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Randolph County Herald Tribune - Chester, IL
  • SCTP Nationals not returning to Sparta

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  • The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) has announced that the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) and Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP) National Championships will be conducted at the Ohio-based Cardinal Shooting Center.

    The SSSF has signed a three-year agreement with the Cardinal Shooting Center to hold its annual July championships from 2017-2019. The agreement was announced Dec. 16 and this year’s event will be held July 8-15.

    “We are very pleased to be working with the Cardinal Shooting Center for the next three years,” said Ben Berka, president and executive director for the SSSF, in a news release. “The staff at Cardinal worked very hard to accommodate our 2016 National event and met near-impossible deadlines to expand range infrastructure, proving their commitment to our teams and families.

    “We are looking forward to continuing the tradition of providing first class championship events for our SCTP and SASP teams in central Ohio.”

    The SCTP National Champions were previously conducted at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta, but the SCTP announced in February it was moving the event to Ohio due to Illinois’s unresolved state budget issues that led the WSRC to be closed to shooting sports.

    The Amateur Trapshooting Association and Illinois Department of Natural Resources worked out a deal to reopen the complex for limited shooting in April, ensuring the ATA’s signature Grand American and AIM events would remain at the WSRC.

    Previously, ATA Executive Director Lynn Gipson stated the SCTP had a year left on its contract with the state on conducting the Nationals at the WSRC.

    “We’re disappointed, of course, for the complex,” Gipson said. “It was kinda expected I guess. I don’t know what (the SCTP’s) arrangement is with the state.

    “I thought (SCTP) had a year left and I don’t know how they negotiated that.”

    Moving forward, Gipson said the ATA would continue to grow its AIM shoot - which brings roughly 1,500 to 2,000 participants to the area - and prepare for the upcoming U.S. Open shoot May 31 to June 4.

    “We hope to have 500 shooters (for the U.S. Open),” Gipson said. “We’ll start trying to build that one up too.”

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