STANTON – The Central Michigan Goldstar Archery team was a long way from home in early March but the hardware they came home with made the trip worth their while.
The Stanton-based archery team traveled to Owensboro, Kentucky, on March 4-6 for the Scholastic 3D Archery (S3DA) National Indoor Archery Championship. The team competed with over 1,000 other archers from across the country.
The tournament featured paper targets for archers to shoot at and each competitor shot two rounds of 30 arrows each. The team scores are made up of the combined total number of targets hit by each archer to determine the winning team.
The Central Michigan Goldstar eagle group, made up of kids from ages 9-11, placed first in the nation as a team. The team’s young adult team, made up kids from ages 14-18, took third place nationally.
The team is comprised of about 14 coaches, including Marney Ryan, a teacher at Lakeview Elementary. Ryan noted that the Central Michigan Goldstar team needed to participate in one regional qualifier to qualify for the national meet.
“No specific score is required,” Ryan said. “Our archers know going in they need to score top-notch in order to place as an individual or as a team. We went to Kentucky with a strong feeling we could place as a team due to our number of very strong archers at each age level.
“They shoot a target with five spots, or a single round circle. The highest possible score is 150. Archers who shoot perfect scores, then use how many X’s they shoot to break the ties. An X, would be like a perfect bulls-eye right in the middle of the circles or spots. ”
The team has seen success over the last few years and participation numbers exceeding 50 throughout the four age groups (ages 6-18). Ryan said there are many reasons for the team’s success, starting with commitment from the young archers.
“They make every practice, they shoot in other archery competitions around the state and country,” Ryan said. “They practice daily. Our coaches are another big reason we are successful. Our coaches bring a vast amount of knowledge to archery. Whether it’s working on equipment, teaching them about an archer’s mindset, form, process, helping clean up and set up courses to make them the best and just providing positive support.
“A third big reason we are successful is our parents. Our parents are positive, supportive and always there. When our archers compete, each parent is positive and supportive of each archer on the line. I compare our program to a three-legged stool. Without any one of our supports – archers, coaches and parents – we would not be able to be the program we are; a three-legged stool cannot stand with just two legs. ”
The Central Michigan Goldstars, holding practice at the Central Michigan Sportsman Club in Stanton, will now turn their attention to the outdoor season where they shoot 3D animal targets. The National Championship takes place in Rend Lake, Illinois, from June 16-19.
More information on the team can be found on Facebook at Facebook.com/centralmichigangoldstars.