Sartorises Maintain Leadership
Inside the Outdoors, August 14,

We have such greats as golfer Arnold Palmer, television personality Fred Rogers and classical composer Daniel Lentz who were all born in Latrobe and went on to accomplish much in their respective fields.

And yes, there are many others who were born, lived or worked here that help make Latrobe the tourist town that it has become.

But the story could never be complete without the mention of a husband and wife that have taken on and consistently won state championships in trapshooting over the years.

I started paying attention to the Sartoris' pursuits in this sport when I caught wind of Trish’s 2011 achievement. It was in that year that she won her first at the Pennsylvania Southwest Zone Shoot held at the West Penn Sportsmen’s Club in Delmont.

The Kennemental employee (now retired) vied against 65 men and women on the handicap squad nailing 86 out of 100 “birds” (clay pigeons). When everything was said and done, it was determined that the McFarland Road resident had tied with another female marksman (markswoman?). As a result, there was a shoot off. Sartoris won zeroing in on 22 of 25 birds while her opponent hit only 18 of 25.

This was her first ever win in a zone shoot. For her prize, she received a unique bracelet.

Her husband, Lou, wound up on top as well, winning the veteran’s class and the handicap division. The retired custom framing entrepreneur had won numerous other shoots in the past.

The following year, Lou entered the 2012 Pennsylvania State Shoot and shot 100 out of 100 birds, a perfect score. Entering the West Virginia State Shoot that same year, he mastered that competition, as well, hitting 100 out of 100 birds and winning the title.

For both competitions, he was given a pin. As of today, he has a multiple collection that he wears on his hat.

In May of that same year, he also won the Handicap Veteran’ Zone Shoot and the Single Veteran Zone Shoots where he was awarded a silver, engraved belt buckle for each.

Lou’s wife’s road to fame continued. Partaking in the Pennsylvania State Sportsmen’s Association’s Colonia Classic and Pennsylvania State Shoot held in Elysburg, Pennsylvania, Trish competed against 1500 to 2000 sportsmen, women and youth all trying for the same thing, to get perfect scores, shooting clay pigeons as they sailed away in the distance after being released from a trap house.

At that event, she tagged 187 of 200 “birds.” Participating in the “D” Class, only one other marksman got a higher score by one “bird.” “When the scores were tallied,” “Trish said, “It was found that there were two of us who got second place, each with the score of 187.” What followed was a shoot off to determine who was to take second place or runner-up.

The Latrobe citizen then explained how the procedure worked.

“Each of us had to shoot 25 birds,” she stated. “It so happened that a 15 year-old boy and I were in contention. I hit 24 and so did he. As a result, we had another round at it. This time my score was perfect. I hit them all,” she exclaimed.

Trish was given a beautifully engraved vase with “P.S.S.A.” inscribed on it along with the words, “2013 PA State Shoot, Class Singles, D – Runner-Up.

In 2014, Lou revisited Elysburg to participate in the Pennsylvania State Sportsmen’s Association. Contending against 430 others, he zeroed in on 100 birds, nailing all of them that resulted in a perfect score.

“This is the fourth time I not only won the title in this division, “Sartoris said, “but repeated my perfect score also for the fourth time.”

Back in June of this year, Lou took honors once again as he won the Pennsylvania State Trap Shoot Class B Singles Championship. He also made the Pennsylvania State Second Team.

Last month the duo attended the West Virginia State Shoot where Lou won the Class A Singles Championship, the Open Senior Veteran handicap Championship and the Class C Open Doubles Class Championship.

His wife won the Singles Lady II Championship, Preliminary Handicap Open Lady II Championship, and the handicap Championship Lady II. During that same month Trish also took honors at the Eastern Zone Championship Tournament where she was runner-up in the Preliminary Handicap Lady II competition.

When asked how long it took to prepare for the various events, Trish and Lou responded, “It’s taken years, 100’s of rounds of ammunition, and lots of practice. Known for their mastery of competitive archery, the duo decided to turn to trapshooting as a result of a friend’s suggestion.”

It goes without saying; our neighbors are achievers of which we all should be proud. They’ve worked hard and earned their place in the record books. It proves that practice does make perfect!

- Paul J. Volkmann
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