Georgia Southern University, in Statesboro, Georgia can be a day trip driving from our home near Athens, Georgia. Making the drive of 170 miles one way isn’t too difficult. Making the round trip of 340 miles is a tad less fun especially when there’s an archery tournament in the middle of the drive.
The Georgia Southern University Shooting Sports Education Center held an archery tournament in middle of that drive to Statesboro and back to Athens. The Southern Fall Classic was there on November 16th. I entered but had no intention of a long haul on the road. I’ve got a camper that is an ideal travel remedy for such events and distances.
I didn’t haul the camper the entire distance stopping at Magnolia Springs State Park near Millen, Georgia for two overnight stays. Similar to the other Georgia State Parks where we’ve camped Magnolia Springs provided plenty of space, things to do when not shooting arrows, and it was quiet.
Camping, while certainly an activity to have made the trip worthwhile, was the bonus to the archery main course. Shooting at Georgia Southern is a nice and having once lived in Statesboro and taught at Southern it is nostalgic.
Being less nostalgic and more like Déjà vu was the competition at the tournament. Mainly that Déjà vu meant shooting with and against Paul and Bob.
There was no 60-year-old Masters division at the tournament meaning Bob and I, both past 60, would compete in a younger division where Paul shoots. Moving down in age group is fine with me. In fact, I nearly dropped down another age group to avoid shooting against Bob and Paul. Alas, I stayed put.
The indoor tournament scored 30 arrows at 25 meters and 30 arrows at 18 meters. Bob and Paul don’t too often make mistakes. When they do both can brush it off and move forward unaffected. Paul made the fewest errors on this Saturday. In fact, I was leading by 2 points after the 25-meter portion of the competition. Bob made one “opps” shot at 25-meters and I made my fair share of missing it when we moved to 18-meters. Paul remained steady throughout the day.
After all the arrows were shot the top 3 compound bow scores were from Paul, Bob and I. Paul won by 3 points. Bob and I tied in score and 10 count (39 tens each). As awards were called it was pointed out that our final placement came down to the 9 count. I was happy for it to have ended there.
After the awards the three of us headed to a bar to watch the Georgia (not Georgia Southern) game against Auburn. We stayed there until half time.
During half time, Paul and Bob headed back to their neck of the State, Savannah. I headed back to Magnolia Springs where I finished watching the Georgia – Auburn game in the luxury of my camper. It was an exciting game; Georgia won and clinched the SEC East.
On Sunday I packed, hooked the camper to my F-150 and headed home. I’m making the trip again in a few weeks for the Georgia 25-meter State Championship. I won’t need to shoot against Paul. But, Bob will be there.
Aside from Bob, David from Atlanta is likely to make the drive as will that fellow from Brunswick that won the State 5-spot in 2019. Buddy may show up, as might another dozen or so archers that could take the win in December. All one can do is their best and hope everyone else screws up.