Young archers bow up

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 3, 2004

Sunlight filtered through the woods causing small shadows to jut in every direction as tiny branches deflected the light.

The only sound was the hum of an occasional car or the rumble of an 18-wheeler as it flew past on U.S. Highway 84.

The sounds of the passing vehicles went unnoticed by many as they concentrated on a small dime-sized target as far as 30 yards away with an arrow loaded and the bow pulled taunt.

A deep breath was taken and then held as a split-second of complete silence was brought about through the intense focus of the archer.

The silence was followed by a "swoosh" and a "thud" as the arrow buried into the target.

An afternoon unlike any other Sunday afternoon was filled with thousands of these moments as the Covington County Youth Archery Association held its first-ever tournament.

The tournament was hosted at Oak Hill Archery Range, located on U.S. Highway 84 west of Andalusia, this past Sunday.

More than 60 teenagers from each of the school districts in Covington County made up the teams competing for the top cash prize.

Groups of archers made up of shooters from different teams

walked through the woods along the course with an adult guide. At each target location the archers took turns aiming at targets ranging from a turkey, a bear, a deer and a fox placed at various distances.

At the end of the competition, the team with the highest score (based on the top four archers' scores from each team) took home first place and a cash prize.

The winning team was the Opp team.

The top three archers were Andrew Kersey from Opp with a score of 150, Zack Chavers from Andalusia with a 148 and Daniel Hart of Red Level with a 138.

The top archers in the Class AA division were Zack Gladwell, Sidney McKathan and Cody Brannon.

This was the first of five tournaments set up for the Covington County Youth Archery Association. Annual membership dues for teenagers who wish to join the association are $10. For more information contact an association member or one of the five archery ranges in the county.