Sibling Rivalr: Brother, Sister Head to State Archery to Meet Army of AC Archers – Mississippi’s Best Community Newspaper

NATCHEZ — Phoebe and Drake Hale started shooting with the Adams County Christian School archery program three years ago. Now the siblings prepare to take on their teammates in the National Finals.

Last week, Adams County Christian School Elementary team finished second in MAIS 5A South State with a combined score of 1,905. Middle school finished third with a combined score of 2,846 and high school a finished fourth with a combined score of 3,060.

Individually, Phoebe shot a 252 at South State and Drake was hot on his heels with a 247 in the high school division. Their younger brother Cooper shoots at the elementary level and shot 213 at South State.

Phoebe started shooting in sixth and is now in first grade, Drake started in fourth and is in fifth. They were homeschooled and wanted to have something to do, she said.

“I just wanted to give it a try and see what it would look like,” Phoebe said. “I thought it was fun. At first when you start it gets you down if you’re not good. Seeing your improvement makes you feel like you’re on cloud nine.

The Hales train as much as they can after school at the multi-purpose gym or at home. Phoebe also runs track, plays tennis and softball in addition to archery. Drake plays football and baseball in addition to archery.

Phoebe said it takes time to get good at archery, unless you’re naturally gifted. Drake said he enjoys achieving small accomplishments over time. Every time he shoots one more point above his record, that’s another reason for him to come back, nock an arrow and let it fly.

“I always try to get a perfect 50. I just like trying to be better,” Drake said. “It’s better when you see how far you’ve come.”

This will be the first year since they started archery that they will go to the national finals which will be held at the Kirk Fordice Equine Center. Drake said he was excited to experience the atmosphere, as previous state meets have been shot remotely due to COVID.

Hundreds of students from across Mississippi will be shooting in the state finals to be held April 4-9.

“It’s nice to have a challenge,” Phoebe said. “Personally, I rather shoot against better shooters. It proves to me that I can do it. It makes me want to walk more and it makes me feel like I’ve done something.

They both want to finish in the top 50 and shoot better than 280 in the national finals. Drake set his sights slightly better than his sister. She wanted to finish in the top 50 and he wanted to finish in the top 25. She wanted to shoot 280 and he set a goal of 290.

Sibling competition is high between them. “I want to beat my brother to the state,” Phoebe said. “If one of us shoots better than the other, the whole school will know about it.”

Earnest A. Martinez