Craig Grau: Locked and loaded - The Explorer: Sports

Craig Grau: Locked and loaded

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Posted: Tuesday, July 15, 2008 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:03 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

If the name Jimmy Vincent Gibson III rings ambitious, then the round fits the chamber.

The 17-year-old claims nativity to a Texas outdoor firing range, strolls around his retail job with a pistol stuck to his hip, and aims for a 2012 Olympic Games skeet slot.

Most of his fellow Canyon Del Oro juniors just want a car.

But Gibson, who spent last Saturday tending customers at his grandmother’s Prince Road gun shop, ranks 54th nationally in trap shooting, downing 84.66 percent of the clays crossing his sights, according to USA Shooting’s Web site.

If you’re expecting ego, you’ll have to shout “Pull!” yourself. Gibson, slated to shoot at a Tuesday meet in Colorado Springs, Colo., offered only poker-faced butterflies on his chances.

“I’m nervous as hell. I’m really stressed at losing,” Gibson said, plainly. “But ‘I need to win’ is the wrong attitude. I should be going to have fun.”

His admission elicited surprise. Gibson — whose unblinking eyes fasten on yours like he’s explaining your shiny new traffic ticket — carries himself with a deputy’s poise.

The national ranking needs work he said, if he’s going to launch birdshot at the Royal Artillery Barracks four years from now.

After Gibson separated his shoulder during a bit of poolside roughhousing the night before a match last year, he’s been out of form. The injury led to a case of minor burnout, which could prove competitively fatal in a sport of pure repetition.

Chasing Olympic glory, Gibson focuses on skeet’s international variant — 75 mph targets streaking at twice the sport’s domestic rate — where the mental game separates gold from lead. Again, he deadpanned his shortcomings.

“The mental aspect is what myself and a lot of shooters lack,” Gibson said. “So that’s where my focus is.”

If Gibson appears to lack anything, though, it’s not focus.

Shooting or not, he’s graduating a year early in 2009, before cracking political science and business books at Pima — which could lead to law school, Gibson explained, schematic-like.

But first the native Texan plans to enter politics at 18 and win a small-caliber local office,

ambitiously posing himself as a centrist targeting second-amendment issues.

Ever-optioned, Gibson also wants to follow the family vein and open a firearms training facility “to break down the negative opinions people get from TV and the media.”

Already, he’s sighting in the next generation of shooters.

Twelve-year-old Marana youngster Austin Keene hung with Gibson to promote youth skeet at the store, chatting suavely enough with a reporter that his mother rolled her eyes and walked away from their raffle tickets.

As Gibson’s protégé, Keene took second in the Scholastic Clays Target Program’s grades-5-and-under rookie division, scoring a 135 of 300, on March 29 in Phoenix.

While his mentor had been shooting since age 9, Keene wouldn’t be outdone. He explained that mom traded a binky for his first toy cap gun — which soon led to baby-bore .410 shotguns.

“I’m pretty happy with how that trade’s worked out,” Keene said.

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)

Swimming

Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

 

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