Your 2023-2024 OPTA Board of Directors
Please contact any of us and we’ll help you in any way we can!
MESSAGE FROM YOUR OPTA PRESIDENT
President’s Message – July 2023
Hello from your new OPTA President,
Last week, we held our 104th Provincial Championships. I hope that all competitors left happy and confident that their sport is in good hands in Ontario. We saw a little bit of almost any type of summer weather you could think of. However, we got through all the events, and finished in good time every night.
This year we implemented some changes to the day-to-day operations of the shoot, which we hope you found to be a step in the right direction to running an efficient and well-organized shoot.
We pre-classified over 150 shooters and the cashier was open on Tuesday before the shoot to help limit the long lines that we typically see the first day of a tournament; a practice that I believe will only grow as time goes on. Standing in the lineups in the morning is a pretty good social event, but I doubt many missed it.
We also decided to separate the OPTA Awards and Hall of Fame Inductions from the AGM. Two factors sparked this change. First, we felt that Hall of Fame inductees, annual award winners and attendees needed time to enjoy the ceremony and be duly recognized. Secondly, the Sunday of our tournament is typically crunched for time. Adding 45 minutes to the AGM, while also needing to accommodate the Doubles, Handicap, HAA and HOA shoot-offs compounds the problem. We hope that this new practice is something that we all found to be beneficial to our tournament and the shooters’ experience. Congratulations to all award winners, and a special welcome to Ed Wilmott and Jamie Caldwell into the OPTA Hall of Fame.
Thank you to the St. Thomas Gun Club for hosting a seamless tournament. The compliments outweighed the concerns by a very large margin, and that is not an easy feat. Starting at 9:00am sharp every day ensured we finished in good time and even allowed for stoppages if they were to happen (which they didn’t). I hope the future tournaments go as smoothly as the one we’ve just returned from. A big thank you to the volunteers that offered and gave a hand during shoot-offs, another testament to our great community.
I would like to let you all get to know a little bit about the board members at this time. This year we saw the exit of two and welcomed a new face.
The Board would like to welcome Derek Scrimshaw to the team. Derek began shooting registered targets in 2011 and in recent years has made his presence known on the scoreboard, even winning the Provincial Handicap Championship in 2022 with an impressive, lone 98. Derek has resided in Omemee for the last 23 years by way of Oshawa. He works as a Superintendent at a Heavy Civil Construction company, is married and has 2 children in their early 20’s. Derek was introduced to trapshooting by his father when he was 10, he shot for ten years and took a 15 year hiatus after which time he picked up the sport again with a renewed passion, Derek shoots out of the Peterborough Skeet and Trap Club. We are happy he came back, and we all look forward to working with Derek.
Returning to the board is Peter Tsementzis, who we all know to be a very proficient and fierce competitor. A lesser known fact is that Peter is a great teacher of the game, which has been evident if you have been able to watch him speak with shooters at the Youth & New Shooter Clinics he has held at the past two Provincials. Peter began his ATA journey in 1982 and has now introduced his two children into the sport. Pete has brought a focus on building excellence and competition in shooting to the board. Peter and his family operate a successful business in the Agricultural Sector and reside outside of Fulton.
Ron Rowe contributes a lot of great ideas to the board and continues to be a reliable, present member ready to do whatever it takes to pick up the team during our tournaments. Ron is passionate about introducing new shooters to the game. Ron and Mat Tyhurst set the standard of our new Awards Night format and presentation of the Annual Awards. Ron shoots out of Napanee and also manages the trap club there.
Mathew Tyhurst is the President of the Dresden Sportsman Club, hails from Dresden, and resides in Petrolia. Mat has been instrumental in reintroducing registered targets at his home club and growing the membership there as well. Mat also works in the Agricultural sector. In June, Mathew and his team hosted a 200 Handicap shoot and were able to throw 9,800 program targets, with time to spare at a two-trap facility. This is a testament to his ability to establish a team that can work together and get things done. Mathew was recently appointed our co-manager/co-admin on the media team with Emily Brown.
Emily Brown is our Media co-admin and spearheaded our movie into Social Media shortly after joining the board in 2014. She began shooting in 1972 when her family moved to the Peel Gun Club grounds, she has been an ATA life member since 1975. As a self-appointed Historian she is responsible for the online Hall of Fame bios including scanning the pictures into the digital world. Residing in Burlington, a college professor, wife and mother to two adult sons, Emily is also the CTA Secretary and sits on the board of the CUSF and is the OPTA rep to the OCS.
Beau Douglas is returning as our Secretary/Treasurer. Beau, also a member of the Dresden Sportsman Club and an ATA shooter since 1992, he’s been vital in throwing AIM targets in Ontario for the first-time last year. He has established a standard for our program and sponsorship that would rival any program in the ATA and showed us the potential that is out there as far as fundraising and increasing the visibility of our sport. Beau is the latest recipient of the Mike Fulop Award, and there is no doubt that it was well earned. Also an educator, Beau lives in Sarnia, a stones-throw from the US border.
Lori Cantelo, our Vice President and Trophy Committee lead, is returning for her 4th year. Lori has been vital in managing our trophy package and developing the budget of each year’s tournament. Trophy selection can be a tough task and Lori has brought tasteful selections to the awards that recipients have been very happy with the past few years. Lori was also the lead on the fundraising draw for our youth package in 2019 which was a great success. She resides in Toronto and began registering targets in 2015.
Bill Drikos has decided not to stand for re-election this year after many years of sitting on the Board, be sure to thank Bill as I’m sure that you’ll see him around many shoots.
We enter this year in uncharted territory as it’s the first time in many years that Pam Muma will not have any duties or roles as an OPTA official. Pam served on the board for 14 years, 10.5 years as Secretary/Treasurer and the past year as President. I am sure I speak for all of us when I say that trapshooting in Ontario would look very different without Pam. Over 30 years ago, she was the first person that I dealt with at my very first shoot in 1994, and has continued all these years to be a steadfast presence in Ontario. She has devoted her time to our sport at many levels and we are all appreciative of that. Thank you Pam, enjoy being an attendee at events now and we will see you around the ranges I’m sure.
I have been an ATA shooter since 1994. I started shooting in Ridgetown in late 1992 after tagging along with my Dad and working as a scorekeeper. Shooting has been a great part of my life, and I’m grateful for all that it has taught me, as well as all the people I’ve met along the way. I also work in the Agricultural business, farming outside of Thamesville. I have been a board member since 2019 and have worked with Lori on the Trophy committee the last 3 years. I am humbled to serve as your OPTA President and will work to continue to keep the Association approachable and proactive.
We have a great board; all very considerate, pragmatic and approachable people. Please don’t hesitate to reach out or approach any of us if you have any ideas or concerns: there is no such thing as bad input.
With that, I wish the best of luck to all of you over the summer. Whether you are going to a local shoot or are packing up and heading to the Eastern Zone, or the Grand American (a tournament that should be on everyone’s bucket list), do your best, and represent Ontario with pride. Your fellow shooters will be rooting for you.
I encourage everyone to take a friend shooting, a lot of us came to love this sport without prior knowledge of its existence or the thought that we ourselves could become competitors.
Enjoy the rest of the summer, before we know it the cool breezes of autumn will be here.
MESSAGE FROM YOUR ATA DELEGATE
If you have not already heard, Lloyd Beecraft was named Captain of the All American Veteran Team. This is a remarkable distinction. Lloyd worked hard at this, attended a lot of shoots, and shot well. To my knowledge, Lloyd is the first Ontario shooter to be a captain of any open or category team. Congratulations to all of the other Ontario shooters who shot well, here at home and outside our borders. As I have often said, Ontario shooters are among the best of the best. Good luck in the current 22/23 target year.
Paul Shaw, Ontario Delegate
Past Presidents of the OPTA
Pamela Muma 2022-2023
Bert Blackburn 2019-2022
Neville Henderson 2010-2019
Steve Stiby 2007 – 2010
W. L. (Smokey) Smith 2000 – 2007
Ike Prokaska 1998 – 2000
Brent Price 1996 – 1998
Ray Norton 1994 – 1996
Paul Shaw 1992- 1994
Jerry Mariani 1991 – 1992
Jerry Gilroy 1990
John Van Huesden 1988-1989
Jerry Mariani 1986 – 1987
Bruce C. Lyons 1982 – 1985
Maurice J. Wainwright 1976 – 1981
Jerry Mariani 1975
John Kaylor 1973-1974
Jack Henning 1971 – 1972
Bruce E. Stevens 1969 – 1970
Ed Wladichuk 1953 – 1968
Tom Oliver 1952
Hugh Lennox 1951