The Wayward Archers fared well at this year's PA Indoor State Championships
While baseball, softball, tennis and track currently dominate the spring sports headlines, one dedicated group of local athletes is quietly making its presence felt on the local scene.
The Wayward Archers, an organization based right here in Wayne County, just recently returned from a stellar showing at the 2019 Pennsylvania State Archery Association's Indoor Championships.
This year's edition of the event took place at the PA Farm Show Complex in Hershey, April 6-7.
The team consists of local archers from Damascus, Prompton, Honesdale, Carbondale and Sullivan County (NY).
“We did really well and everyone had a great time,” said spokesperson Pam Kerber Gehman. “The kids work very hard and some of them have been to states multiple times. But, we have a lot of fun, too.”
The state indoor tourney is the culmination of the season insofar as group competition goes. However, many of the team members branch off to participate in individual events all over the northeast.
They keep in touch via social media and then re-assemble around New Year's to begin training for the 2020 tournament.
In the Spotlight
The 2019 Pennsylvania Archery Association Indoor Championships took place over the course of two days.
Hundreds of archers from all over the Commonwealth participated.
Each competitor shot 20 rounds per day, three arrows per flight, for a total of 60 arrows.
After two days, they'd unleashed 120 shots. A perfect score for each day is 600, so the total available for the entire competition would be 1,200 points.
Archers of all ages and abilities are welcome to participate. A total of 10 competitors representing Wayward made the trip to Hershey this year.
Each archer arrives on the scene with an individual rating. This enables the organizers to slot them into the appropriate category.
“Ratings are assigned to each kid prior to the shoot,” Pam said. “That rating is based on their average scores prior to the competition at practice.
“The categories are further broken down into male, female and age.”
Archers span the entire age range from junior high to senior citizen.
Results for our local competitors in their particular brackets are...
•Christopher Slater (12th place, Adult, 932 points)
•Evan Ernst (3rd place, 11-years-old, 893 pts)
•Jacob Christman (4th place, 12-years-old, 794 pts)
•Caleb Dobson (6th place, 12-years-old, 800 pts)
•Jacki Ford (2nd place, 18-years-old, 1080 pts)
•Kodi Coles (3rd place, 15-years-old, 979 pts)
•Abbie Washeleski, 6th place, 16-years-old, 830 pts)
•Lauren Dyser (1st place, 17-years-old, 758 pts)
•Kole Kerber (1st place, 15-years-old, 1138 pts)
•Damien Mulderig (4th place, 15-years-old, 1073 pts).
Over & Out
The Wayward Archers are overseen by a hard-working group of adult volunteers.
This year's officers are: Ken Coles, President; Sean Mulderig, Vice President; Jodi Ernst, Secretary; Pam Kerber Gehman, Treasurer.
Certified coaches include Kyle Kerber, Jodi Ernst and Ian Ernst.
The team practices every Saturday morning through the months of January, February and March. Each session lasts between two and three hours. They then head off to Hershey for the state championships.
There are a total of four PA state-level events held throughout the year.
The Indoor Championships were in April at the PA State Farm Show Complex.
The Outdoor State Target is held toward the end of June at the New Kingstown Fire Hall Grounds. The last two take place at the Mechanicsburg Sportsmen's Protective Association.
The Field & Hunter round generally is scheduled toward the end of July with the Bowhunter Animal round in August.