A little backstory. Year before last my wife talked to me about being an archery coach and starting up a 4H archery program. I thought she was talking about doing that at the school where our kids go. I told her if she would help me with the paperwork and do the parent contacting and such, that I would teach the kids how to shoot. We went through the training and had our first meeting. When we got to the kickoff meeting with the kids, I asked my wife where the coaches for the other schools were. She then informed me, I was the coach for the whole county. Now maybe I misunderstood to start with, or maybe I was misinformed, but that's water under the bridge now. So we started up the Marshall county AL Sharp Shooters club early in 2016. My two kids have bows and my son likes to shoot, but neither one of them has wanted to compete, so I go teach other kids how to shoot every other Saturday for about 3 months a year. LOL
Yesterday was our state 4H archery championship. This is the 2nd year we have competed. Last year we had 3 kids that got medals. This year they just nearly dominated the entire event. We had 13 shooters and 10 of them medalled. This year we took 2nd place overall in the Senior Division and was very close to winning it all. I don't have the list of medals yet, but IIRC our Junior shooters won 1st place in 3D and 2nd in FITA. They won many more medals than any other team. The young man in the middle is our top Senior shooter and he was the top individual shooter in the state, overall. There are two courses, FITA and 3D. He was the top scorer in both. He won 6 medals himself, and a belt buckle. With the exception of the young man in the middle back and one other young lady, these are all shooters who have started since we started the club back up last year.
The little girl on the left, on the front row started shooting last year about 2 months prior to the state contest. She shoots a recurve, with no sights. I've been shooting a recurve for more than 25 years and I don't think I would have beaten her yesterday on the 3D course. Last year, her first year to shoot, she won 3rd place in the state. This year she won 1st place in FITA and 3D. She's a fairly dangerous young woman. All the kids on the front row shoot bows with no sights. That's pretty hard.
I have been blessed to be their coach and I've been blessed to have several parents that help me. I typically work with the new shooters and shooters who don't use sights and the young man in the middle of the back row and a couple of parents work with the kids who shoot tricked out compounds. All of the shooters, except 2 in the picture, started with us either this year or last. I'm so very proud of them and what they have accomplished in such a short time. I'm the old bald headed guy with the goatee.