DAWSON -- Terrell County, National Champions.
Don't see those two together very often, do you?
A trio of archers made it happen last week by winning the team archery title in the compound bow division during the three-day 2010 National 4-H Shooting Sports Invitational in Kerrville, Texas.
Royce Palmer, Brandon Ellerbee and Jake Cliett combined to defeat teams from 31 states to win gold in the overall team competition shooting arrows in three different events (3-D, Field and FITA).
"It was a lot different than what we expected," Terrell County 4-H archery coach Todd Cliett said. "They say everything in Texas either bites, stings or sticks you, but our kids worked together and went out focused on winning."
Palmer and Ellerbee, both rising juniors at Terrell Academy, and Cliett, a homeschool senior, finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively, in the overall compound bow standings. The three shooters won the Field and FITA shooting events and placed third in the 3-D shooting event.
The national title is the first ever documented national title as a Terrell County entity. All three are eligible to shoot on the 4-H team next year, but none of them will be allowed to compete in the compound division after shooting at the national level this year.
"They're all three talking about getting recurves and going back in recurve (division)," said Cliett, referring to shooting a recurve bow, a different type of bow compared to the compound bow the team shot at nationals.
Along with winning a national title, the group made friends with several of the other states' shooters and are planning to host one state's team for a hog hunt in Georgia in return for a duck hunting trip in Oklahoma.
"Just as important as winning and shooting well was the friendships they made," Cliett said.
The Terrell County 4-H team will begin shooting again in the fall and are looking for more shooters, particularly in the compound bow division. Anyone interested in participating with the group can call the Terrell County Extension Office at (229) 995-2165 for more information.