LB shooters do well at amateur championships

sports@losbanosenterprise.comJuly 4, 2013 

A baker's dozen of local trap shooters traveled to the Amateur Trap Association's state championships last weekend in Kingsburg, with a few bringing home hardware.

While not shooting under the flag of the Los Banos Tigers Trap Team, which competes in the CYSSA, the shooters made their way to Kingsburg on their own.

Mark Barcellos took first in the sub-junior singles category by hitting 197 of 200 targets on Saturday to beat fellow LB Tigers Justin Cozzi and Jared Crist, Logan Engelman took first in the junior division singles after shooting 199 of 200, then scoring a perfect 25 three times in a shoot-off with Logan Mountain, and Matthew Spankowski's 193 was good for the D-Class singles championship, beating out Scott Crist by three targets.

In addition, D.J. Mello's 385 high all-around score in the junior division was good enough to force another shoot-off with Mountain for first place. Mountain won by a single target.

"This kid Logan Mountain is a machine," said Darrell Mello, D.J.'s father and coach. "He's in Trap and Field Magazine all the time, he was last year's state champion for singles and doubles. He's no slouch.

"Actually, that was his second shoot-off," Mello said. "He was also in teh shoot-off for the doubles championship, and ended up fourth. That was a shoot-off with another phenomenal shooter."

Spankowski also received an overall award, placing third in the sub-junior high overall standings, an award which superceded his class finish.

The tournament consisted of 100 doubles and 100 handicap targets on Friday, 200 singles targets on Saturday and another 100-target handicap event on Sunday. Parent Jackie Vance estimated there were about 425 shooters on Saturday, and more than 500 on Sunday.

Matthew Spankowski's 374 left him in a tie for first in the D-Class high all-around standings.

LB's Justin Cozzi and Jared Crist both shot 196 in the B-Class singles event, and had to shoot off for second place. The event was significant for Cozzi — the 12-year-old, having never shot 50 straight, reeled off a streak that stretched past 50, past 75 and even past 100. By the time he missed a target, he was at 135 straight, as his brother Jarod was trying to concentrate down the line.

"Jarod was more nervous for his little brother," Vance said. "He was saying, 'I couldn't concentrate on my own shots.' They all get excited for each other."

Other LB shooters included Aaron Baumgartner (196 in singles, 89 in doubles, 94 in handicap), Thomas Gann (174 in singles), Jonathon Pinto (187 in singles, 91 in doubles, 87 in handicap and 91 in the other handicap), Derek Worrell (184 in singles, 90 in doubles, 93 in handicap and 90 in the other handicap) and Hunter Vance (180 in singles, 92 in doubles, 94 in handicap and 90 in the other handicap).

Former LB Tigers shooter Alex Reta, who is too old to compete in the CYSSA, shot a 197 in the singles event.

The next stop for the Tigers is the U.S. Open in July, but the team's plans for the national youth shoot in Sparta, Ill. is up in the air due to financing. The team is holding a drive-through linguica dinner on Monday. Details: D.J. Barcellos at (209) 587-1605 or Darrell Mello at (209) 675-2299.

Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at sports@losbanosenterprise.com

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