Lost Creek’s Richards puts the city and archery on the map

LOST CREEK, W.Va (WDTV) — Within a year, Drew Richards has become a decorated archer. He’s been working on his craft in the sport for nearly half a decade and after an impressive 2021, he has the gear to show it.

Richards picked up a bow at the age of ten and hasn’t let go since, taking after Lost Creek native and 2015 and 2021 world champion Kelsey Palmer. Success has become the expectation over the past year, and not just ranking, but first.

“Last year was the first year I really won anything,” Richards said. “I shot seven tournaments and won six of the seven.”

Richards competes in the International Bowhunting Organization. Archery has taken him everywhere, with competitions in West Virginia and surrounding states, but also in places like North Carolina and Alabama.

Archery is no ordinary sport – it’s not offered at the high school level – but that hasn’t deterred Richards from taking part. He quickly understood the methods behind the madness.

“There are different rings – an 11, a 10, an eight and a five – with 11 being the best,” Richards said. “That’s what you want, but you don’t always get 11s on everyone.”

He’s humble about it, but Richards shoots quite a few 11s and those add up. To name just a few of her accolades over the past year, Richards won her division at the IBO Winter and Spring Nationals in 2021 and 2022 and earned the 2021 National Triple Crown in competitions in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio. After those many wins, there are moments that sometimes stand out, but for the most part, Richards is just locked in.

“Some moves are cool, like putting a target on a log,” Richards said. ” You remember. Other than that, they’re all kind of the same.

Being an ever-growing sport that you can grow with yourself, Richards hopes to see more interest in archery from those close to home and around the world.

“Try to get more people involved and interested,” Richards said. “They’ll probably like it too.”

As far as competition preparation goes, Richards typically shoots 40 targets before any given competition. The distance from the starting point to the target is always unknown, so it takes a lot of mental and physical rehearsal to be ready for a tournament – something Richards is more than happy to do.

“Hard work pays off, and a lot of it. You just have to work hard and I guess the results come with that,” Richards said. “I would like to keep shooting for as long as possible and hope for the best.”

Richards was also named the 2021 shooter of the year in his class. Now he is in the midst of another year of competition within the International Bowhunting Organization and continues to add to his growing collection of first place finishes.

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Earnest A. Martinez