Cabot teen quickly shoots his way to the top of sport

By Lisa Burnett Originally Published September 8, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated September 6, 2013 at 10:05 a.m.
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PHOTO BY: Rusty Hubbard

John Riley Wiens, a 13-year-old trap shooter from Cabot, recently won the sub-junior high overall at the Grand American World Trapshooting Championship in Sparta, Ill.

CABOT — John Riley Wiens, 13, of Cabot has credentials in trapshooting more like someone who has been working at the sport for many years, although he’s been at it for just two.

His most recent achievement was getting the High Overall score in the sub-junior division at the Grand American World Trapshooting Championship in Sparta, Ill., on Aug. 17.

Sub-junior shooters range in age from 12 to 15.

“I like to hunt and fish and go outdoors, and that got me started shooting,” John Riley said.

He has won regional and state trapshooting competitions on an individual level and he also shoots for his high school’s trapshooting team.

Trapshooting, by definition, is “shooting at clay pigeons sprung from a trap into the air away from the shooter.”

“You’re working for accuracy,” John Riley said.

In singles trapshooting, a shooter aims for the clay pigeon and ultimately wants to hit all of the pigeons that are sprung in one session. In doubles trapshooting, the rules are the same, but two clay pigeons are released simultaneously.

John Riley competed in singles, doubles and handicap trapshooting at the world championship .

Handicap trapshooting requires shooters to stand a minimum of 18 yards and a maximum of 27 yards from the trap.

John Riley’s father, John Wiens, encouraged his son to start trapshooting.

“I worked with guys who did it,” Wiens said. “They have helped [John Riley] out tremendously.”

Wiens said his son started trapshooting at the Remington Arms Gun Club in Lonoke, where he met one of his mentors, Bronson Castleberry, who operates the gun club and went to the world championship shoot with John Riley.

The 13-year-old competed at the state level before heading to national and world competitions.

“At the Grand American World Trapshooting Championship, he competed against kids from Australia, South Africa and England,” Castleberry said.

At the competition, John Riley said, he shot close to 2,000 clay targets to achieve his win of the High Overall status at the event.

“I was happy to get it,”

he said.

Though a shooter stands stationary while he shoots, Castleberry said, the sport of trapshooting is exhausting, both mentally and physically.

“He averaged about three hours a day shooting [at the championship],” Castleberry said.

Wiens said that during the competition, his son was shooting with a Beretta 682 shotgun, but he wanted to reward his son for winning at the world championship.

“I bought him a Perazzi MX 2005,” Wiens said. “I’m proud of him. When he started this, I never would have dreamed he would come this far.”

It’s taken John Riley almost a year to become consistent in his shooting, Castleberry said.

“You don’t see that a lot with young people,” he said. “The fundamentals are really ingrained with him.”

John Riley has slowed down some on the time he spends shooting because of his schoolwork and football, but he still practices when he has a few minutes to spare.

“I still practice two to three times a week,” he said.

John Riley said he plans to continue trapshooting for as long as he can.

Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.BY LISA J. BURNETT

Staff Writer

CABOT — John Riley Wiens, 13, of Cabot has credentials in trapshooting more like someone who has been working at the sport for many years, although he’s been at it for just two.

His most recent achievement was getting the High Overall score in the sub-junior division at the Grand American World Trapshooting Championship in Sparta, Ill., on Aug. 17.

Sub-junior shooters range in age from 12 to 15.

“I like to hunt and fish and go outdoors, and that got me started shooting,” John Riley said.

He has won regional and state trapshooting competitions on an individual level and he also shoots for his high school’s trapshooting team.

Trapshooting, by definition, is “shooting at clay pigeons sprung from a trap into the air away from the shooter.”

“You’re working for accuracy,” John Riley said.

In singles trapshooting, a shooter aims for the clay pigeon and ultimately wants to hit all of the pigeons that are sprung in one session. In doubles trapshooting, the rules are the same, but two clay pigeons are released simultaneously.

John Riley competed in singles, doubles and handicap trapshooting at the world championship .

Handicap trapshooting requires shooters to stand a minimum of 18 yards and a maximum of 27 yards from the trap.

John Riley’s father, John Wiens, encouraged his son to start trapshooting.

“I worked with guys who did it,” Wiens said. “They have helped [John Riley] out tremendously.”

Wiens said his son started trapshooting at the Remington Arms Gun Club in Lonoke, where he met one of his mentors, Bronson Castleberry, who operates the gun club and went to the world championship shoot with John Riley.

The 13-year-old competed at the state level before heading to national and world competitions.

“At the Grand American World Trapshooting Championship, he competed against kids from Australia, South Africa and England,” Castleberry said.

At the competition, John Riley said, he shot close to 2,000 clay targets to achieve his win of the High Overall status at the event.

“I was happy to get it,” he said.

Though a shooter stands stationary while he shoots, Castleberry said, the sport of trapshooting is exhausting, both mentally and physically.

“He averaged about three hours a day shooting [at the championship],” Castleberry said.

Wiens said that during the competition, his son was shooting with a Beretta 682 shotgun, but he wanted to reward his son for winning at the world championship.

“I bought him a Perazzi MX 2005,” Wiens said. “I’m proud of him. When he started this, I never would have dreamed he would come this far.”

It’s taken John Riley almost a year to become consistent in his shooting, Castleberry said.

“You don’t see that a lot with young people,” he said. “The fundamentals are really ingrained with him.”

John Riley has slowed down some on the time he spends shooting because of his schoolwork and football, but he still practices when he has a few minutes to spare.

“I still practice two to three times a week,” he said.

John Riley said he plans to continue trapshooting for as long as he can.

Online Reporter Lisa Burnett can be reached at 501-378-3887 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

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