Chad Desjardins wins Oregon Bow Hunters Triple Crown trophy in archery

by: KEVIN SPERL - Chad Desjardins has been practicing archery for the past 11 years.

Chad Desjardins has had a bow and arrow in his hands since the age of 4. Eleven years later he holds the 2013 Oregon Bow Hunter's Triple Crown trophy, having achieved the highest combined score in three separate archery disciplines in the young adult division.

To be considered for the award, competitors must take part in the OBH's indoor shoot, field shoot and 3-D shoot events in the same year.

"Competitions like this require a lot of focus," explained Chad. "I need to make sure that every shot counts. And hope that I don't mess up."

His dad, Kevin, agreed, saying that archery is all about consistency.

"It's a discipline," he said. "It doesn't matter how you do it, but each shot requires the same technique. It's hard to do the same thing over and over."

And that same thing is hitting a target approximately one-and-a-half inches wide at a distance of at least 20 yards.

"The beauty of these events is that each archer has 60 shots to achieve 300 points," said Kevin. "It's the same for everyone."

A freshman at Crook County High School, Chad has begun defense of his title, having competed earlier this month in the 2014 Triple Crown indoor shoot in Bend, improving on last year's score by ten points.

"At this year's shoot, I was nervous on the first day," admitted Chad, noting that there were over 400 competitors. "But, by the second day I was OK."

Nerves were understandable, as he was going up against a better, older group of archers. Many of them travel the country, sponsored by the likes of Bowman and Elite, both well-known archery companies.

At Chad's level of expertise, obtaining a sponsor is almost a necessity, and he is hoping to perform well enough for Elite to take notice.

"It will take a lot of dedication," explained Chad. "From the sponsor's point of view, they are looking for consistency and good scores."

To win last year's Triple Crown, Chad showed evidence of both, scoring 525 out of a possible 600 points for the indoor shoot; 1,300 points out of a possible 1,700 for the outdoor shoot; and 566 points out of a possible 960 during the 3-D event, achieving an overall score of 74 percent to win the title.

Besides the love of competition, archery gives Chad and his dad a chance to spend time together, a lot of time.

"When Chad was younger, I would take him out with the mentor program," said Kevin. "He quickly took a liking to archery."

And, just about every weekend is filled with archery competitions, taking the pair throughout the state.

Chad also practices his craft three to four days each week, working on his release and form, and, according to his dad, watching a lot of YouTube archery videos.

Not only is archery a sport that attracts Chad for its competitive nature, the sport might present an avenue to a discounted college education.

"Chad has discovered that there are schools out there that offer four-year archery scholarships, especially in cities where there is a major archery manufacturer," said Kevin. "It's a path to college without being part of a more traditional sports team."

"I am getting better, but I still have a lot more to learn to win a scholarship," said Chad. "I need to be consistently posting perfect scores."

With all the opportunities available to today's teenagers, Kevin is certainly happy with Chad's choice of archery.

"It seems that with the Hunger Games movies, archery has taken off in the last few years," he said. "But, if it gets kids into archery, it's a good thing. I'm just glad Chad chose archery over skateboarding."

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