Evan Downs won three events en route to finishing as the overall Class B runner-up in the Louisiana Amateur State Trap Shoot Championship last weekend.
Competing at the Hunter's Run Gun Club in Port Allen, Downs won the singles trap, doubles trap and handicap trap in the sub-junior division to finish second among Class B shooters, regardless of age.
Entering the state event for the second straight year, the 14-year-old Downs nailed 189 out of 200 targets in the singles category, 89-of-100 in doubles and 93-of-100 in handicap.
Though Downs wasn't surprised by his shooting accuracy, he wasn't expecting a second-place overall finish.
"I shot about like I expected to shoot," Downs said, "but I didn't realize it would put me where it did."
Downs started shooting a little over a year ago at the Ponderosa in Bastrop.
"It's just something I like. I really can't explain why," Downs said. "I picked up on it really, really fast. After my second time, I started shooting pretty well."
Downs' rapid rise isn't the result of natural ability alone.
"It takes reflexes, focus and lots and lots of practice," Downs said. "You have to get the muscle memory down to where you don't have to think about it. You have to be pretty quick."
Downs will compete in the Louisiana 4-H State Championship to be held Saturday and Sunday in Lake Charles. After shooting in the junior division last year, Downs moves up to the senior classification (ages 14-18) this time around. The top three shooters advance to the national competition.
Downs is entering his sophomore year at Ouachita Christian where he is a two-way lineman for the Eagles' defending Class 1A state champion football team.