On the evening of April 21st, the Stowe Archers clubhouse slowly started to buzz with activity. League shooters began to trickle in for a little practice before the first round of 450 League Finals kicked off at 7:00pm.
Some archers were just happy to be included in the Shoot-Ups while others, such as myself, were there to win. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to have a laid-back and fun time but I also wanted to leave having won it all. After all, this was why I practiced several days each week.
My team was sitting in 1st Place and wasn’t schedule to shoot until the following week. I was there to record some video and, to be honest, size up the competition. Due to my wife’s work schedule, I didn’t get a chance to attend very many league nights. Instead, I shot separately and turned in my scores.
It was nice to see some familiar faces and have a few laughs but, at the end of the night, I left knowing that my team was going to have our work cut out for us if we wanted to win.
The following week, I arrived ready to shoot. I stepped up to the line, shot a few practice ends to make sure everything was in working order, then stepped back and watched the lower seeds shoot it out. It was fun to watch – The first matchup could have gone either way, the next was a major upset, then it was our turn.
With my handicap steadily dropping all season, I knew I was going to have my work cut out for me if I wanted to shoot a 150. I didn’t think about how I couldn’t drop more than 5 points, I just focused on making a good shot every time I drew the bow back.
In the end, I dropped a few points but I still managed to meet my handicap and shoot a perfect game for my team. My teammates shot very well – laughing and joking along the way. We came out ahead by 10 points and became the 2017 Stowe Archers 450 League Champions.
I had a lot of fun this indoor season and hope to do it all over again next year. In the meantime, I’m preparing to shoot our brand new 50-Meter League.