Back in January, the 2018 Stowe Archers 450 League kicked off for three months of head to head matchups. This was my third year running the league and things were looking up from the start. We had more shooters than previous years and the competition looked solid.
In an effort to make the fast-growing Barebow Division more competitive, I tweaked the handicaps and introduced FITA Style Scoring by eliminating the 10-Ring for Compound Archers. There was some minor grumbling at the start but shooters adjusted quickly.
With my team having won it all last year, I had high hopes for a repeat this year. Things didn’t go as planned and we lost one of our most consistent shooters when he made the switch over to Barebow Division and became part of an all barebow team.
We added another Youth Archer to our ranks and I was still confident that we would do well. We struggled a bit early on and lost some matchups that I expected us to win. When the finals rolled around, we found ourselves in second-to-last place and had a difficult road ahead of us if we wanted to move up in the tournament.
We won our first Shoot-Up Match but lost our second. With an early exit from the tournament, it gave me plenty of time to look back at our season. In the grand scheme of things – we did pretty well. On a personal note, I shot better than I ever have in this league. Our new Youth Archer showed improvement from week to week (which I’m thrilled about) and our two remaining team members posted consistent scores.
Despite all of the good things we had going on, we were simply out-shot. As tough as that is to accept from match to match, it just shows how much better our league has gotten from one year to the next. I’m looking forward to taking another shot at the League Championship next winter.