At the 2019 Winter Can Am Classic in Syracuse, N.Y., March 8-10, Anthony Young was about as amateur as you can get.

“This is the first serious tournament I’ve ever done,” said the 23-year-old from Lewistown, Pa.

Yet when the tournament ended, Young, who works as a CNC machine operator for an ultrasound company, took home the top prize in the Amateur Men’s Open Known 40 division.


He finished the qualification rounds in second place with a 412 – four points behind leader Cody McDonald.

He then won one elimination match, which earned him a spot in the final shootdown.

No one was more surprised by that result than Young himself.


An avid bowhunter, Young only started shooting an open-style target rig about two years ago. He said he’s “dabbled in spot shooting,” but his true passion is 3-D archery, since that helps him practice for bowhunting season.

“We got a good group of guys back home that I shoot with,” he said. “We just do the local 3-D shoots and stuff like that for fun.”

Young traveled to the Winter Can Am with some of those friends, who had shot the tournament before. A novice to the big-time tournament setting, Young said he set a simple goal for himself.

“I just wanted to come in here and shoot what I thought was a good score,” he said. “Apparently, it was pretty good.”


Young said he wasn’t too pleased with his first-day score of a 202. But by the second day, he felt on track, shooting a 210.

The Winter Can Am shootdown format is nearly identical to a typical ASA pressure point shootdown. The top five finishers carry their qualification scores into the final, where they shoot up to six more arrows to determine the podium winners.

At the Winter Can Am, shootdown archers shot from elevated platforms, and they shot one at a time, rather than all at the same time, like a normal ASA competition.

Young said he definitely felt the pressure of being on the main stage.

“I’m telling you, I don’t think I’ve ever shook anywhere like that in my life,” he said. “It was crazy.”

Crazier than drawing down on a big buck?

“Not even close,” he said. “I was way more nervous.”


Young shot pretty steady, scoring a couple of 12s through the shootdown. For the last arrow, he and McDonald were tied for the lead. McDonald shot an 8, and Young hit the 10.

So did Young get bitten by the tournament bug with a win in his first “serious tournament?”

“I definitely want to do this more,” he said. “I had such fun here. It was a long weekend, but I had a ball.”