Chunky, Miss. A Collinsville man is now celebrating after competing against people from all over the world in an archery competition in Las Vegas.
You could see the surprise on Brandel Russell's face as he made his way into Chunky Shoals Fish Camp this weekend for a surprise party. Russell, a Collinsville native is an avid archer and recently traveled to Las Vegas to shoot in the men's freestyle competition. One of the largest classes in the shoot, with 822 shooters from 19 countries, Russell finished eighth overall. Family and friends from all walks of life came to celebrate Russell's achievement. The shoot wasn't easy, and according to Russell, it took some preparation.
"A lot of practice. A lot of these guys here we shoot, local guys we shoot a lot together to kind of give each other some competition," says Russell. "Me and two other buddies, Delko Turner and Greg Copeland, we left and went to Vegas. We didn't really know what to expect it was all our first time and just kind of got in the thick of things and we all turned out real well."
Not only did Russell place eighth in the nation in the shoot, but his family says that although he spent a lot of time preparing for this event, in the end he represented his hometown well.
"Brandel is an avid hunter and he shoots all the time, so therefore, he has a lot of experience," says his Aunt Riley. "Getting ready for this event, he really put a lot of extra time in this. I think as far as Mississippi he represented Mississippi, Lauderdale County, Meridian and Newton county very well."
According to Russell, he isn't ready to put down the bow yet, but he will spend more time with his wife and kids, as his kids have an interest in sports.
"I don't know really, we just probably will go again next year and may try to head another couple of big shoots and just see," says Russell. "I'm about that age now that my kids are in sports and they kind of have priority. So I'm going to try and squeeze in some time."
Although archery isn't that big of a sport, his family says that the community should all come together and support the local people.