BUCKHANNON — Upshur County has many talented athletes to be proud of. This mini-series will highlight some of the lesser known sports and the amazing student athletes who take pride in competing. The following Profile is of 16-year-old Elijah Bryant, a Buckhannon-Upshur 4-H archer.
“God has blessed me with an amazing season. I have been able to place in every tournament that I have shot in so far. This season has showed me that it can be a good day even if I don’t finish on top. I don’t have to be “the best all the time” I just have to be “my best”. This year my average score has been in the 290’s out of 300. I’m hoping that with the practice and the blessing of God that I can be a repeat state champion. Our team has also had a great season. We have had many of our shooters place in each tournament. I am thankful to be part of such an amazing team,” said Bryant an eleventh grade student at Buckhannon-Upshur high school
Question 1: How long have you been participating in organized archery?
“I have been participating in organized archery for 7 years,” said Bryant.
Question 2: What drew you to the sport of archery? What is your favorite thing about shooting?
“I got drawn into archery by watching my older brother shoot in the sport and I knew I would love it too,” explained Bryant.
Question 3: How much time do you dedicate to practicing?
“I practice for about an hour every night of the week,” stated Bryant.
Question 4: How competitive is the West Virginia archery circuit?
“The WV archery scene is very competitive. There is a lot of good competition,” said Bryant.
Question 5: What are some positive things the sport of archery has introduced you to?
“My favorite thing about shooting is I get to meet many new people interested in the same thing. I have met many new friends,” explained Bryant.
Question 6: In your opinion, does it take to be a good shot with a bow?
“To be a good shot it takes a lot of practice and dedication to the sport. You have to stay focused,” stated Bryant.
Question 7: What are some highlights from your years in organized archery?
“This sport has brought me confidence in myself as an archer. It has allowed me an opportunity to meet other people in different areas. I been introduced to a lot of new people that have become good friends over time because of archery. I have gotten to travel to a lot of counties in WV and I also got to travel to Kentucky, Tennessee, and South Carolina to compete,” said Bryant.
Question 8: What’s the most important piece of advice you have gotten from a coach or peer that has helped you reach the level you are at today?
“The best advice I have received is that once the arrow is gone it’s gone. Forget about that arrow and move onto the next one,” explained Bryant.
Question 9: If you had any advice for kids interested in taking up archery what would it be?
“Some advice I would give a new archer is that they should not worry about their beginning scores. The scores may start out low but they should keep their heads up and don’t give up. It takes patience, practice and dedication,” said.
Question 10: Where do you see yourself in the future? Do you plan on keep chasing your archery goals and dreams?
“For the future, I have looked into shooting archery at the college level. I think I would also like to coach the sport. The sport has opened the doors to possibly compete at a college level. It has also showed me I can help young archers get better,” explained Bryant.
Watch for future editions of The Record Delta for another installment of this series.