The Transylvania Times -

Local Archers Hit The Mark At 4-H State Competition


October 24, 2019

Pictured are members of the Backwoods Broadheads 4-H Archery Club. Members include, front row, left to right: Collin Owen, Myah Owen, McKenna Baker and Carlie Baker; back row: Leana Kitchens, Cassidy Ayers, Keith Fuller, Kaeden Galloway and Corey Rackley.

Recently, a group of local youth archers competed in the 4-H state competition, with several bringing home medals for top finishes.

Upon completion of a short-term 4-H archery program led by Michael Hall at the Lake Toxaway Community Center, there was interest in continuing as a year-round 4-H archery club in 2018.

The first step was for adult volunteers to complete mandatory training with N.C. 4-H. Nicolas and Jessica Owen (a 4-H alum) took the training in hopes that interest would grow and to promote 4-H in the Lake Toxaway area. Lake Toxaway Community Center board members gave their full support, allowing them to practice on their beautiful field and meet in their building.

Funds to purchase targets and safety equipment were provided through the Lake Toxaway Charities grant program. Upon meeting the requirements for a club charter, the Backwoods Broadheads 4-H Archery Club became an official 4-H club in June 2018.

The club is still going strong in its second year. Nine youths gather weekly to practice and gain skills in archery, life skills and teamwork.

All nine members competed in the West District 4-H Shooting Sports Competition on Aug. 10, 2019 in the Junior Division for ages 9-13.

According to Jessica Owen, "The competition days are always very long and very hot, but I could not have asked more or been prouder of these kids. They definitely showed off their talents."

Out of eight teams competing in Junior Compound Archery from across the west district, Toxaway's two teams earned first place (Myah Owen, Collin Owen, and Corey Rackley) and third place (Keith Fuller, Kaeden Galloway, McKenna Baker, and Carlie Baker).

Myah Owen was named first place overall in Junior Compound Archery and Collin Owen third place overall in Junior Compound Archery.

Myah Owen shot Junior Recurve Archery where she took first place as individual and second place overall in that division. This qualified all of the junior club members to compete at the state level. This was the first year the club had members enter the senior division.

Even though Cassidy Ayers and Leana Kitchens did not place, they shot amazingly well for their first 4-H competition.

The State 4-H Shooting Sports Competition was held Sept. 21. The two junior teams traveled to Elderbe, N.C. for the competition. Once again the youths' hard work really paid off.

The team of Myah Owen, Collin Owen and Corey Rackley took first out of nine teams from across the state.

Not only are these youth very talented archers, they also gained public speaking skills by presenting at the Transylvania County and West District 4-H Presentation Days.

Four members selected topics of interest, researched them, and created slide presentations: McKenna Baker - Photography; Carlie Baker - The Effects of Social Media on Youth; Collin Owen - The Career of Taxidermy; Myah Owen - How to Raise a Beef Calf.

Reflecting on this experience, Owen commented, "Presentations are extremely hard for most youths to do; it is hard to get up in front of people you don't know and speak. But the life skills that are learned by pushing through the nerves are amazing."

Now that the archery competition season is over, the club will continue meeting to practice leadership and other life skills in addition to target practice and learning how to repair their equipment.

The public is invited to help support local 4-H programs by participating in the 4-H Paper Clover Campaign hosted by Tractor Supply. Proceeds go to providing scholarships for 4-H members to attend 4-H camp and leadership development programs. This year's campaign runs Oct. 9 - 20, 2019.


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