Team Palm Beach Archery Aims at Individual Success

409

By David DiPino The Pineapple Staff Writer On a Wednesday night during dinner time in Delray Beach, Team Palm Beach Archery lines their arrows up on sights mounted on recurve and compound bows, pull back the bow stings and shoot towards targets during Junior Olympian Archery Development (JOAD) scoring rounds. These archers range in age from age 11 to 16, and are competing individually to achieve star pins, advance levels of recognition and competition status. They meet once a week to shoot two practice rounds, followed by JOAD scoring rounds under the direction of the man they all learned to hold a bow with for the first time, championship winning archer John Bowersox Jr., owner of Palm Beach Archery, 1300 SW 10th St., Suite #6, Delray Beach. “Archery is not really a team sport. It stresses individual achievement, focus, and discipline,” Bowersox Jr. said. Team Palm Beach Archery is currently working with Bowersox Jr. on gaining their JOAD star pins and in also preparing to individually compete in the North American Field Archery Championships, December 12-14, Everglades Archers, 17415 SW 264th St., Homestead, and the Florida Archery Association Indoor Archery Championships, February 20-22, 2015, in Miami Springs. “My goal is to get our Palm Beach Archery team shooting more and practicing more in the future,” Bowersox Jr. said. He surely won’t be wasting any time on motivating the Palm Beach Archery team. All of the team has passionately embraced the sport over the last four years under Bowersox Jr. There is even a waiting list to get on the team. Some of his team members enjoy the competition, others find pulling arrows out of their quivers and shooting towards a target as a fun way to get away from the daily grind of school, FCAT’s, and even some students just like participating so they can meet new people their age interested in archery. “I just like shooting and the feeling of shooting the arrow through the air. I enjoy competing but for me it’s not really about the score or the competition,” said Juliette Morgan, 15, of West Boca Raton. Morgan shoots a recurve bow alongside her peer Halee Schichtel, 14 of Delray Beach. “I enjoy meeting new people involved in archery because they all seem to have a good attitude,” said Schichtel. “As for the recurve bow versus the compound bow, there are definitely different challenges.” Archer Jacob Levine of Boca Raton also shoots recurve bow. “I started shooting about four years ago. I enjoy looking into the sight, shooting at the targets and afterward finding out what kind of score I achieved,” said Levine. Levine points out there are 10 rings, in order: lowest to highest, on archery targets. So, there’s a lot room for success and error. Eric Jacobwitz, 16, and his brother Josh Jacobwitz, 11, of Boca Raton have found a sport they compete individually in, yet as a part of the same team at Palm Beach Archery. The Jacobwitz’s have found a brotherly love in shooting compound bows. “I started four years ago and he (Josh) followed in my footsteps,” said Eric Jacobwitz said. “A compound bow uses a series of pulleys and cables, a levering system that connect the bow string to cams on two stiff limbs. The compound bow is much stiffer than a recurve bow or longbow,” said Eric Jacobwitz. Alexis Feder, of Boca Raton, is a fellow compound bow archer. She was using the Wednesday night scoring round to shoot for a JOAD star pin. “Tonight, I’m shooting for a Bronze Olympian star pin. In order to move up to a higher star pin, you have to shoot a higher score each time,” Feder said. Competing individually yet in a team atmosphere, can be tough. Archers only have three arrows to shoot during the scoring round in an attempt to win the star pins. In professional competitions, older age group archers are given five or six arrows to compete. Fellow compound bow archers Thomas McGowan, 13, and Nikita Thomas, 13, of Wellington, got into archery for different reasons. “To be honest, I was actually watching The Hunger Games and really liked the parts where Katniss Everdeen uses the bow and arrow,” said Thomas. “I really like Talk Eye (Nick Fury) in The Avengers. It’s really fun to come here to Palm Beach Archery and shoot my compound bow. I really look forward to my time here and I come twice a week. I also enjoy competing in archery,” said McGowan. At Palm Beach Archery, Bowersox Jr. also offers adult beginning classes, middle and high school classes, team building, host’s singles events, birthday and private parties. “We provide the bows. I would actually discourage someone from buying a new bow before they at least try out archery for the first time,” said Bowersox Jr. For more information on Palm Beach Archery, call 561-808-8645, visit www.palmbeacharchery.com, www.facebook.com/ PalmBeachArchery or email John Bowersox Jr. at: john@palmbeacharchery.com.