Fred Scielzo – pronounced Shell-zo – will be 78 years old in August. For the past 50 years he’s competed in the National Rifle Matches at Camp Perry in some capacity. In 2010, his smallbore rifle skills yielded him a spot on the Dewar Trophy Team for the first time.
The Palm City, Florida, resident said he wasn’t sure how much longer he’d be making the pilgrimage to the National Matches due to pain in his back.
“I got the call that I had made the team, and my wife looks at me and says, ‘maybe we ought to go out again (in 2011),’” Scielzo laughed.
In 1944, Scielzo was 12 years old. “My father bought a Winchester 75, and he shot it 3 or 4 times before he said it wasn’t for him,” he said. “I was at the rifle range every Saturday. Rifles are all I’ve ever shot.”
In 1970, Scielzo earned his Distinguished classification at Camp Perry. In 1990, he retired from a teaching career.
Scielzo came in 15th out of the 20 shooters in Tuesday’s Dewar Trophy Team competition with an impressive score of 383-9x.
When we asked him what he’d tell others hoping to achieve a spot on the elite Dewar Trophy Team, he responds with one word, “Practice.”