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  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Tonnette Thompson
  • 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs
A colonel and member of the Air Force Skeet Team plants his feet and assumes his stance, rifle in hand. With a command of "Pull!" a clay disc goes soaring through the air. The rifle gives an ear-ringing crack as the colonel fires - and misses his target completely.

A second shooter steps up, much shorter and smaller than his counterpart. His cry of "Pull!" sounds with a much younger voice. A moment later, shards of what was once a clay disc are splayed across the skeet range grounds.

This has become a typical exchange between Lt. Col. Rick Davis, 80th Flying Training Wing chief of safety, and his 14-year-old son, Brian. The younger Davis recently blew away the opposition at the Junior World Skeet Championships July 28-30 in San Antonio, TX, bringing home fifth, third and first place medals.

Junior World is the world's largest annual competition offered for underage skeet shooters, taking contestants from around the globe. The competition is sponsored by the National Skeet Shooting Association.

"I saw about 200 children there," said Col. Davis. "People from Nigeria, Europe and all over the U.S. There were kids as young as 10, and others who were college-aged, and they were all competing."

Brian took home the first place medal for the 28-gauge, the third place medal for the .410 bore gauge and fifth place for overall high score. All but the last were in the sub-junior category age 13 and under.

In October, the World Skeet Shooting Competition will commence - a contest for adults and children alike. However, the young champion knows he won't be present for the entire competition.

"I won't shoot for all of that one," Brian shrugged. "It goes on during school."
Brian began skeet shooting a couple of years ago, as he accompanied his father on hunting trips. Since December, he discovered he had a knack for the sport and began honing his skills. He even listened to cognitive tapes to help him estimate distances when firing.

"He's very persistent, he doesn't give up," said Ray James, Sheppard Skeet Range assistant. "Other kids may have gotten bored or frustrated by now. He's in the top 5 percent of his age group of skeet shooters in the U.S."

Once Brian joined his father as the colonel attended a skeet competition in Oklahoma with a five-man squad. Brian ultimately out-shot every member of the squad, including a couple of world champions.

Brian hopes to join the NSSA's All American Team - members of which he just finished beating at Junior World. His other goals include competing as an adult for cash prizes, becoming a professional skeet instructor, an Air Force pilot and attending the Air Force Academy.

In the meantime, his immediate plans involve attending Rider High School next year.
"I'm proud of him sticking with it. Coming so far in such a short period of time," Colonel Davis said.

Brian would only say, "It's just really fun for me. It's my favorite sport."