Gavin Wells and Leanna Boozer are two Washington School archers who never got a chance to shoot for a championship this season.
Despite this disappointment, they both say they are thankful for the four years they each spent on the General archery team, and they will take the lessons they learned with them for the rest of their lives.
“I like how you could be as strong as you wanted, but in archery all that mattered is that you had a good eye,” said Wells. “You have to calculate in your head where you want to put the arrow. In order to win, you have to be one of the calmest people in the sport.
“I think that is what the sport taught me the most is that you have to stay cool under pressure,” Wells said. “No matter what I do I always have to stay calm and keep a level head. If you always stay cool, you can kind of brush things off.”
Along with his high school archery career ending prematurely because of the coronavirus pandemic, Wells also had his golf season this spring cancelled.
Wells plans to attend Mississippi State University this fall and he hopes to major in wildlife fisheries and aquaculture with a concentration wildlife pre-vet.
Like Wells, Boozer said she learned a lot about herself by competing in archery during high school. Boozer said she could not have succeeded in the sport without the help of her best friend, Amy Reginelli, who was her teammate for her entire high school career.
“At first I thought I could not do it because archery seemed so hard,” Boozer said. “But, you learn that if you put enough practice into anything than you can get better at it.”
Like her teammate Wells, Boozer said she is considering becoming a veterinarian one day. Boozer is planning on attending Delta State University in the fall.
While there is no archery team at Delta State, archery is an extracurricular activity offered at her future school, and she said she hopes to be involved with the sport for many years to come.
For both Wells and Boozer, archery has taught them to aim steady and find their mark.