Written by: R.K. Sawyer
Greater Houston Sports Club (GHSC) hosted the 2019 Briley Blue Goose on Memorial Day weekend, from May 24 to 27. The weather was great all four days – sunny and warm, although a gusty onshore breeze made some of the targets more challenging than usual. The first RVs began trickling in on Wednesday, making the club’s steak dinner that night a little more festive than usual with the arrival of our guests. The tournament kicked off unofficially with the Thursday afternoon “50 for 50,” in which participants put up $50 for 50 doubles targets, the evening shoot-off under the lights determining who would win the pot. Organized and sponsored by Armour Strunk and John Barnes, it was a fun beginning to a great weekend. And everyone was a winner thanks to their great precision grilled steaks!
The Friday schedule this year was dedicated to the popular Buckle Race club tournament series. Now in its 6th year, GHSC’s Buckle Race was envisioned as a fun format to introduce competitive shooting without the pressure of a “big league” tournament. It succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. GHSC management came up with the idea to add the Buckle to the Blue Goose this year, dubbing it the Blue Goose Buckle Race, and it added a lot of energy to the already successful tournament. There was only one gauge allowed for the shoot – .410 – and it made for an interesting day as shooters chose from a flexible format of skeet, sporting clays, and/or 5-stand. Over 20 Buckle prizes were awarded, as well as cash for HOA, RU, and 3rd place.
Saturday was the kick-off for the Briley Blue Goose with its 400-target Main Event in 12, 20, and 28-gauge and .410-bore. The fun also included the May Madness Bracket, Golden Goose, and of course the club’s renowned evening buffets featuring mounds of Alaskan crab legs and giant shrimp. The morning opened with the 12-gauge event, with 20-gauge in the afternoon. At the end of Saturday’s 12-gauge shoot-offs, Tanner Bissell grabbed the Champion title with Robert Paxton RU. Saturday was hot, and although the targets were hooped to perfection, the wind kept in interesting. It was a testament to talent that as many as seven shooters were able to scratch out a perfect hundred straight.
Briley’s John Barnes organized Saturday evening’s Junior Fund Auction, and it is one that will go down club history. Always successful, this year broke all records, raising $6,000 for the effort. As Kevin put it, “the club will be able to fund a lot of Junior’s next year!” A warm thanks goes to organizer John Barnes; Briley, who donated a hand-built Model 1911 .45 pistol for the auction; and Benelli which donated a 12-gauge shotgun.
The next day saw the finish of Saturday’s 20’s and the 28-gauge Main Event. The string of perfect scores came to down Carter Wehrheim and Sheaffer Stanfill, 20-gauge Champion and RU, respectively, and in the .28-gauge Andre Torrens took the top title with Cameron Shuster RU. There were no perfect 100s in the always challenging .410 bore on Monday, but plenty of 99’s. In the end Robert Paxton nabbed the .410 HOA and Mark Villancourt the RU. After the barrels cooled Monday, the 2019 Briley Blue Goose HOA trophy went to Cameron Schuster’s 396 out of 400, with RU Caile Bradham only one target behind him.
GHSC members, Board of Directors and management team extend their congratulations to the winners, and wish to thank all of the participants, sponsor Briley, and the referees for making the 2019 Briley Blue Goose another special one. The club anticipates another great Blue Goose in 2020 and looks forward to seeing returning shooters and meeting new ones. More information is coming soon for the 2020 Briley Blue Goose, at www.Briley.com or www.greaterhosutonsportsclub.com.