2022 Texas State Smallbore Silhouette Championships

USA SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – The 2022 Texas State Smallbore Silhouette Championships, held on November 12th-13th of 2022, finished up the last smallbore silhouette championship match of our season in style! As you can see from the group photo, we had a great turnout with 46 shooters coming from Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Coahuila (Mexico) and Nuevo León (Mexico). Match Director Emmett Dibble also had the Bayou Rifles Addicks Range in great shape in the days prior to the match.

Practice was available on Friday from 10:00 am till dark. Saturday was the Smallbore Hunter Rifle Championship consisting of (2) 40-shot matches to determine the champion. Sunday concluded with the Smallbore Standard Rifle Championship consisting of only (1) 40-shot match, truncated to get people back on the road home early.

Smallbore Hunter Rifle Championship

For Saturday’s (2) hunter rifle matches, shooters had to fight through tough conditions with temperatures between 40-50° F and 10-20 mph gusting winds from left to right. A far cry from conditions on Friday’s practice day when it was a balmy 80° F.

Leading off the 1st match, Enrique Kuess (first time shooting at Bayou Rifles) had a blistering 36/40 considering the conditions. Dustin Flint was 2nd Master with a very fine 34/40 and Gabriel Villarreal 3rd Master at 30/40. A special shoutout to junior shooter Kaeli Bourgoyne shooting a 34/40 in AAA class.

Conditions worsened for the 2nd match with Dustin Flint and Pepe Valdes leading the way with two very respectable scores of 32/40. Daniel Salazar and Chris Cawthorne followed closely with both shooting 31/40. Once again, the juniors would shine through with Aiden Cole shooting a 33/40 in AAA class!

When the dust settled, Dustin’s usual consistency won him the Texas State Smallbore Silhouette Hunter Rifle Championship with an aggregate score of 66/80. Congratulations to Dustin Flint and spotter Jerry Tureau for excellent shooting/spotting in very tough conditions!

We would like to also congratulate our smallbore hunter rifle class award winners as follows:

1st Master – Enrique Kuess (63/80)

2nd Master – Chris Cawthorne (58/80)

3rd Master – Jason Stine (57/80)

1st AAA – Kaeli Burgoyne (61/80)

2nd AAA – Michelle Carpentier (57/80)

3rd AAA – Aiden Cole (57/80)

1st AA – Dominic DeBenedetto (45/80

2nd AA – Kimbal Markwardt (43/80)

3rd AA – Kenli Dumas (41/80)

1st A – Jaci Daigle (31/80)

2nd A – Thane Templat (28/80)

3rd A – David Salazar (26/80)

1st B – Mark Vail (21/80)

2nd B – Mario Herrera (20/80)

3rd B – Nathan DeBenedetto (11/80)

Smallbore Standard Rifle Championship

Sunday’s 40-shot Standard Rifle Championship was also very weather challenged! The temperatures did not improve from Saturday and “just for fun” nature completely flipped the 10-20 mph wind direction from right to left. Even the Bayou Rifles shooters had not seen conditions like this in a very long time due to a northern cold front moving in on Friday night. Many of us are convinced Kimbal Markwardt brought the weather with him from Dallas.

Bayou Rifles Standard Rifle Firing Line

Dustin Flint proved to be unbeatable in Sunday’s match with a blistering 36/40 in spite another tough day of weather conditions. Once again, Jerry Tureau proved his spotting capability for Dustin! This gave Dustin Flint the Texas State Smallbore Standard Rifle Championship as this was only a 40-shot aggregate. Once again Congratulations to Dustin and Jerry for some fine shooting/spotting!

Gabriel Villarreal pushed Dustin hard on his last day, but finished just short with an excellent score of 35/40. Jake Stine (Master Class) and Kaeli Bourgoyne (AAA) came right behind with twin scores of 33/40. Kaeli Bourgoyne has now joined Jake Stine in showing these juniors are a force to be reckoned with.

We would like to congratulate all of our smallbore standard rifle class award winners as follows:

1st Master – Gabriel Villarreal (35/40)

2nd Master – Jake Stine (33/40)

3rd Master – Enrique Kuess (32/40)

1st AAA – Kaeli Burgoyne (33/40)

2nd AAA – Micah Waguespack (30/40)

3rd AAA – Reese Burnett (29/40)

1st AA – Dominic DeBenedetto (30/40)

2nd AA – Kenli Dumas (26/40)

3rd AA – Chris Hamm (24/40)

1st A – Thane Templat (19/40)

2nd A – Vern Eaton (18/40)

3rd A – Jaci Daigle (16/40)

1st B – David Salazar (14/40)

2nd B – Nathan DeBenedetto (13/40)

3rd B – Mario Herrera (10/40)

Texas State SB Silhouette Aggregate Champion

Dustin clinched the 2022 Texas State Smallbore Silhouette Aggregate Championship, sweeping both the Smallbore Hunter Rifle Championship and the Smallbore Standard rifle Championship with a total score of 102/120. As the aggregate champion, Dustin also returns home to Baton Rouge with the Texas Smallbore Silhouette Top Gun Traveling Trophy. Congratulations to Dustin Flint for his outstanding performance!

Enrique Kuess came in 2nd in the overall aggregate with a score of 96/120. Junior shooter Kaeli Burgoyne came in 3rd overall with a score of 94/120 and did this within AAA class. Way to go Kaeli! With the tough weather conditions, consistency proved crucial and these three shooters dealt best with the conditions over the whole weekend. From all of us at Bayou Rifles, we congratulate all three of you on your fine shooting!

High Animal Count & the Grand Pooh-Bah Awards

High Animal Count Awards:

Match Director Emmett Dibble introduced actual High Animal Count Awards for chickens, pigs, turkeys and rams to go along with aggregate awards. This is something Mexico silhouette matches do on a regular basis and consider them a high honor equal to the aggregate awards. Several USA shooters competing at the 2022 Monarch Cup in Saltillo in September won high animal count trophies.

At many of our Texas/Louisiana championship matches, we have optional side bets for high animal counts where the “risk takers” pony up $10 with the winners taking home an envelope full of cash. Typically, high ram and turkey count cash for the top master/ AAA shooters and high chicken and pig count for the top AA/A/B shooters.

For this championship, Emmett came up with actual awards with the division of classes as shown below. Congratulations to these winners!

  • High Turkeys Winner (Master Class) – Garin Hatch
  • High Rams Winner (AAA Class) – K G Bourgoyne
  • High Chickens Winner (AA Class) – Dominic Debenedetto
  • High Pigs Winner (A & B Class) – Jaci Daigle

It is NASSA’s intent within the USA South Central Region to start promoting actual High Animal Count Awards. Join us in adding high animal count awards in more championship matches north of the Mexico/USA border!

Grand Pooh-Bah Rifle Silhouette Award:

This is the first year of the Texas Grand Pooh-Bah Rifle Silhouette Award given to the shooter with the highest aggregate award from all (3) TSRA Silhouette Championships in lever action, highpower and smallbore rifles. Brandon Marsh, our current TSRA HIghpower Silhouette Director, walked off with the Texas Grand Pooh-Bah Inaugural Trophy. Congratulations to Brandon for some fine all-round shooting!

Our Juniors – The Future of Silhouette!

Friday practice day officially started at 10:00 am. Many of the juniors (and parents) arrived 1- 1 ½ hours before the 10:00 am practice start to set up and begin sending rounds down range. Imagine the surprise when many of the local adults starting arriving late morning or early afternoon and found the firing line dominated by juniors. Many of our adult shooters were very impressed with the dedication and professionalism the juniors exhibited in preparing for this championship.  

From left to right – Jake Stine (TX), Michelle Carpentier (TX), Aidan Cole (LA), Micah Waguespack (LA), Reese Burnett (LA), Jaci Daigle (LA), Dominic Debenedetto (LA), Nathan Debenedetto (LA), Kenli Dumas (LA) and KG Bourgoyne (LA).

We had a total of 10 junior shooters from Louisiana and Texas shoot our match which represented 22% (10/46) of the silhouette shooters present! When is the last time you saw this happen? In large part, this is due to the success of the 4-H Shooting Sports programs throughout Louisiana and serves as a model for how to increase junior participation in many NASSA USA Regions. Training under the 4-H Shooting Sports program also accounts for the professionalism seen not only on Friday practice day, but throughout the entire weekend. The results speak for themselves.

For this championship, 1st, 2nd & 3rd place awards in Hunter Rifle were given in Master, AAA, AA, A & B classes for a total of 15 class awards on Saturday. The same was true for the Standard Rifle match on Sunday with another 15 total class awards given. This makes a total of 30 class awards for this championship.

Speaking earlier of results, our 10 junior shooters made up 22% of the total match attendees (10/46). Yet junior shooters placed in 15 of the 30 total class awards given for a success rate of 50%. This is simply phenomenal.  All of us adult shooters have our work cut out for us as these juniors are only going to get better!!!

2022 Lapua Monarch Cup Paying Dividends

Bayou Rifles (your hosting club) was also very pleased that many of our Mexican friends made the long journey from Coahuila and Nuevo León to participate in our championship match. This included Pepe Valdes, Enrique Kuess, Paolo Tomasi, Gabriel Villarreal and Hector Rivera shown from left to right in the group photo below. Also shown are Alain Carpentier (left) and Michelle Carpenter (front) who are originally from Mexico but now reside in the Dallas, TX area.

Ten of our shooters residing in the USA South Central Region were also present in Saltillo for the 2022 Lapua Monarch Cup. This included Mark Pharr (TX), Chris Cawthorne (TX), Allen Corneau (TX), Carlos Salazar (TX), Jake Stein (TX), Mindy Stine (TX), Jason Stine (TX), Dustin Flint (LA), Jerry Tureau (LA) and Garin Hatch (LA). These Texas and Louisiana shooters made up over 1/3 of the US and Canadian shooters present in Salatillo.

There is no doubt that the Lapua Monarch Cup is already generating dividends with so many more shooters starting to cross international borders to shoot with each other. This is certainly the spirit and intention behind the Lapua Monarch Cup and the fundamental reason for creating NASSA. Let’s keep up the momentum with attending more championship match events all across North America!

A Special Thanks to Our Prize Donors

Match prize tables can be a big factor for increasing match attendance. The 2022 Texas State Smallbore Silhouette Championship was no exception as Match Director Emmett Dibble worked hard to hustle up the donations for the prize table. Here is a quote from Emmett:

“Door prizes were a mixture of match purchased, shooter donated, and sponsor donated prizes. The donors included David Anderson, Carters Country, Peter Deal with D3 Precision, Cathy Winstead with Good Shooting, Capstone Precision Group, Outdoor Products Plus and Steve Wooster with Wooster Stocks. The awards were supplied by Championship Trophies in Rosenberg Texas. Remember to support those who support the sport.”

All the shooters that attended the match appreciated Emmett Dibble, the industry vendors and the shooters whose donations made the door prize drawing successful. Everyone went home with something. If you attended and received a nice door prize from a vendor, show your appreciation and email or preferably write to them. Vendor feedback shows that there is a marketing benefit with every prize donation they make!

Thank You Emmett Dibble & Our Volunteers

As the Match Director for the 2020, 2021 and 2022 Texas State Smallbore Silhouette Championships, Emmett Dibble will be stepping down from his role as Texas State Rifle Association (TSRA) Smallbore Silhouette Director. Throughout the Covid pandemic, Emmett has worked hard to keep this championship match going to support our local silhouette community. Each year, this match has gotten bigger and better and the Bayou Rifles Addicks Range has never looked this good! For that we are all very grateful and wish him all the best as he continues in his role of Lever Gun Club Match Director at Bayou Rifles.

Bayou Rifles would also like to thank Cindy Vail, Ann Salazar and Teresa Dibble for assisting Emmett in the stat office and with the food. A special thanks to Paul Freeman for calling the match in a prompt and professional manner. Your efforts made the match run extremely smooth and enjoyable!

Food For Thought?

Per TSRA rules, a new candidate for the 2023 TSRA Smallbore Silhouette Director must be nominated at this very championship match. The new director will also choose the location of the 2023 Texas State Smallbore Silhouette Championship. Kurt Jones from Bayou Rifles accepted the nomination passed by the 46 shooters present. Other candidates can be nominated from all across Texas and a final vote by the TSRA membership throughout the state will determine the new director.

Regardless of whether the 2023 Texas State Smallbore Silhouette Match returns to Bayou Rifles, we will continue to host this championship caliber match at Bayou Rifles as a go-to destination in Texas! So with this in mind, make plans to join us at Bayou Rifles in 2023.

During initial inquiries to find Emmett’s replacement, we did not have an obvious candidate for the 2023 TSRA Smallbore Silhouette Director. We will face the same challenge when Brandon Marsh steps down next year as TSRA Highpower Silhouette Director. This poses a problem affecting the future of our sport!

Contemplating this dilemma, I was very much reminded of Dustin Flint’s “Who’s Gonna Carry the Boats?” article (https://dustinflint.substack.com/p/whos-gonna-carry-the-boats) written for his “The Rifle Silhouette Report” and published on Substack. I would encourage all of you to read Dustin’s article and contemplate how you might help contribute to sustaining and growing our rifle silhouette sport.

Your NASSA Implementation Team is more than willing and able to support you as a new championship match or club match director in your local NASSA Region.