History

In late 2013 Dave Snyder approached the officers of Guthsville Rod and Gun Club with a proposal to hold Steel Challenge Matches. This came as a result of no SCSA matches being run in the Northeastern PA Area in some time. Around this same time, the last of the PA State Championship matches was held in the southeast section of the state. Once Approval was gained, wheels were put in motion and a team of people was built to run what was originally called the Tom Benjamin Memorial PA State Steel Challenge Championship with 2 additional quarterly matches being held. The name was given to honor a longtime friend and enormous supporter of the shooting sports who suddenly passed away. The ideals of the team were to always have a match that was affordable for people to shoot, would welcome any shooter who was interested in the shooting sports, and have the ability for a shooter to win a great prize without regard to their ability or experience, hence the random drawing prize table.  The team also wanted to reward shooters based on skill and achievement, so in addition to the prize table Lewis Class Payback are also awarded. The original team was Dave Snyder MD, Mike Gotlieb AMD, Scott Lepping Sponsorship, Andrew Scheaffer Scores and Steve Schroyer Registration. The first championship saw 272 guns complete the match over a 2-day 1 session match. Coming off a successful first year, the team decided to continue and grow the match moving to a 2-day 2 session match.  In 2015 not only did the match grow in numbers, 295 completed guns, but the prize table grew significantly. By 2016 the team saw what they were doing was working, and decided to raise the bar once again.  This year saw the biggest changes to date. The name was changed to East Coast Steel Challenge Series, new and additional staff was added. And again, as the number of guns finished grew to 412, the prize table again grew.  The word was being spread by shooters that this was the match to be at. This left the team wondering, what’s next? A few short months later, the team found out what was next.  Due to the growth of the series and the officers at Guthsville not renewing the program, Dave set off to hunt for a new home.  At this point the officers at Ontelaunee were approached, pitched and jumped on board for 2017. The team was very happy to move up to Ontelaunee. This gave us the ability to run all 8 stages at monthly matches, and have more space for the championship match. Space that was greatly needed, and filled well in 2017 with 503 guns completed, and shooters coming from 25 different states. This was our highest year of payback with over $15,000 cash being paid back to the shooters, and this didn’t include the random draw prize table.