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posted Sep 10, 2014, 1:38 PM by Henry Duwe
By Lee Thomas

Green Bay, Wisconsin—Michael Peterson continued his winning streak by being the top gun at the Wisconsin State Skeet Championships for the fourth straight year. In 2010 Peterson won the HOA by three birds but lost the HAA by one bird.  Starting in 2011 he has been Wisconsin’s top gun for four years consecutive years. This year at Brown County Sportsman’s Club Peterson posted an HOA score of 394 and an HAA score of 492 to win the 81st championships uncontested.  Matthew Riffe was HOA runner up, and HOA 3rd went to Matt Savolainen.  HOA class winners included:  AA-1 Gary Wipperfurth, A1 James Decker, B1 Donald Kelly, C1 Mike Hass, and D1 Allen Opal.  Wisconsin’s first skeet championships were held in 1929 at Jim Clark’s Trap and Skeet Club in Milwaukee.

The Green Bay Packers were playing their first preseason football game Friday night at Lambeau Field. But before the Packers took the field for the 7PM game, Wisconsin’s skeet shooters were preparing to take the fields for Doubles competition.  Forty-five shooters navigated the construction detours and narrow lanes to shoot Doubles Friday afternoon. Mike Peterson posted a 98 to seal the deal as champion.   Matthew Riffe and Matt Savolainen shot off a pair of 97’s with Riffe earning RU.  Savolainen got 3rd.  In Class A Jim Decker and Phil Plesetz tied with 95’s.  Decker won the shoot off taking Class A1 with Plesetz getting A2. Gary Wipperfurth was A3.  Class B1 was Jeff Renk, C1 was Mike Haas, Michael Miller took D1 and Bill Schultz D3.

I don’t know which event or gun shooters grumble about the most, .410 or Doubles.  Most shooters would rather not shoot Doubles and then there are guys like Peterson, Riffe, Savolainen and Wipperfurth who are really good at it. Kenny Schmirler said to me “how did doubles go for you?” I said “they went.”  He responded “Just remember doubles really isn’t skeet shooting.”  But even the shooters who don’t like Doubles know you have to shoot them if are competing for the five gun High Overall score.  Like the .410 you have to work at shooting doubles and that means practice, practice and practice. 

12 Gauge
Early Saturday morning everyone was up with a bang and ready to engage the 12 gauge.  Fifty-four shooters took to the fields. The skies were overcast and the morning had the makings of a hot and muggy day.  Now everyone remembers how long, hard and cold last winter was so no one dared to say a word about the heat and humidity.

Gary Wipperfurth, Mike Hass and Mike Peterson got them all for a perfect score of 100. Wipperfurth lasted longer in the shoot off with Peterson to take AA CH with AARU going to Peterson and 3rd going to Hass.  Mark Reichow and Matt Riffe shot off a pair of 99’s.  Reichow took AA1 with AA2 going to Riffe.  Gary Wehlage and Pete Lorge tied with 98’s.  Wehlage took A1 with A2 going to Lorge.  Class B1 was Don Kelly, Bob St Clair was C1, and Bill Schultz won D1. Class E Shylah Reigstad shot an 84 to E1.   This was Shylah first time shooting registered targets.  Shylah also shot her first 25 straight in the 12 gauge event by running her second box.  And she did it by shooting this event with a 28 gauge gun. 

20 Gauge
While there were no perfect scores in the 20 gauge event there were five 99’s and ten 98’s.  When the smoke cleared from the 99’s Phil Plesetz emerged as Champion and David Ruokolainen was Runner Up. Matt Savolainen took AA1; AA2 went to Mike Peterson, and Joe Schweppe took 3rd and Sarah Beasland took AA3/LYCH.  A1 was awarded to David Savolainen, Ron Duffy was top gun in Class B while Jerry Van Pelt took C1, and Scott Shallow took Class D1.

28 Gauge
Sunday morning’s first rotation for the 28 gauge saw overcast skies that looked like the clouds were going to open up and rain was going to come down in buckets.  But instead, the wind blew with a determination that pushed the low house so low to the ground that you needed a nine iron instead of number nine shot.  The high house was up with the geese that were flying in a “V” formation southwardly.  Two shooters had perfect scores, Matt Savolainen and Jim Decker with Savolainen emerging as champion and Decker as RU.  Michael Peterson took 3rd after, Pete Lorge was AA1, Matthew Riffe was AA2 and Phil Plesetz took AA3.  David Ruokolainen won A1, B1 went Gary Wehlage, and Larry Pentler took D1. 


The 410 and skeet shooters may be associates but have never been close friends.   Nevertheless, forty-nine shooters took to the fields with their little gun.  Some with tubes, some without; some with high ribs that looked like a bridge structure and some that looked like a broom handle.  By shooting time the skies were sunny and it was hot and muggy like Friday’s Doubles.  Eddie Korando posted a 97 to earn the championship spot outright with Michael Peterson winning RU, David Ruokolainen 3rd, Matthew Riffe AA1, Jim Decker AA2 and Pete Lorge AA3.  A1 was Paul Friesen, Andy Korando took the top spot in Class B, C1 went to Mike Hass, and Al Opal was D1.