Sibling Rivalr: Brother, sister headed to state archery meet with army of AC archers

Published 8:15 am Saturday, April 2, 2022

NATCHEZ — Phoebe and Drake Hale began shooting with Adams County Christian School’s archery program three years ago. Now, the siblings are preparing to compete with teammates in the state finals.

Last week, Adams County Christian School’s elementary team finished second in the MAIS 5A South State with a combined score of 1,905. The middle school finished third with a combined score of 2,846, and the high school finished fourth with a combined score of 3,060. 

Individually, Phoebe shot a 252 at South State and Drake was hot on her heels with a 247 in the high school division. Their younger brother Cooper shoots at the elementary level and shot 213 at South State. 

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Phoebe started shooting as a sixth-grader and is a freshman now, Drake started as a fourth-grader and is in seventh grade. They were homeschooled and wanted to have something to do, she said.

“I just wanted to try it out and see what it would be like,” Phoebe said. “I thought it was fun. At first when you start out it brings you down if you aren’t good. Seeing your improvement, you feel like you are on cloud nine.” 

The Hales practice as much as they can after school at the multi-purpose gym or at home. Phoebe also runs track, plays tennis and softball in addition to archery. Drake plays soccer and baseball in addition to archery. 

Phoebe said it takes time to get good at archery, unless you are naturally good at it. Drake said he enjoys reaching the little achievements over time. Anytime he shoots one more point above his record is another reason for him to come back, notch an arrow and let it fly. 

“I still try for a perfect 50. I just enjoy trying to be better,” Drake said. “It feels better when you see how far you have come.” 

This will be the first year since they started archery that they will go to the state finals held at the Kirk Fordice Equine Center. Drake said he was excited to experience the atmosphere, as previous state meets were shot remotely because of COVID. 

Hundreds of students from across Mississippi will shoot at the state finals held April 4 to April 9.

“It’s good to have a challenge,” Phoebe said. “Personally, I rather shoot against better shooters. It proves to me I can do it. It makes me want to stride more and it makes me feel like I did something.” 

They both want to finish in the top 50 and shoot better than 280 at the state finals. Drake set his goal slightly better than his sister. She wanted to finish top 50 and he wanted to finish top 25. She wanted to shoot 280 and he set his goal at 290. 

Sibling competition is high between them. “I want to beat my brother at state,” Phoebe said. “If one of us shoots better than the other the whole school will know.”