2017 NJ State Shoot Article


By Ben Galioto

The 2017 New Jersey State Shoot began on August 4th, on a beautiful, sunny. but very windy (15mph) day. The first event was doubles and Ben Galioto’s 95 was enough to win him his first doubles title. Class winners were as follows: Russell Paul won A1. Rick Bagni and Dick Lukasik entertained everyone by going toe-to-toe for 10 stations before Rick finally won B1. Bruce Gordon took C1 and Nick Pino won D1.

On Saturday morning we shot the 12 gauge event. We had overcast skies, but the wind refused to lighten up. Ricky “Bags” Bagni took Friday’s momentum and grinded out a hard earned 98, taking the 12-gauge title. One target behind, Ben Galioto won AA1. Bob Clark and Holly Paul settled A1 by making their way to the shoot-off field. After several stations, Bob Clark emerged as the winner. Bob Vrablik not only shot great, he also won his shoot-off to take B1, Jimmy Hilton took C1, Howard Mann had to shoot a 96 to take D1, and upcoming superstar Angelina D’Aquanno won E1.

On Saturday afternoon, the sun peeked through the clouds, but the wind picked up a bit for the 28-gauge. Ben Galioto allowed one bird to slip away, but his 99 was enough to win the State Title. Class winners were Leo Nebbia AA1, Holly Paul shot a solid 98 to capture A1, Paul Billings took B1, Anthony Veil nailed down C1 and Howard Mann reeled in D1.

Dinner was served on Saturday evening in the clubhouse, and attendees were treated to a terrific NY strip steak served with salad, baked potato and vegetable. A good time was had by all. A special thank you to Nick Pino for organizing the dinner!

The weather improved significantly for Sunday. Ben Galioto, who had missed very early in the first round, went into damage control mode to preserve a 99, which was good enough to win the 20-gauge Title. Class winners were Pete Worthmann who won AA1, Ricky Bagni A1, Paul Billings edged out Nick Pino to take B1, Anthony Viel shot extremely well to take C1 and Angelina D’Aquanno beat out 5 other shooters to take D1.

The final event was the 410, and Paul Billings put together four remarkable rounds to shoot a 98, a personal best to clinch his 5th career State Title. Great shooting Paul!! John Zema shot his first targets all year to take A1 with a respectable 96, Jay Taylor took B1, Tom Surman won C1, and in a four way shoot-off, Howie Mann outlasted Richard Gentile for D1.

The 2017 HOA Champion was Ben Galioto with a 390x400. This was Ben’s 10th career State Title. The HOA Runner-Up was Paul Billings, and class HOA winners were Pete Worthmann A1, Rick Bagni B1, Nick Pino C1, Howie Mann D1 and Angelina D’Aquanno put an exclamation on a great weekend by taking E1.

I would like to thank the 2017 Officers, Nick Pino-Treasurer, Russell Paul-Secretary and Paul Billings-Vice President. Their hard work and dedication made this year’s State Shoot not only possible, but also a success. I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to our referees, Sophia Galioto, Mark Bricker and Hank Bauer, who were sharp, consistent and reliable the entire weekend. I would also like to thank Kevin Dawkins, our skeet administrator, for running a flawless shoot. Finally, a special thank you goes out to everyone who participated in our shoot. We look forward to making our 2018 NJ State Shoot an even greater success!