Archery enthusiasts show their skill at Lubbock tournament

KLBK Sports

LUBBOCK, Texas — Archery enthusiasts from across West Texas came together Saturday and Sunday in Lubbock to test their skill in the Texas Field Archery Association’s “Shoot Your Way Across Texas” tournament.

The tournament takes place from October to February annually and happens at more than 45 archery ranges or clubs all over the state.

Held at Archery Shack Texas in Lubbock, last weekend’s competition was the only Shoot Your Way Across Texas tournament in the early fall to take place in West Texas.

Anyone older than five years was permitted to compete in the regular season. Last weekend was only the second weekend of competition, but it was the first weekend for competitors like 80-year-old Amarillo residents Mike and Linda Cullwell.

The competition was the first in four years where Mike Culwell could shoot on his own. Four years ago, Cullwell had a stroke that affected his right arm. Afterwards, Linda had to assist him during competition.

“For the first time in four years. I had a stroke and couldn’t shoot.” said Cullwell, “For three years, I started last year and she just had to hold my arm up because this right side is affected but I still won my class that way.”

Anyone can compete and participate in archery — from any age or skill level.

“One thing that is good about archery is that it levels the playing field for guys, girls, men and women, disabled or abled bodies, there are no biases.” said Archery Shack owner Bruce Beal. “It’s a sport that levels the playing field and unifies everybody and it is a lot more competitive because there are just a lot more people.”

The competitions are great opportunities for archers to put their skills to the test, however to many archers it is more about seeing friends and family in the archery community and getting a chance to compete, bond and make memories with them.

“I like being around the people.” said 13-year-old Dumas resident Tara Easterling. “I’m homeschooled, so this is a big chunk of social interaction. I like being around the people and like competing in general.”

Beal agreed that competitions like these are a great way to bond with people who are passionate about archery. He also mentioned that he enjoyed seeing the sport grow across Texas.

“It is cool to see the sport growing like it has been,” said Beal. “Just all the new faces that are coming in is exciting and for us it is more of a community-wide deal because archery is like its own community as well.”

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