Eleven-year-old Jackson Rhodes admits he isn't a very good football player and just an average baseball player. But he smokes everyone on the archery range.
Last weekend, Rhodes won the Archery Shooters Association (ASA) Texas state championship for his age group.
Three weeks ago, Rhodes captured an ASA Pro-Am event in Metropolis, Ill., which featured serious shooters from across the country.
It's just two of 10 tournaments the sixth-grader-to-be at Jones Middle School has won since October, when he first started shooting a bow competitively.
“I get nervous but I love it,” Rhodes said of shooting in archery tournaments.
On Thursday, Rhodes was hitting bull's-eyes on the H&H Shooting Sports Complex's archery range while guests watched during the store's annual Summer Expo.
Rhodes, who is sponsored by Hoyt Archery and H&H on the tournament trail, won both the Oklahoma 4H outdoor and indoor state championships this year along with the Sooner State Games.
This weekend, Rhodes will be shooting in the Oklahoma ASA state championship in Bristow.
Jackson already has developed a rivalry with Kolby Crooks of Woodward, another top young archer who is his main competitor nationally.
They shoot against each other in a tournament somewhere almost every weekend.
“Since school let out, I think we have had one weekend off (from tournaments),” said Jackson's father, Jason Rhodes. “We bought a car (that gets 47 mpg) specifically to go to these tournaments.”
Archery is a growing sport in the state, especially with young people, including those whose parents don't shoot a bow, he said.
“It's directly related to Hollywood, the release of movies like Brave and The Hunger Games,” said Jason Rhodes, who is the Oklahoma County 4H archery coach and also a tournament competitor.
“I've seen mid-teenage girls with a recurve and a quiver on their back and that is a demographic you never saw in archery. It (archery) is definitely on an upswing as far as numbers.”
The improvement in bows also has made it more easily for young kids to shoot bows than it once was, he said.
“Now, the equipment they have for children is unbelievable,” Jason Rhodes said. “The bow he (Jackson) shoots is comparable to mine.”
The influence of movies like the Hunger Game is evident at H&H, which recently hosted a Hunger Games-themed birthday party for a group of 13-year-old girls, said Tim Shoopman, social media director for the store.
“They all shot at the range and then had a room decorated with Hunger Games stuff for the birthday party,” he said.
Jackson is only 11 but has made a full-time commitment to archery and has quit playing all other sports. He practices with his 35-pound Hoyt Ruckus bow at least an hour each day and aspires to shoot professionally someday.
Jackson got his first bow when he was 3. He is going on his first bow hunt this fall when black bear season opens in southeastern Oklahoma.
“I am really excited about that,” Jackson said.