Ned Lilly, to most shooters, was the best trapshooter in Michigan history, probably followed by Karl Maust. Ned was inducted into the ATA Hall of Fame in 1973. He is the only shooter to be inducted in the Michigan Hall of Fame covering all sports and now to the Michigan Trapshooting Hall of Fame.
Ned began shooting targets at age 9 in 1925 using a .410. Two years later he won the first of six junior titles, then using a 20 gauge. By 1932 he was beating most all shooters and won the state title when fifteen. Ned won his first Grand American trophy in 1929. In 1933, at age 17, he became the youngest to earn the Clay Target Championship (a record which stood until 1959), and he also took the juniors title. That year he also became the youngest to capture the High Over-All Championship (a title he would earn four times during the 50’s), and ended up runner-up after a tie for the Grand American Handicap (a feat he repeated in 1952). When he won the H.O.A. crowns in 1950 and 1958, it was with record-tying scores of 977 x 1,000.
Ned Lilly was Doubles Champ at Vandalia in 1937, 1956, and 1962, Champion of Champions in 1951, and Clay Target Winner in 1955. He won Parent-Child trophies four times, twice as a son and twice as a father. In 1958 he secured high-gun honors in the Vandalia Handicap with 99 from 26-yards, the farthest back any champion in that race had stood. Ned had a Grand American singles long run of 1, 064 from 1954 to 1956.
He won the Michigan 16-yard championship in singles 14 times and as a junior six times. He won doubles 18 times, 2 handicaps and 17 all-around crowns from 1927 to 1964. In 1954 he swept all four ATA championships, becoming the only person in Michigan to do so. He won one championship as a Colorado resident.
In the early days, Doc Lilly, his father, started Ned shooting and accompanied Ned for a great many years. Ned was in the lumber business for a great many years and was shooting promotion manager for Winchester from 1970 until 1977 at which time he retired with a home on a lake at Evart, Michigan.