The Rim Country Dead Shots hit the center of the target over and over again in the state 4-H shoot on Dec. 15 in Tucson.
Five of the 19 members of the Payson-area archery club that qualified for the event at the Southeast Regional Park Shooting Range won individual state championships. The Dead Shots also claimed three team state championships. One senior shooter also qualified for the 2014 National 4-H Championship Shoot in June in Nebraska.
“Man, did we have a great weekend,” said Dr. Drew Justice, one of the club’s four coaches.
The performance, coming on the heels of a strong state tournament a year ago, establishes the Rim Country Dead Shots as the best club in the state, according to Justice.
“This state championship helps cement the Rim Country Deadshots as the premier 4-H archery club in Arizona,” he said.
“Our program continues to get stronger thanks to hard work, great parent involvement and local business and financial support.”
Chandler Ross claimed the senior compound championship for the second consecutive year to once again qualify for the National 4-H Archery Championships in June in Nebraska.
Dylan Justice won the junior recurve title for the third straight year. Zach Ulmer won the junior compound championship. Preston Stephens won the sub-junior barebow championship. Colton Justice won the sub-junior compound crown.
This is the second time that either brothers (Dylan and Colton Justice) or sisters have ever won state championships in different classes in the same year.
Placing third were: Madeline Goldman (senior compound), Karson Ross (junior compound) and Wade Parton (sub-junior compound).
Chandler Ross, Caleb Burket, Madeline Goldman and Kelton Bachtell won the senior team championship.
Karson Ross, Zach Ulmer, Ryland Sexton and Devin Speer won the junior team crown.
Colton Justice, Blaine Mulder, Isaiah Hayhurst and Wade Parton combined to win the sub-junior team title.
“Our archers competed against one of the largest fields in recent history,” Dr. Justice said. “There were 86 archers that competed at this competition. The competition was intense, but archers remained cool under pressure and represented themselves and their community amazingly well.
“The archers braved wind all day and shot really well despite 20 knot gusts throughout the day.”
The club’s other coaches are Garrett Goldman, Mike Burket and Ken Crump.