Steven James, who is preparing for his junior year at Mountain Home High School, earned the junior state title at the Amateur Trap Shooting Association championship.
Held at the Boise Gun Club, James took aim at 100 targets, commonly known as clay pigeons. Hitting 89 of those targets, the teen matched a score set by another competitor in his division, prompting a final shoot-off.
His flawless efforts to hit all 25 targets gave him the three-point advantage he needed to earn the state title. It was only the second time James had ever achieved this 100-percent accuracy rate, which he equated to someone rolling a 300 game in bowling.
"It's extremely hard to do," the teen said.
His interest in target shooting started when he was just 11 years old after his grandfather, David Poseley, introduced him to the sport. His grandfather won a similar state championship in 2010.
"I would always watch him shoot, and it was something I always wanted to do as well," James said regarding his grandfather.
After three years of practice, the teen entered his first tournament on his 14th birthday and won to titles during that event.
Focus remains the most critical aspect of the sport, he said.
"There are so many things you have to do right to hit the target," he said. "My grandfather always said it's easy to hit the target, but it's even easier to miss it. Any distraction, and you'll miss it."
Over the years, he's taken home an assortment of honors from previous events, but his state win was his largest to date.
"He used everything his grandfather taught him," according to his mother, Renae James, regarding her son's winning ways. "We have a true winner and all-around great young man in our community."
To keep his skills sharp, James practices one day a week for up to five hours at the Boise Gun Club.