By now, you know that Matt Van Cise, of Brookville, Pa., won the 2012 Grand National Calling Contest Senior Division title — the Super Bowl of competitive calling — Feb. 11 at the National Wild Turkey Federation Convention in Nashville, Tenn.
The win marked Van Cise's third Grand Nationals title, tying him with Paul Butski for the third most in history. Only Walter Parrott — five — and Jim Pollard — four — have more. Terry Rohm, the late Dick Kirby, Ricky Joe Bishop, Chris Parrish and Shane Hendershot have two apiece.
And consider this: Van Cise — a staffer for M.A.D. Calls, who makes the PreCise line of mouth calls — also has four World titles — 2000, 2002, 2005 and 2006 — plus three U.S. Open crowns, in 2005, 2008 and 2011. That's 10 major calling titles since 2000, which is simply unbelievable.
Consider also the magnitude of Van Cise's 2012 Grand Nationals win. He had a record score of 483 out of a possible 500. (Actually, it was 675 out of a possible 700, but the high and low scores — 98 and 94, in this case — are thrown out.) The 483 score represents an average score of 96.6 per judge, or an incredible 19.32 per call. A perfect score is 20.
"I don't think I ever scored a caller as high as I just scored him," one judge told me after the finals. "Three 20s and two 19s."
Next up for Van Cise and the country's other top-level callers: The reincarnated World Championship Turkey Calling Contest March 10 and 11 in Mobile, Ala.