The 2020/2021 season was anything but normal, but the NFAA staff strove to find a way to make things work, and while the atmosphere was unquestionably different this year, the Pros were definitely excited to have the opportunity to compete in person.
Kyle Douglas of Utah, made history and walked away as the Vegas Champ for the second year in a row.
"It's pretty insane, it was tough the first time and this time, man, Richard is so good, I knew he wasn't gonna give me one so I knew I had to keep going and going and going. Man that was tough."
Douglas is not only the back-to-back Vegas Champ, he is also the reigning back-to-back Indoor National Champ.
"It was pretty cool to pull that off, both back-to-back years, so I'm pretty excited."
The Open Compound Division began with over 110 shooters, and after three days of competition, finally wound down to just 15 who shot a perfect 900, plus lucky dog Steve Marsh, who beat out the other 23 men who had only dropped one point.
The archers who stood on the final line included Paul Tedford, Braden Gellenthein, Cody Lippencott, Gaius Carter, Dave Cousins, Jesse Broadwater, Stephan Hansen, Christopher Perkins, Richard Bowen, Kyle Douglas, Michal Hulburt, Robert Householder, Steve Anderson, Chance Beaubouef, Levi Morgen, and Steve Marsh.
The final three men standing included Cody Lippencott, Richard Bowen, and last year's champ, Kyle Douglas. With third place going to first-time-final-shooter Cody Lippencott.
Cody expressed what it was like to place on his first trip to Vegas, "Yeah, first time here, and I've been trying to get here for three years, so to come and podium on the first one is pretty awesome."
"I had my most trouble in qualifications, but once I got into the shoot-off I knew Kyle and Bowen weren't gonna miss, so there was no sense in me missing, but eventually I did. But yeah, I've got the fever and I'll probably be here for the next 20 years."
Douglas and Bowen went eight rounds, with Douglas walking away as the champ and Bowen claiming 2nd place.
Bowen says, "I feel that right there would have won in 99% of shoot-offs, but it won't cut it against this guy right now. I had more in me, and it didn't feel like that bad of a shot, but eventually you are gonna miss one and Kyle didn't, so congratulations to him."
While it wasn't a normal year and with just over 250 total archers attending the Championship, the top 8 men still took home an impressive total $31,000 in cash, with 1st place claiming $15,000, 2nd place earning $6,000, and 3rd place walking away with $4,000.
The Champion of the Women's Compound Division was decided in the 3rd round of competition, with newcomer Liko Arreola taking the top spot on the podium. Liko was the only female who shot clean and also the youngest archer, at only 13 years old, to have ever shot a perfect 900 in the Women's Championship Division, and only the seventh female to have ever joined the 900-Club in the Vegas Shoot Championship.
Alexis Ruiz took 2nd place after some impressive performances at the Vegas Shoot over the past five years, making it to the podium four out of the last five years - two in the Women's Championship Division and two in the Young Adult Female Division.
In the finals round, The 2020 Vegas Champion Paige Pearce, Toja Ellison and Linda Ochoa-Anderson battled it out for third place, with Pearce earning that last spot on the podium.
Pearce talked about being together in Vegas for the shoot. "All of us were just happy to be in Vegas. To get all the Pros together and be in Vegas, for The Vegas Shoot was just a really neat thing. Obviously, this is a really weird year, but it made it feel a lot more normal than it would have been if we held it elsewhere. But we all had a great time together this weekend."
In the Senior Division Keith Trail walked out of the 3rd round a champion for the fourth consecutive year. Impressively,Trail has taken the top honors in the Senior Division every year that he has competed in the Vegas Shoot.
Michael Braden placed 2nd and Kendall Woody, Randall Morocco and Bill Drake stood on the line for 3rd place. Woody and Drake duked it out for an impressive eight ends with the first end of regular scoring and seven ends of sudden death scoring, but in the end Woody staked his claim to the 3rd place.
The 2021 finals also featured the NFAA Hall of Fame induction ceremony for long-time NFAA member, Louis Rangel. The NFAA Hall of Fame, which began in 1947, recognizes individuals for their lifetime archery achievements. Rangel is only the 28th inductee, which illustrates the significance of the induction. Rangel has been involved in the world of Archery for the past 65 years,
"The journey of archery after 65 years is coming to a close for me, and I have such tremendous memories. I hope some place and some time I can share them with the rest of my fellow archers."
The NFAA plans to host the 2022 Vegas Shoot in normal-format, back in Las Vegas, Nevada.