2019 NJ State Shoot Article
2019 New Jersey State Shoot

Ben Galioto, 28 Gauge, 410 Bore, Doubles & HOA Champion

John Zema, 12 Gauge Champion

Paul Billings, 20 Gauge Champion

For 2019 the New Jersey State Shoot rotated back to Pine Belt Sportsman’s Club. As promised, Russell Paul had those machines tuned and targets flying on a string while his good friend Scotty prepped the facility for our state shoot. Shooters were treated to some of the best targets in the Northeast and terrific referees. This year our State Champions won beautiful duck decoys, each one being a different specie. The tournament started on Friday July 26th with the Doubles event and Ben Galioto’s 94 earned him his second career Doubles Championship and a beautiful Pin-Tail duck. John Zema’s 93 iced A1, Russell Paul won B1, Tommy Surman won C1 and Jimmy Luts took D1.

The weather on Saturday morning was literally perfect for the 12 gauge event. John Zema and Florham Park’s Dr. Robert Vrablik both shot 99’s. After an intense but short shoot-off Zema won his 8th state championship and a gorgeous Mallard decoy! But more importantly, John’s 12 gauge title earned him an induction into the prestigious Grand Slam fraternity by winning at least one state championship in every event. Only four other shooters have achieved this goal in NJ Skeet history, Gorge DeSanto-Joe Luciano-Russell Paul-Ben Galioto. Our 12 gauge class winners were Ben Galioto AA1, Ricky “Bags” Bagni crushed 98 targets to take A1, Mike Costello took C1, Bruce Gordon’s 96 iced D1 and Robert Madosky took E1.

On Saturday afternoon the weather remained perfect for the 28 gauge and both Leo Nebbia and Ben Galioto made their way to the shoot-off field after breaking two solid 98’s. A beautiful Canvasback decoy made Ben Galioto bear down and win his third 28ga State Title. Class winners were Robert Vrablik who blasted a 96 to claim B1, Jim Luts shot a 93 to take B1, Tommy Surman pounded 93 targets into submission to claim D1.

On Saturday evening’s social hour, NJSSA hosted a delicious catered dinner with desert for shooters and staff. A good time was had by all!

The weather got a little warmer on Sunday, but this did not deter Paul Billings from shooting a hard earned 98 and winning his 6th State Title. Paul also won a stunning American Wigeon decoy. Class winners were Ben Galioto AA1, Joe Hall’s 97 earned him A1, Bruce Gordon was red hot, breaking a solid 97 and winning B1, Tony Viel’s 95 earned him C1 and Robert Madosky took D1.

Coming down the home stretch and heading into the 410 event, both John Zema and Ben Galioto were locked in a dead heat. Ben Galioto shot a 95 in the little gun winning his third career 410 Championship and a lovely Bufflehead decoy. John Zema’s 94 took A1, Leo Nebbia’s 94 secured B1, Bruce Gordon won C1 and Robert Madosky won D1.

This year, the HOA Title and a beautiful Wood Duck decoy went to Ben Galioto with a 387. This is Ben’s 16th career State Championship. It’s also Ben’s 4th consecutive HOA Championship which set a new NJ State record. John Zema’s 386 won the HOA RU and lovely Wood duck decoy. Class winners were Leo Nebbia A1, Robert Vrablik B1, Michael Costello C1, North Jersey’s Howie Mann won C1 and a dialed in Robert Madosky took D1.

A special thank you to all the officers whose hard work throughout the year made this state shoot possible. Thank you to Ed Amaty who pulled out of the shoot to referee the entire weekend. Our other two referees, Mark Bricker and Sophia Galioto did a superb job, thank you! NSSA & NJSSA Hall of Famer Holly Paul stepped up big time and ran our shoot, thank you!! Robert Madosky provided us with some very cool shooting shirts, thank you for your generosity. A special thank you to our membership for coming and participating in this year’s NJ State Championship. We look forward to seeing you next year!