Thunderbird Archery in 3rd Year, Ethan Jones Shoots a Perfecy Score


January 17, 2024

Rod Benson

The Hays/Lodge Pole Archery Club is now in its third season and continues to grow. Recently, a first happened for the program; a perfect 50 was shot by freshman Ethan Jones. In the program's three years, there have been several scores of 49 and club supervisor Rod Benson said this was the first 50. The Thunderbirds have a busy schedule in front of them.

The Hays/Lodge Pole Archery Club will hold a high school tournament the first week of February to decide the top 10 boys and girls. They will be awarded hoodies at the pep assembly for District Basketball. "It's nice to do it before the assembly so that the archery students get some recognition in front of the student body." The club will attend a one-day archery tournament at Paris Gibson High School in Great Fall the last week of February and will focus on bringing students not involved in basketball as they will play in Rocky Boy the next day.

"Typically, I like to have another tournament a few weeks later to give the kids an opportunity to improve their score," said Benson. The state tournament will take place at the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds in Helena with an afternoon session on Monday, March 18 and conclude with a full day on Tuesday, March 19. Each school can enter 24 students with the top four girls and the top four boys plus the next best four scores, regardless of gender, to decide the 12-person team score. The champion boy and girl each receive a bow and a medal while the second and third each receive a medal. "We are hoping to have at least five teams, but I heard somewhere that Havre High School has started a program. Of course, we would like to see more teams, but it's still fairly new to the state."

In achieving the first 50-point effort for the club, Jones stated, "I shot several rounds of 49. When I shot the 50, I was happy because that has been like my main goal." Shooting a 50 is not easy, "I wasn't nervous with my last arrow because I didn't think they were all in the bullseye. When I saw I shot a 50 I honestly didn't believe it, I was shocked," said Ethan. The state tournament is coming up fast and Ethan has already had success at that level, having finished 6th a year ago, "Last year I shot a 243, this year my goal is to shoot a 270 or better and finish higher than sixth."

Jones started shooting archery when he was a seventh grader and the program began, "Since I started shooting my goal has always been to shoot a 50." Ethan attributes his improvement this year to his time spent shooting in the summer, "When I'm shooting in practice, I have never counted up my total score, but I would say the 243 at State was my best."

The team looks to encourage more students to compete in the archery club and is excited about being one of the first schools to start up a program. The Journal looks forward to seeing the Hays/Lodge Pole Archery Club continue to grow and wish them the best of luck in every tournament they compete in.


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