The Long County 4-H Archery team has had much success in the past, including a state championship and a bronze medal at the national competition in 2010.
This year’s team is young with a lot of ambition, as well as a lot of heart. On May 24-26, the team competed in the Georgia Outdoor Archery Championship in Eatonton and, once again, did well. Mackenzie Pattison provided the highlight of the weekend by coming home with a silver medal. She earned her second-place finish by scoring 576 points out of a possible 720.
Other members of the team were Isaac Copeland, Tristan Gaudet, Caleb Lee, Ava Rhea, Evan Spires, John Green, Sukhui Young, Hannah Lee, Pedro Marrero, Justin Bustle, Garrett Fuller and Mathew Grant.
Though no other local archer placed in the tournament, several achieved personal-best high scores, according to program coordinator Lisa Overbey.
She said that there were more than 700 archers who competed in Eatonton. The coach said she was proud of the entire team for its hard work in preparing for the competition.
Overbey said that the archery program is a part of a larger shooting-sports curriculum offered by the 4-H Club.
“The archery competition fits in well with the Long County youth program, because we are a rural county with about
10 organized hunting clubs,” she said. “Many youth have their guns for hunting and can’t wait until the beginning of hunting season.”
The coach said the archery program instills the thrill of competition to its archers, but also teaches safety and more.
“The shooting-sports SAFE (Shooting Awareness, Fundamental and Education) program not only teaches youth concepts related to shooting and firearm responsibility, but also helps young people develop life skills such as sportsmanship, leadership, ethics, safety, wildlife recreation and an appreciation for nature,” Overbey said.
For more information on how to be a part of or support the archery team or the Long County 4-H club, call Overbey at 545-9549.