4X. In the team matches, our "22A" team of Jack Ladd, captain and shooters Alex and Jesse finished in 3rd place. OK it's time to hit the road and head to Ann Arbor.
We check in at the Comfort Inn at around 3 PM and head right to the pool and Jacuzzi. "Ohhh, I needed this" says the Coach. 6:30PM: We're all dressed up and at the "Smokehouse Blues" for some delicious ribs and camaraderie. Bob's son Sam who's down here doing some work for his aunt shows up. Sam was part of our National Champion team and is a great addition to the party. All done eating, it's back to the hotel and the Jacuzzi, set up the night watch rotation, and hit the sack. It's a long drive tomorrow.
Monday, July 16th, 09:00AM:
We leave Ann Arbor and about 11 hours later pull into the Granroth's driveway in Chassell. Vehicles get unloaded, stuff gets sorted out, parents arrive, Good Byes and Good Jobs are said. Whew, I'm really bushed. Good Night.
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