2015 Texas State Championship
The rise of the next generation of archers, the reign of veterans, and the debut of newcomers, the 2015 Texas State Championship would see all of these as archers battled for gold. Following their second league season, the schools of East Texas again gathered at Christian Heritage School for their championship event.
In the morning ranking round we saw two veteran archers secure top spots. For the boys, Parker Jackson (Christian Heritage) improved upon his 3rd place finish last year by taking first with a 306/360. For the girls, Jordan Collard (St. Mary’s) repeated her first place finish from 2014 by shooting a 250/360. Joining these two in the top ranks were some new faces to the archery scene. Victor Banda (Christian Heritage) and Jessica Mitchell (Christian Heritage) shot in their first OAS Championship and finished in the top 3.
The afternoon matches are where the drama and stories are created. Coach Paul Duesterhoft of Christian Heritage shares some of it with us:
Just like last year, the Olympic Round Boys had a 1 arrow shoot off in the Gold Medal Match. Last year’s one arrow shoot off was between Will Hurst and Preston Jacks. This year’s 1 arrow shoot off was between Parker Jackson and Nathan Jacks, who is Preston’s little brother. They wanted to shoot one at a time, but neither wanted to go first. We decided to flip a coin and let whoever won the coin toss choose the shooting order. Parker won the coin toss and said he wanted Nathan to shoot first. Nathan went up too the line and it seemed like even the gym lights stopped making noise. He took longer than usual to make his shot. He let the arrow fly and hit a 10. And the place erupted. Parker got an 8. Preston had lost his tie breaker the year before, but his little brother Nathan had won. I think the first thing he did was text his brother. It was an exciting end to the tournament.
The girls too saw some surprising upsets. Leading up to the gold medal match, Jordan Collard had a relatively smooth journey to the finals with a BYE in the first round and then a 6-2 victory in the semi’s. Her opponent, Kristi Morehead (East Texas Christian Academy) who was ranked 6th, had a more eventful series of matches as she knocked out both the third and second seeded archers for a chance at gold! In the final match, both ladies were tied at 4-4 going into the last end. With the final three arrows, Jordan would defend her State Title and capture gold.
For the team round, archers were grouped into teams of three. Their combined scores from the ranking round would determine their ranking amongst the other teams. The match-up between St. Mary’s and ETCA would see East TX Christian Academy take the bronze medal. For gold, it was a showdown between teammates as both Christian heritage teams made it to the gold medal match. Though the archers wore the same jersey they showed no hesitation when facing off against their peers. So evenly matched were these teams that a shoot-off was necessary to determine a winner. Tied at 4-4, the teams would break the tie by having each archer shoot a single arrow. In the end it would be the team of Victor Banda, Luke Dyess, and Hannah Trauger that would win 5-4 for gold!
For the overall school ranking, Christian Heritage would complete their flawless season with the State Champion title!
Big thanks to the archers, coaches, and parents of East Texas for completing another great season!