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SPARTA — If Giovanni Suriz ever tires of trapshooting, he may have a future in the NFL.

The Brazilian may not be tall or burly enough to play defensive end, but he has his post-sack dance down to a science.

Suriz shot first in his squad during Monday’s Winchester AA Championship singles event. Before the fragments of his final target fell to the ground, Suriz was dancing at his post, celebrating a perfect 100.

When his countrymen and squad mates completed their final shots, they ran to the still celebrating Suriz and embraced. As they walked off the trap field, a squad member asked the scorekeeper to take their photo with the score sheet.

When the shutters closed for the final time, Suriz again broke into his impromptu dance.

Suriz and his squad are among the 40 shooters who traveled from Brazil to take part in The Grand American, the world’s largest trapshooting event, at Sparta’s World Shooting and Recreational Complex. The event continues through Saturday.

The shooters represent 10 of Brazil’s 27 states. And, the 10-11 hour trip from Brazil to Sparta is worth the effort.

“It is very expensive, the sport of shooting in Brazil,” said Acir Edling, the president of the Brazilian Trapshooting League. “In Brazil, ammunition is very expensive. Here, one box, is $6-9, depending on the brand. In Brazil, about $15 about one box. One round of targets here, six dollars. In Brazil, $80, it’s very expensive.”

Edling also lamented the lack of availability of shotguns in Brazil.

“We don’t have good shotguns in Brazil,” he said. “We need imported guns from the USA, Italy, the Beretta, Perazzi, Browning, Caesar Guerini. We have only one shotgun factory in Brazil.”

Despite those difficulties, Edling said the sport is growing rapidly in Brazil. The Brazilian Trapshooting League currently has 2,500 members and is growing each year.

“American trap is special,” he said. “We have a good staff. We have good shooters.”

The 40-person contingent from Brazil will stay for the entire 11-day event. Edling said shooting the Grand is good experience.

“To know how, to experience,” he said. “In the preliminary week we have 10 trophies, in classes B, C and D. A and AA is very, very difficult.”

At the Grand American, members of the Brazilian contingent are easy to spot. In addition to the occasional dance, they wear their colorful, green, blue and white jerseys. It’s a matter of national pride.

“We want everyone to know where we’re from,” Edling said. “They can identify us.”

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On Twitter: @LesWinkeler​


Sports editor

Les Winkeler is sports editor and outdoors writer for The Southern Illinoisan.

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