Several local archers have been putting their talents on display this past year, including at the state and national levels, as the Taylor’s Archery Team will get set to wrap up its year with a trip to nationals on July 11-13.
When it comes to archery, Taylor’s Archery competes in three different fields, indoor, outdoor target and 3D seasons. So far, the locals have already taken part in nationals at the indoor tournament, and have concluded state for the 3D Tournament as well as the outdoor target.
Currently, several local archers are now getting set to take part in the 3D national tournament and the outdoor target national tournament, both of which will take place July 11-13. That upcoming national tournament will take place at Mermet Lake State Park in Metropolis, Illinois.
Leading the team is senior Meghan Dodd, from Lynchburg, who collected quite a few of accolades this year, including a scholarship value of $145,500. During her season, Dodd, who will be attending the University of Tennessee-Martin in the fall, took first place in the indoor competition at the state level, before placing fourth at nationals.
Dodd then made it a complete sweep at the state level, taking first in the 3D tournament and the outdoor competition. Her performance led her to being selected as the Shooter of the Year in Tennessee for the indoor, outdoor and 3D divisions.
“We are extremely proud of Meghan,” said Head Coach Josh Harris. “She’s one of the best kids that you could ever work with. She’s very coachable, listens and is very respectful. She comes from a good family and she also helps me with some of my younger kids when she’s able to. I’m just extremely proud of her and all of her accomplishments.”
Kory Luttrell, from Lynchburg, was also another standout for Taylor’s Archery this season. During the indoor season, he finished third in the state, taking fourth in shooter of the year.
During 3D competition, Luttrell took first place in the state, adding a Shooter of the Year title to his name. He also took second in the outdoor target at state. As a sophomore, Luttrell has already been awarded a scholarship value of $154,000.
“I’m extremely proud of Kory, just for the simple fact that when indoor season started, he was started coming around and clicking on all cylinders toward the end of the season,” Harris said. “He battled through some execution issues. As far as his ability, he has put in a lot of work and a lot of hours with archery. I’m just extremely proud of him and happy for him.”
The Taylor’s Archery Team also saw several middle schoolers make time marks this season, including by Ashley Scott, a seventh grader at East Middle School.
During indoor season, Scott finished second in the state, adding a Shooter of the Year title to her name. She followed that with a second-place effort in the nationals.
Scott didn’t compete during the 3D portion of the season, but did add a state title in the outdoor target.
Peyton Taylor, a sixth-grader at West Middle School, took fourth place in the state during indoor season, finishing third in Shooter of the Year.
Natalie Best, an eighth-grader at West, took second place at the state tournament during the indoor season.
Nevaeh Todd, a sixth-grader at West, finished 10th in the state at indoor competition, finishing eighth overall in shooter of the year. During 3D season, she finished seventh in the state and seventh in the shooter of the year standings.
Taylor’s Archery also saw several elementary school athletes achieve success this past season. Aidan Stubblefield, a home-schooled fifth grader, took fifth in the state during indoor competition. During the 3D season, Stubblefield finished in fifth place at the state tournament, finishing in third place for Shooter of the Year.
Improving off that performance at the outdoor target competition, Stubblefield took second place at the state tournament.
Harleigh James, a fifth-grader at Bel-Aire, finished second in the state at the indoor state tournament. That performance also allowed her to take first in Shooter of the Year. James then went on to take sixth place at nationals.
In 3D season, James changed classes, going from the traditional to the Olympic recurve class. That allowed her to finish first in the state, while also taking Shooter of the Year as well.
Alexis Mims, also a fifth-grader at Bel-Aire, took second place in the state tournament during the 3D season. That performance allowed her to finish second in Shooter of the Year.
Tommy Diamond, a fifth-grader at Farrar, took fourth place at the state tournament during the indoor competition, also finishing second for Shooter of the Year. He also took third place at nationals.
Madison Best, a fifth-grader at Northlake, finished third in the state during the indoor competition.
Jonah Dorman, a fourth-grader at Robert E. Lee, finished eighth in the state during the indoor tournament, while finishing second in Shooter of the Year.
While getting set to head to nationals, Harris said that he’s proud of his archers on what they’ve accomplished all year. Tracy Taylor, owner of Taylor’s Archery, which sponsors the locals, echoed those sentiments.
“It’s been a good year. Our team isn’t the biggest team out there … but to be honest, I’m not really interested in having the biggest team out there,” Tracy said. “I like to keep it where we can fully give our kids attention. If we have one with an issue, we can give them attention on a personal basis. Josh does a great job coaching and he motivates the kids. Me and my wife [Sandy], we are glad to be a part of it.”
As the season nears its end, Harris also wanted to note just how hard his athletes work. His two high school athletes, Dodd and Luttrell, are seeing the dividends of their hard work paying off.
Archery season typically begins in October. Prior to that, the team will have registration in September. Harris stated that he would like to see his team grow next season and have the numbers expand.
He’s also hoping to recruit younger archers as well, helping them get familiar with the sport, or even break bad habits that some archers may possess. He’s hoping that in turn, that could benefit an archer down the road, particularly when it comes to college. High school competition is when athletes can start competing for scholarship money.
“Meghan and Kory have been shooting for a number of years. It’s not something that they just picked up and were that successful with it,” Harris said. “They had to learn the form and how to execute the show. The quicker that I can get those kids, the higher their chances are of earning major scholarship money.”