The 2002 Texas State Field Championship

RESULTS  (Scores)

Photos: page 1 (210 seconds)   page 2(195 seconds)  page 3 (206 seconds)

List of registrants (not all attended)

by Rick Stonebraker

Without a doubt, this was a most exciting state field championship. For those who survived the mosquito barrage from 2001, it was evident that a mosquito could not land on anyone due to the swirling winds on the front half of the course. Nor could they survive the heat near the bottom of some of the sand dunes. Although there was a lack of hilly terrain, the organizers did not lack creativity and ingenuity to create an 'interesting' field championship. A huge thanks goes up to the Blaschke's for allowing us to use their property. For all those who missed it, the site is an exotic deer ranch with all kinds of animals roaming around. On Sunday, shooting on target#8 was delayed due to a small heard of Bison milling around the shooting position. After the beasts moved on, shooting continued. The kids commented that is was very exciting!

Several kids and adults took photos of a camel that rested in one of the enclosures. I mentioned beforehand that not a single snake was seen in the five days that it took to prepare the course and on Sunday alone, we saw four grass snakes, three garter snakes, and two banded snakes. Nothing poisonous, just something to grasp your attention.

With several targets sitting on the tops of hills dubbed "sky shots" and dense underbrush as backstops on others, it was absolutely incredible that not a single arrow was lost.

A record 39 shooters enjoyed the day and many plan to return. The previous total for a TSAA state field championship was 27 so that is a marked improvement and we have many of the kids to thank. Some shot field for the first time and seemed to enjoy it so we are thankful that the youth (the future) of the TSAA was there to make our event successful.

An unofficial, unmarked round was shot in the morning for the adventurous archers and then lunch was catered by a local B-B-Q that fed quite a few hungry archers before the official state championship started in the afternoon. The air-conditioned bunkhouse, R/V, and office trailer was a welcome respite from the heat.

Stay tuned for further items on this event as archers will have their own exciting stories to tell.

If there are any questions to the validity of the results, please let me know as soon as possible. Thank you very much. Rick Stonebraker

Sage Adams adds: I really enjoyed the skill level of this tournament and all the new experiences I had. I especially liked # 1 target when I released my first shot and the wind blew me half way down the hilltop. I also enjoyed # 13 with the feeling of Pocahontas shooting into the big blue sky....thank you to all the hard working people who allowed me to have this experience at such a young age!

Kathy Adams adds: WOW !!! What a shoot! y'all did a great job on this tournament! Now that is what archery is all about! The ability to shoot on flat ground at great distances is good... but the ability to shoot at an up or down 45 degree angle is outstanding!!!! I commend all of the archer's that shot this field tournament and challenge all other archer's to try their skills at this tournament next year!

We saw a snake taking a swim on target # 11. The puppy, Mingo, found a shed horn from an axis buck but after chewing on it for 2days, we left there for the owners to pick up. Mingo had a great time riding in his pouch bag the whole 2days. Sage and Trevor got to 4-wheeler with the owners daughter and took lots of pictures of black and red bucks, buffalo, elk, axis deer, falon, eland, and a camel, so they had a great safari adventure that was not expected but very much appreciated!!

Tom Barker adds: I want to thank everyone for the tremendous courtesy and patience that all the adults showed towards the 12 young people that I brought to the TSAA State Field tournament. I also want to thank the kids for being respectful of the adults. It was a win win situation for all. I want to thank everyone that helped design, set-up, host, etc. The most memorable tournament that I have played at.
The thing that stands out the most for me is that this is really the only tournament where the kids and adults can really interact. At the indoor and outdoor FITA's we are very formal. At the 3D tournaments the kids can get impatient and you mostly end up shooting with the same folks all the time. The NFAA field tournaments that I have shot in the adults went one way and the kids the other. The mixing of skill, styles, members, guests and ages while it may have slowed things up a little, made for a most pleasant social environment and made everyone feel part of the family of archers. I know I can speak for all the JOAD kids and their parents when I say thanks for letting us play.
I was shooting with Kayla Debord, Andrea Garner and Trevor Siedel on Saturday. On target 3, the great left handed hill shot, but tough on the right handers, Kayla gets ready to shoot and lets down. She looks at me and in a soft tone, she says, "Mr. Barker, there is a snake in front of the target." Sure enough there was a quite large rat snake moving from right to left. The young ladies finished their shooting and no one wanted to score, but instead wanted to know where the snake went. We couldn't find it. We couldn't tell you what the hills and trees and stuff were like from target 3 to target 4, but we can sure as heck tell you what the ground looked like.
Personally, what stands out the most is that this is the only tournament where the kids and adults can really interact. It was a blast. Can we come next year?

Kristine Ehrich adds: Just wanted to say "thanks" for putting on a great tournament. It was a great layout and a lot of fun. It wasn't too difficult and wasn't too easy - just a real fun course.

Dale Garner adds: THANK YOU for a great field tournament 5-11&5-12 your hard work along with all involved was greatly appreciated. Andrea really enjoyed this event.

Jeff Chambers adds: Thanks again for a most excellent tournament. The magnitude of the time, effort and plain hard work necessary to pull this off is so obvious that it seems a little ridiculous even to mention it. Nevertheless, I am mentioning it and want to recognize it and say how much it is appreciated. Although I shot like a one-armed blind man, I thoroughly enjoyed the event, and the layout of the range, the thoughtful crafting of target sites and the fine functionality of the mechanics and organization all contributed to bringing this about. The course aesthetics were reminiscent of the old Buffalo range where I grew up in the 60's, and I had one helluva time. Thanks, man!

Gary Raffaelli adds: I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation for all the hard work it took to make the State Field such a success. The course y'all planned and implemented was extremely enjoyable and we would do it again in a minute.

Kathy Eissinger adds: I want to thank everyone involved in setting up the tourney this weekend - thanks for all your hard work in setting it up. It was a great shoot and was obvious that a lot of effort went into the setup and layout. Thanks for helping to make it happen. Kristin, Tyler and Clayton and I were shooting together on Sunday. We walked around the corner from target 7 and started toward target 8 and noticed there were 4 bison standing at the adult stake for target 8. They were facing away from us and at first didn't notice us. When they did, they turned around to face us and it looked like we might have to fight them for the use of the stake. They saw the two little boys with bows though (Clayton and Tyler) and decided it would be better to run away. The kids were excited about getting to see the bison. Clayton who is 9 I think was saying all day that target 24 was his favorite target. I could see why when we got there. It was the birdie target on the side hill. He shot three great shots and then took a picture of the results. It was his best target all day so I guess he knew what he was talking about.

Dale Garner adds: This was the first field tournament I have ever attended. I thought the location and setup were great. I was very impressed at the way the adults and young people participated together; it was nice to see archers of all ages show great respect for each other. This event was truly a big success.

Andrea Garner adds: I don't really have a story to tell but when I was at target 4 and it was my turn to shoot, even though we were warned to watch out for certain plants, as I climbed up the hill to shoot - I reached down and grabbed a bull nettle plant - (Blonde Moment) - with the hand that I use to hold my bow with. It itched really bad. Needless to say - my score was not very good at this target. About my weekend - I would like to say that I really enjoyed it. I liked how the kids and adults shot together, it really was fun watching people who are older than me even if they shot different than me shoot and see how they did. The place was really great. I hope that we will get to shoot there again next year.

Scott Williams adds: As Tom Barker pointed out, we target archers usually end up shooting with other archers in our own divisions. This was my first tournament where I got to shoot with the kids. On Saturday, I had the chance to shoot with 2 young archers: Whitney Ellis and Coral McMinn. These kids were a blast! It makes you remember that you started shooting because it was fun. Coral and I had a little friendly competition going on, she ended up beating me by 8 points. That's the most fun losing that I've had in a while!

I have direct experience with how much work it takes to set-up one of these shoots. But, I'd be happy to do it again to have the opportunity to shoot with the kids!

Simone Petrosky adds: I liked everything, but they should try to remember about left-hand people. Like when we had to shoot from the top of the hill, I think it was Target #4, that when a big gust of wind comes, I could easily get knocked of the hill side [Like I almost did]. Mr. Rick told me to put rocks in my pocket to prevent the above. That was funny, because I picked up lots of rocks and had a pocket full of rocks, 8 rocks. I thought that they were pretty so I picked them up. We did see some axis deer and some cow elk run when I shot the second day. We also saw a bunch of wild grapes.

Debbie Halvorson adds: What a great tournament, even though i wasn't shooting!! Extremely well organized & beautiful facilities. My only regret is that we never seemed to make it to Target #25.....

Kathy Heinsohn adds: We all enjoyed the weekend, including my son, who became the proud owner of a scorpion, a "red velvet ant" and some sort of locust.

Nicholas and Mark Stricklin adds: We had an excellent time. Not only did we find the course fun and challenging we also caught some interesting insects to share with our entomology group. We really look forward to going again. Nick enjoyed the fellowship of his friends, shooting from the side of a cliff, and catching some very interesting insects. We caught 2 cuckoo wasps, 2 dung beetles and a large cottonwood borer. Thanks

Holly Heinsohn adds: I thought that among all the shoots that I have been to, this State Field was one of the best. It was very different and challenging. I had a lot of fun and look forward to shooting there again.

Ty Heinsohn adds: That place was cool. There were grasshoppers everywhere - green ones and sand grasshoppers. I caught a bark locust and a red velvet ant and a praying mantis and I gave Justin (Holcomb) one of my beetles. That scorpion that dad caught for me is cool. I'm going to keep him. I liked feeding that lazy camel, and I saw some deer and a llama. We all threw rocks at the water snake to scare him away. I want to go back there again.

Rick Stonebraker adds: In field archery, wind is usually not present. Target #2 was the only target on the whole range that was flat but it was out in the open. The wind was gusting so much that Mike Hojnacki pointed out that some ants scurrying along the sandy road actually got tumbled backwards from time to time.

Tournament Director's comments: Yes, it was a lot of hard work and most TD's can testify to that but when you take a moment and sit back to watch these kids shooting field for the first time, seeing their smiling faces, hearing their comments on "how come they put a target up on the hill" or "holy cow, I have to shoot way down there" or the target on #24 when a kid says "someone was drunk when they put that up!" That makes all the hard, hot and dusty work all worthwhile. It makes the effort seem effortless. Many of these kids experience field shooting for the very first time and enjoyed the mingling with the adults and likewise. We adults when we shoot together tend to get into a pattern but with young kids around, they remind us where we came from and that we can go back to that youth from time to time, all we have to do is be around them. I turned 52 shortly after this tournament but I had as much fun as they did - it just takes me a couple extra days to recoup but I am smiling the whole time! Rick Stonebraker, TSAA President

In Thanks: This event would not have been possible without Scott Williams and John Blaschke. Thanks to John and his father Nolan for allowing us to use their property. Scott, John and myself spent four full days working on the field. This field course had to be done from scratch. Weeks ahead of time was spent gluing 208 field faces to double-cardboard. Tom Barker and Mike Hojnacki each spent most of a day helping with set-up as well. The Petosky's supplied ice for the water barrels. Believe it or not, the entire 24-target field was dismantled in about 3 hours thanks to lots of people and I can't remember who all was out there but it was greatly appreciated. Come to think of it, thanks aren't needed or necessary because it is "your" organization and without you, things like this doesn't happen. Just a few of the people involved both before and after: Jeff Chambers, Kathy Eissinger, Greg Petrosky, Neely Johnson, Donnie Hessong, Samantha Hessong, Catherine Blaschke, Candice Blaschke, Dale Garner, Gary Raffaelli, Mark Lesak and Todd Janota. I know I will forget someone so e-mail me as a reminder. I estimated over 200 person-hours went into this event.   RWS

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