NEWPORT -- United Christian Academy's sixth annual Rootin, Tootin, Shootin Clay Pigeon shoot-out took place on Sept. 21 at Ron Steven's field on Route 111. The windy day made it a very challenging event, but the shooters were up for it. It was much like hunting partridge, for you had no idea which way the clay pigeon would fly.
Although none were able to hit all 25 birds, a number of shooters scored 20 and above and were eligible to win the prize of a 270 Camo stock with a 3-9 power scope. That prize went to Dan Lyon who also won the $25 gift certificate from Wright's Sporting Goods for high score at the .22 shoot.
The doubles shoot was won by Bob Quirion with the prize being a single shot Partner 12 Gauge Shotgun. Top shot in the women's category went to Jill Czelusta with a score of 17 hits, coupled her score at the .22 shoot. Mrs. Cz, as she is called at UCA, is in her 12th year teaching upper school science and math. "I actually just came to watch my son shoot. I never thought I would walk away with a Top Shot sweatshirt!"
Cole Hosford, a sixth grader at UCA, won the student division. The 11-year-old from Newport hit 20 out of 25 clays to earn the Top Shot Sweatshirt and he also received a $25 gift certificate at Wright's Sporting Goods Store for the highest score on the .22 shoot.
The final gun winner was chosen from among all who had sponsors of $250 and above. The Weatherby 12 Gauge Pump was awarded to John Genco. The chili cook-off trophy went to Pastor Glenn Saaman.
The shoot-out was organized and run by Ron Stevens, John Stevens, Dan Lyon, Rick LaRose and John Genco. Many others made the event a success, including the sponsors who gifted United Christian Academy; the Derby Corner Store for food supplied; Jamie Roy for soda and water; Ron Wright for his gifts and helping hand with the purchase of guns and ammo; and Taplins for the use of a Porta Potty. Many shooters made it an exciting day, and the chili makers provided great tasting chili.
Jill Czelusta's son, Capt. Zeph Czelusta,k attended the shoot. He just returned from a 17-month tour in Afghanistan. He is an intelligence officer with the Wyoming National Guard, but served in multiple capacities with Army Special Operations and DEA task forces (CIASOTF-A, NCOCC-A and ATFC). He will be returning to Cheyenne, Wyom. after a couple weeks in Vermont.
United Christian Academy, located in Newport, is a K-12 Christian School. UCA is a member of the Association of Christian Schools International and is a Recognized Independent School by the Vermont Department of Education. For more information about the school or next year's shoot, call 334-3112.