Ready, aim, fire: Sporting Clays Classic taking names

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Judge Becky Bostwick, right, participated in the Sporting Clays Classic last year along with a group that included the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame's Marty Willadsen.

Judge Becky Borthwick, right, participated in the Sporting Clays Classic last year along with a group that included the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame’s Marty Willadsen.

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When brainstorming for unique events – those that would expand the reach of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame – one idea a few years ago made perfect sense for the Ozarks, especially for outdoorsmen.

And now look. The Sporting Clays Classic sponsored by Killian Construction and presented by Bass Pro Shops is back on the Hall’s schedule for a fourth consecutive year. Sign-ups are under way for the Friday, Oct. 2 event at the Ozarks Shooters Complex in Walnut Shade, about halfway between Springfield and Branson on U.S. 65.

Willadsen's son, Boomer, and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame's Coleman Swierc, far right, participated last year.

Willadsen’s son, Boomer, and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame’s Coleman Swierc, far right, participated last year.

In other words, what began as a way for outdoorsmen to touch up on their shooting skills ahead of hunting season – or simply to show off their skills, if not both – has grown into an annual event that attracts both men and women. Call 417-889-3100 to sign up.

“The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame’s Sporting Clays Classic is one of my favorite shoots of the season,” said Becky Borthwick, a local judge. “The camaraderie is great and the raffle and auction items are fantastic. This is the must-attend shoot of the year.”

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The Sporting Clays Classic emerged about six years ago, with the idea floated by the Hall of Fame’s Vice President of Operations and Administration, Marty Willadsen, an avid hunter.

“We offer a lot of golf, so we were looking for a way to expand opportunities to the non-golf community,” said Willadsen, who this spring bagged a turkey and already has his sights set on deer season. “I grew up around guns all my life, so sporting clays was a natural fit for me. Obviously, I’m not the only one as many hunters and casual shooters entered the first year.

“To that end, we have enjoyed a lot of success as the event has grown annually.”

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The event will split into morning and afternoon shoots. A four-person team entry fee is $500, or $150 for a single shooter.

Each entrant receives 100 clays, a shell pouch, continental breakfast and lunch, a full-color team photo, a long-sleeved event logoed shirt and an event-logoed cap. Trophies will be awarded in flights and an after-party presented by Coors is scheduled as well.

Businesses that desire to be recognized as associate sponsors will receive on-course signage and a four-person team. The associate sponsorship fee is $1,250.

Additionally, an auction will be conducted along with a raffle for a new hunting rifle. The event is a fundraiser for the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, a 501 c 3 non-profit foundation. Again, to sign up, call 417-887-3100.

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