Three kids from Laurel County were named state champions at the KY S3DA 3D State Championships held last weekend.
Hayden Joseph won the high school division championship, Savannah Philpot won the middle school division championship and Reese Weaver won the elementary division championship. The competition had archers shooting at 3D targets of animals which included models such as brown bears, spotted leopards and wild turkeys.
“The support has been overwhelming,” said Quentin Joseph, the coach for AimTakers Archery, the team that Hayden and Reese both compete for. This is the inaugural season for AimTakers and Joseph said he is appreciative of all the encouragement and assistance the team has gotten, coming everywhere from archers’ parents to the Kentucky National Guard.
Savannah is a member of Impact Archery, a team based out of Whitley County, but she is from Laurel County, according to Joseph.
Holden Joseph, Hayden’s brother and another member of AimTakers, placed third in the middle school competition.
Hayden, who will be going into his junior year of high school, won multiple scholarships from different universities, including one for $20,000 from the University of Pikeville and one worth $12,000 from Union College. He was also given certificate scholarships with unmarked amounts from the University of the Cumberlands, Campbellsville University and Kentucky Christian University.
The competition had archers shoot at 20 different targets of 3D animals at distances ranging from 20 to 50 yards, the same amount professional and collegiate archers shoot from. The concept of scoring is similar to golf with 200 points being the equivalent of a round of par, except the archer wants to shoot above this number.
There are 12-point rings, a 10-point ring, an eight-point ring and five points are awarded for hitting the target outside of the largest ring. The maximum score an archer can reach is 240.
Hayden scored a 214 and hit eight 12-point rings, Savannah scored a 212 and hit eight 12-point rings and Reese scored a 212 and hit 10 12-point rings.
Joseph said the AimTakers will be competing in the World Archery 3D Championships – U.S. Team Trials and the June Mathews Pro/Am this weekend at the Laurel County Fairgrounds.
The outdoor bow hunting season runs from April to the beginning of August and is followed up by an indoor season starting in the winter, according to Joseph.
3D target bow hunting also helps kids get introduced to bow hunting, since it is almost impossible for someone young to become acquainted with the sport on their, own according to Mike Tyrell, the ASA president.
Joseph said he courages any parents to let their kids try archery and also spoke how about how it is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States.
Any kids interested in trying archery can contact the AimTakers at facebook.com/aimtakers.