After our amazing start of the season in May, we have a long time ago decided we will finish the season on the same happy note: with the LTS Games. After long and numerous conversations we decided to have it open for everyone and with the summer being as non-summery as possible we pushed the whole event right where it should have been: the very last weekend of August.

We prayed hard for nice weather (I suspect we had one nice weekend over the summer: the Provincials’ one) and we started to get ready about a month in advance. Posters went up, word of mouth was spread, lists were made, more lists were made, friends asked how they can contribute, more lists were made and finally the eve of the Games downed upon us.

With the weather forecast getting a bit better (from 100% rain to 80% down to 60% the night before), Dan and Florin proceeded on a bitterly cold and cloudy afternoon to the club, to at least get some tents up, tarp & all… just in case the sunshine boy (aka as Matthew) couldn’t save the day.

Luckily enough (strange way to define your luck!) it poured Friday night – and you won’t believe it: the moment Florin entered the house the sky opened. Of course, we kept praying through the night… and after a mere 3-4 hours of sleep the morning came and I have to be honest: I was completely afraid to open my eyes and check the light… sure enough, when I summoned enough courage I was greeted by gray clouds. My only hope was the temperature – which was decently above 17 and gave me hope for the rest of the day.

Having just a few hours of sleep meant I had trouble getting everyone ready in time, so we pulled into the west side later than we wanted… and what a sight! All our covered area was flooded! We will not be soaked from above; we would be soaked from the ground… Trapshooters being outdoor people when someone wished we had a shovel ideas started to flow and in moments we had a team literarily digging a trench, a team pushing water with all our means, while Perry smartly went on the other side and returned with all the shovels he could gather. In about half an hour, someone else smartly mentioned we could have moved the white tent… yes, it would have been easier if we would have had enough people in the beginning… now, the area where the tent could have been moved was half-flooded as well so we kept brushing the water down the nice trench. Plus – the kids were so happy to help with building the dam, and splashing in their own ‘Lake Ontario’… Taking pity on us, dear Ken came with the tractor from the other side and dumped 3 loads of gravel – saved by Ken! We now had clean and nice grounds and when people start trickling in were all exclaiming ‘What wonderful luck to have no rain’… yeah… lucky…

But, hey, that’s how teams are built, isn’t it? Not that our team needed more building, we were doing great before 🙂

Anyhow, that’s how we’ll probably remember our first Summer Games: as the Flooded Games!

And what do you know? By the time everyone pulled in and our grounds were ‘steppable’ again even the sun started to shine above us! Saved again by Matthew!

With all the excitement we couldn’t really start when we had planned but nobody was in a real rush, so we proceeded nicely to shoot the first event – 50 singles. We had 4 full squads, 3 of the LTS athletes, and 1 of our supporters, friends, or parents. The forecast kept most the non-LTS trapshooters away from the range, and it wasn’t much we could do about that. The second event went by as smoothly as the first one – with the non-LTS athletes having probably their most fun, as almost none of them ever shot handicap!

And now, with the competition well behind us, we could continue the fun. And so we did: first, we had our hat ceremony for all the first 25 and first 50, followed by the trophies and awards ceremony. We cut the cake for our coach (no, I did not take pictures of the cake when I made it so I cannot show you the beauty!), we presented the 8 trophies and the 2 special awards. I can tell you none of the winners expected to win (maybe Phil had a slight idea) and you could see the surprise on their faces.

Ok, Ok, no more suspense, here is the list:

  • Open Champion: Dwight Cowan
  • Open R/U – Matt Ciufo
  • Open 3rd – Dorin Stanciu (with his personal best in singles, shot with his duck shotgun!)
  • LTS Champion: Phil MacDonald
  • LTS R/U: Alireza Aliabadi
  • LTS Junior: Chloe MacDonald
  • LTS New Shooter: Alex Lazich
  • LTS Lady: Sacha Kucey
  • ‘Dwight Cowan’ Trapshooting Excellence award: Matthew VanHaaren (for dedication and commitment) & Alex Lazich (for the most improved new shooter)

Congratulations to all winners!

And congratulations to everyone – as I was saying in a previous entry, we are grateful for all your support!

The day was not done and almost nobody wanted to leave – and for good reasons, we still had to play the games. We proceeded to a Buddy shoot with our own rules (after 10 shots at 16 yards we moved everyone to 20 yards, the teams were most of them still equal). After all that fun, everyone was still ready for more target smoking, so we had a shoot-out at 27 yards. Now imagine all our 19-20 yarders focusing hard at 27 yards! And imagine a few of them going on for 5 targets! Next year we’ll have to have trophies for the games as well 🙂

I believe everyone had lots of fun and we had a successful end of the season get-together.

In a few days the 2010 target year starts – and with it new hopes, new goals, new wishes. Remember to set your goals appropriately – it is all well to aim for the moon if you understand that just landing among the stars is as good. If you need to reach your goal to be happy, make sure your goal is reachable. And make sure your goal is performance-related, not results-related. Your results will go up and down (there is only one Dave Shaeffer), but your performance should be (like Dan figured it out) a steady slow climb. It’s performance you want to improve – and the results will improve automatically. Always remember: it’s better to have 23 smokes than 25 chips… always!

And how do we get the smokes? Oh, com’on, you should know by now: SEE, SMOOTH, SMOKE… ONE!


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