The Owensboro-Daviess County area is set to be well represented next weekend when four local teams will compete in the S3DA 3D National Archery Championship.
Trinity High School, Daviess County High School, Daviess County Middle School and the Owensboro Archery Club will compete against teams from across the United States for the national championships in their respective divisions. The tournament is set for July 11-13 in Metropolis, Ill.
Mermet Lake State Park will serve as the site for the event, which features elementary, middle and high school divisions. Under the current format, school teams will compete against school teams and club teams against club teams to determine team scoring. However, individual competitors from each division will compete against each other.
Trinity High School
As reigning 3D state champion, the Trinity Raiders are set to take 15 archers to the national championship. The Raiders are led by head coach Josh Payne, who looks for his team to continue to build upon their success.
“Our goal is to place in the top three,” Payne said. “I think that would mean a lot for our small school and community.”
While Trinity has had several archers reach the podium in this year’s competitions, Clayton Rhodes has played a pivotal role in helping the Raiders secure some victories. The sophomore placed third at state in the fixed pins division.
Trinity is in the midst of just the second season of their program and already they are doing big things. Payne attributes much of their success to the work ethic that his team possesses.
“We are still practicing two days a week,” Payne said. “I continue to remind these kids of how far we have come in just two short years, and that we have a great chance of placing at nationals.”
Daviess County High School
Daviess County High School, under the leadership of Mike and Kristi Wilson, will take 17 archers to the competition. Kristi said the slogan for the team is ‘winning isn’t everything, wanting to is,’ and the statement holds true heading into nationals.
“Our ultimate goal for nationals would be to bring home another national title for Daviess County High School Archery,” Kristi said. “My personal goal for each of these shooters would be for them to aim for a personal best score and have fun doing it.”
The husband-wife coaching duo initially formed the program at Daviess County in 2014 and have experienced success ever since. The program’s greatest accomplishment was winning back-to-back outdoor 3D national championships in 2016-2017.
“We are trying to get back to that level,” Kristi said. “The 2019 season has been unusually long for us, but we continue to keep our heads high and hope to keep building on an already successful season.”
The DC team is led by Kynsley Redmon, who was dominant last weekend at the outdoor target state tournament in Madisonville. Redmon placed first in the high school female fixed pins division, for which she secured the overall Kentucky shooter of the year.
Daviess County Middle School
Daviess County Middle School and head coach Matt Murphy have hopes of securing the national title after the program placed first at every competition they attended this season, including the indoor national championship in Cincinnati.
“Last season we placed second — our goal this year is to bring home the big trophy,” Murphy said. “We have had an unbelievable year and we really hope to keep that momentum moving forward into nationals.”
Murphy created the middle school program in 2016 with 17 archers. In just three years, that number has grown to 54 archers, 30 of which will be in attendance at nationals.
“Daviess County High School did a great job of planting the seed,” Murphy said. “This journey has been amazing and I’m honored to coach these kids.”
Owensboro Archery Club
The Owensboro Archery Club, led by co-head coaches Chris Curtis and Steve Warren, will compete for a national title at the elementary, middle and high school levels in the club division.
The club, which is in its second year of existence and consists of archers that attend a wide array of schools in the area, won the S3DA club state title just a few weeks ago. They have every intention of keeping that momentum rolling with 58 members making the trip to nationals.
“We are heading into this event with high hopes for podium finishes in the elementary, middle, and high school divisions,” Warren said. “We feel that our kids are well prepared and will perform to the best of their abilities.”
Last weekend the club participated in the outdoor target state event in Madisonville, where several archers finished on the podium and OAC claimed the individual title at all three levels.
Anslee Roberson secured first place in the elementary female pins division while Kent Wethington placed first in the middle school male pins division. Meg Curtis placed first in the high school female open division while also securing shooter of the year status for the open division.
As a club, OAC won state championships in both the indoor and outdoor 3D competitions and were crowned S3DA club division indoor national champions in March.