— By GREG WEBB
While Wyatt Berry may be a ‘newbie’ to the sport of competitive shooting, with less than six months of experience of matching his aiming skills against other shooters, his track record during the short period could justifiably earn the 11-year-old a veteran’s label.
The Weatherford Christian School student’s latest triumph came at the Texas State 4-H Championships at the National Shooting Complex in San Antonio. Dubbed the fourth largest clay tournament in the world, sporting more than 940 competitors, the San Antonio event was held over a four-day period computing to a total of 5,558 entries in the various divisions.
The son of Bill and Maenica Berry, Wyatt is entering his sixth-grade year at WCS.
At the 4-H championships, he recorded the highest score in three of six events, including sporting clays, five-stand whiz-bang and international trap. Wyatt’s top shooting prowess in the three events combined with the other three events, resulted in the High Overall Junior Gunsmoke award. But he also brought home another award, winning the High Overall Junior Shotgun Shootout award by virtue of his highest combination score in American skeet, American trap, sporting clays and five-stand whiz-bang.
Competing in shooting sports for the first time in April, Wyatt was drawn to, and fell in love with shotgun competition. With his fondness for the sport, as well as obvious penchant for the sport, he has set his sights on becoming an Olympic Shooter. He is already taking steps toward the goal, attending the Junior Olympic Shotgun training camp in June. The camp was held at Texas A&M University, one of the few universities in the country who fields a shooting team and has the facilities for the training.
The state title competition Wyatt won is arguably his most impressive victory thus far in his burgeoning shooting career, but it is certainly not his first, winning four other competitions before the trek to the San Antonio venue. He has won high overall honors at three other events.
In early July, he took first place in four events, further honing his skills in international skeet, American Skeet, American Trap and five-stand whiz-bang at the West Texas Shootout in San Angelo. His performance earned the WCS athlete a shotgun as the high overall award. He also earned four custom championship belt buckles for his efforts at the state championships. Under the direction of his mentor and coach Matt Fuqua, a national collegiate champion, Wyatt is focusing on the mental aspects of competition while he also develops his technical skills.
Wyatt is a member of the Parker County 4-H Shooting Sports team.