A year ago, I wrote that Matt Van Cise's latest National Wild Turkey Federation Grand Nationals Senior Division Finals victory placed him "firmly among the all-time greats in the calling world." After Van Cise's latest Grand Nationals Triumph this past weekend, you can argue that he stands alone as a competition caller.
On Feb. 15, Van Cise, of Brookville, Pa., topped a star-studded finals field to claim his third straight and record-tying fifth overall Grand Nationals Senior Division title. Van Cise had a score of 467, topping second-place finisher Jesse Martin, of Mt. Sterling, Ky., who had a score of 463.5. 2008 Grand Nationals champ Billy Yargus, of Missouri, took third. 2013 Head-to-Head champ Scott Ellis, of Florida, was fourth, and two-time Grand Nationals winner Shane Hendershot, of Ohio, was fifth.
With the win, Van Cise ties Walter Parrott for the most Senior wins in history. Van Cise has also won five World titles and three U.S. Open championships, giving him an astounding 13 major victories. If that weren't enough, Van Cise also won the 2007 Grand Nationals Friction title and the 1997 and 1998 Grand Nationals Intermediate Division.
Van Cise's career resume stacks up pretty nicely against the all-time greats. Parrott, as mentioned, won five Grand Nationals and one World title. Paul Butski won three Grand Nationals titles and six U.S. Open championships. Jim Pollard won four Grand Nationals and two Worlds. Chris Parrish has taken two Grand Nationals titles, three World championships and three U.S. Open titles. And the legendary Ben Lee won five World championships. Only Van Cise can lay claim to a combined 10 Grand Nationals and World titles.
Oh, and the 2014 World Championship Turkey Calling Contest will be held March 1 in Arkansas. Stay tuned!