directory
Tyler Galbreath wins state 4-H skeet championship
by Kenda Nelson
Aug 18, 2011 | 2023 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
At 15, Tyler Galbreath is the 2011 Texas State Champion 4-H skeet shooter. The Woodsboro High School sophomore from Bayside has been to state for the past four years. His sights are set on nationals next year and the Junior Olympics.
view slideshow (2 images)
Tyler Galbreath fixes his gaze and takes his mark. The 15-year-old shooter sets his feet at each station, shifting his weight from one foot to the other in what some of the onlookers call “a dance.”

A teammate, who has seen the ritual numerous times, leans over to Tyler’s father, Robert Galbreath, and says, “he’s in the zone, he’s not going to miss.”

Tyler lifts his Caesar Guerini 12-gauge shotgun to his shoulder and shoots off the final near-perfect round. All the targets are obliterated except for one. A puff of dust rises off the surface of the clay target – a clear hit by a single pellet but its failure to explode counts as a miss.

The teen’s overall-average score is almost perfect – a 99 – and Tyler garners the individual 2011 4-H State Skeet Championship in the senior 1 division.

The competition is fierce. Second place individual score is 98 and third is 97. Tyler and his three-man team also win the team skeet state championship.

The weather is grueling in San Antonio at the National Sporting Complex. From July 22-28, the shooters face 100-degree temperatures. The skeet shoot is at high noon.

“I poured bottles of drinking water over my head to stay cool,” he says.

Going into his sophomore year at Woodsboro High School, he qualified to go to state competition for four straight years. His trophies, prizes and awards fill his bedroom wall.

This year’s performance award is a big, shiny custom-made belt buckle.

“We thought he deserved it,” his father says.

Yet, the prizes are not what keeps him going – the challenge to shoot a perfect round is always his goal.

Robert says they have a saying, “What’s your job? To shoot the next bird.”

Tyler has his sights set on nationals next year and the Junior Olympics.

“You only get to go to nationals once, so I’ll apply later this year,” he says.

In the near future, the six-feet-tall teen will face off at the Mini World Championships in October.

“Almost everybody I talk to says they hate skeet,” Tyler says. “It’s challenging but it’s my event.”

Skeet isn’t the only shooting event Tyler aces – the state champion stands in the winners circle regularly in trap, whiz bang and sport clay shooting.

He earned a first place in skeet, second in trap and third in whiz bang in the Brazoria meet, a first in trap at the Mission meet, and was top shooter at Calhoun to win the high overall average in the senior 1 division and the runner-up in Webb County. He placed in the top three in Guadalupe, Frio, Midland and Nueces county meets as well.

His mother, Sheila Galbreath, says he’s been shooting since he was eight.

“We began with wing shooting,” Robert says. “I’d give him one shell at a time. As he got older, I’d give him two.”

Tyler’s talent was apparent early on. Unfortunately, there are no 4-H shooting teams in the county so Tyler resigned from his local 4-H club and joined the Nueces County club.

Tyler shoots approximately three flats – 30 boxes – of shells a week so the sport isn’t inexpensive. The National Rifle Association and other sponsors kick in donations to defray costs and to keep the sport appealing to young shooters.

“Tyler wouldn’t have been able to do this without Jack Smith; he has an awesome program,” Robert says. “Jack’s a great guy and hasn’t had a kid in the club for 10 years but he keeps helping the kids.”

The Bayside teen also is under the tutelage of Todd Bender, the 17-time world champion.

Robert, an assistant to coach Jack Smith in Corpus Christi, says he will gladly coach interested 4-Hers in the county.

“Shooting is an ‘I’ sport,” Robert says.

Competitors must rely on their individual strengths.

“There are no soccer moms or dads at the competitions,” he says. “We root for all the kids to do their best.”

When Tyler isn’t competing, he likes to hunt and fish at his grandmother’s ranch in Mountain Home.

“This year, the white-tail deer overpopulated and we had to thin them out,” Tyler says.

He also shoots feral hogs on the ranch. A hog-control company eradicates the hogs by shooting from helicopters.

“I’m waiting my turn to get to do that,” he says.

Robert says anyone interested in joining the club or learning to shoot in competitions may email him at bobsgottafish@sbcglobal.net.

Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet