FC archers on target for competitive 2023 season

by Nicole Stokes

A total of 57 names are on the Franklin County School District’s competitive archery roster — between the upper elementary, middle and high schools — for 2023.

Coach Connie Johnston said, of that number, six of her students will be graduating this year — Devin Roberts, Jessica Smith, Lilly Hutto, Maddie Bullion, Drew Jones and Takira Ford.

“I have a large group with the high school,” Johnston said.

“I have some strong ones. Some will listen and make the corrections to shoot better, but some won’t and they are still under 200s ... the highest you can shoot is a 300. Roughly, the range for high school should be in the 260s to 270s.

“With the middle school, I kept it small this year. That way I can work with them more one-on-one. The middle school is a pretty good group as well. They are growing each shoot and that is all I ask. I like to tell them, ‘Do better than you did at the last shoot’ and ask ‘what changes can we make to do that?’”

Johnston said she is also teaching the upper elementary archers this year, which was formerly done by Patty Davis.

“They have impressed me a lot,” she continued. “They are coachable — and that is something I look at in choosing who makes the team. I have a lot with the potential to be excellent archers.

“To join the team, we have two days of teaching you how to shoot and the proper procedures of handling a bow and arrow, and then one day of tryouts. I try to watch them closely.

“My sweet Lilly Hutto tried out in the 6th grade and didn’t make it, (but she) tried out in 7th grade and made it and is my top female shooter. The highest she has shot is 293/300.”

Johnston said she is coaching by herself this year, but it is working out well as she knows how she likes to run things and the students know her rules.

Archery practice take place in the middle school gymnasium except for the invitational, which will be held in the high school gym.

The invitational is set to take place March 20, 21 and 23.

Here is a summary of recent shooting competitions:


Top 12 high school shooters in the Wednesday, Feb. 15 event included: Lilly Hutto, 283; Addison Beach, 273; Jaxson Westbrook, 273; Abrielle Simmons, 266; Drew Jones, 266; Caden Tyson, 264; Tate Goff, 263; Addison Lunsford, 258; Ava King, 257; Sabastian Malone, 254; Takira Ford, 249; and Miller Lloyd, 249.

The FCHS squad finished with a team score of 3,155.

Middle school Top 12 shooters at Columbia included: Hunter Smith, 264; Levi Conerly, 246; John Priest, 242; Younes Abuhakmeh, 225; Colt Hawes, 224; Savannah Emfinger, 221; Kaleigh King, 220; Makayla Graves, 210; Ethan Wallace, 197; Samaya Dunn, 185; T.K. Martin, 180; and Alyssa Miller, 176.

The FCMS team wound up with a 2,590 score.

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FC’s archers traveled to Enterprise on Friday, Feb. 24 and finished with a team score of 3,107.

The top four male shooters and their individual scores included: Jaxon Westbrook, 275; Caden Tyson, 270; Drew Jones, 267; and Devin Roberts, 249.

Other FC male competitiors and their scores were: Carter Goff, 242; Tate Goff, 236; Drake Higgs, 236; Sebastian Malone, 233; Connor Bonds, 231; Hayden Torret, 204; Blake Mann, 197; Ashton Moore, 191; and Cooper Foster, 166.

Top female shooters and their scores were: Lilly Hutto, 278; Abrielle Simmons, 270; Addison Beach, 260; and Ava King, 258.

FC’s other female competitors and the final tallies included: Addison Lunsford, 250; Anna Underwood, 244; Takira Ford, 244; Maddie Bullion, 239; Cara Carbery, 238; Katrena Taylor, 231; Jessica Smith, 210; and Ka’Leigh Smith, 181.