Bradham repeats as state skeet champion

By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal

BLUE SPRINGS – Caile Bradham had his troubles shooting the 410-bore – he missed three birds, all low sixes – in Sunday’s finals of Mississippi Skeet Shooting Championships.
The Tupelo High School senior shooter didn’t miss anything else.
Bradham won his second consecutive state championship with a two-day, four-gun high overall score of 396×400 at Whitetail Ridge Outdoors. Ripley’s Jonathan Hopper, the 2009 state champion and a sophomore at Mississippi State, finished second with a 392×400.
“This is the best shoot I’ve had,” Bradham said moments before winning a shootoff against Hopper and Timothy Hopper for the 28-gauge gun title. “I was nervous shooting my first box of shells in the 410. All three of my misses were on the low sixes.
“It’s a cornering away shot. I didn’t give myself a chance to see my lead and break it.”
Bradham’s win in the 28-gauge – all three shooters shot 100×100 in regulation – was his third gun championship in the shoot. He won the 12-gauge (100×100) and 20-gauge (99×100) in shootoffs Saturday.
“I felt confident coming into the state shoot,” he said. “I wanted to shoot good enough to give myself a chance to win.”
Bradham’s coach, six-time state champion Brian Rishel, was impressed with his student’s performance against the state’s best shooters.
“Those low sixes have cost me a lot of money over the years,” he said, laughing about the difficult shot that gave Bradham trouble. “The fact that he repeated as state champion is unbelievable. The fact that he won three guns is unbelievable.”
Jim Costin of Blue Springs was the lone shooter to beat Bradham when he captured the 410 gun championship with a 98×100.
Bradham also won the high all-around championship with a 491×500 score. The all-around score includes Friday’s doubles competition. Jonathan Hopper was second with a 486×500.
Belden’s Jeffrey Holt, 15, won the Class D1 high overall with a 363×400. He also won the 28-gauge and 410 after winning the 12 and 20-gauge Saturday.