‘Never end on a bad shot’

Seniors take aim with bows and arrows

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

* Photo gallery – more than 500 images
* Official results (through Sunday)

HAMLET — Mark Blake follows some sage advice when it comes to archery.

“Never end on a bad shot.”

Of course, the 50-something Hamlet resident has a rather shrewd approach when it comes to executing the philosophy: Don’t make a bad shot in the first place. That gives him much less to worry about.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Mark Blake takes aim from 60 yards out.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Mark Blake takes aim from 60 yards out.

So it was with this approach that Blake used Monday afternoon in a three-person shootout at Dirt Road Archery near Hamlet in the next-to-last event of the 25th annual Senior Games of Richmond County. Blake, along with Terry Mercer and Pete Wheeler, shot four rounds of five arrows from three distances for a total of 60 arrows.

The final county level event is set for Saturday in Fayetteville, as Richmond County puts its best 10 on the field for women’s softball. It’s the first time in the county’s 25-year history of the Games to field a softball team.

On Monday, though, Blake and his fellow archers were aiming with a crystal-clear focus on a stationary target. The goal: Get the arrow as close to the center as possible. Blake, a veteran archer, knew not to rush things.

“When I get there, I’ll be there,” Blake said.

The high score for each arrow is 10. From 60 yards out, Blake was near-perfect: 10, 10, 10, 9 and 9.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Terry Mercer smiles, as her previous shot from 60 yards from her target was a good one.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Terry Mercer smiles, as her previous shot from 60 yards from her target was a good one.

Wheeler, of course, chose to give him a little grief. Blake took the friendly trash talk in stride. He’ll do better he said — and he did. The second round of five from 60 yards out: “Five 10s,” the scorer called.

Blake smiled.

“I told you I’d try to do better next time,” he said.

Wheeler didn’t hesitate.

“Don’t make me hurt you,” she quipped.

Wheeler then took aim at her husband, Lenny Wheeler, who served as official scorer for all but his wife.

“You’re stressin’ me out,” she said, before immediately adding, “no you’re not.”

Lenny then spoke aloud: “Mark’s right on them.”

Pete was quick not to let that one go: “Now you can quit sayin’ that.”

Blake, a new senior, might have youth on his side. His 12-year-old son, Noah, can be credited for getting Mark outdoors again and shooting arrows. The two compete in 3-D tournaments across the state; Noah was second in a tournament two days ago.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Pete Wheeler waits for the breeze to stop before shooting from 40 yards from her target.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Pete Wheeler waits for the breeze to stop before shooting from 40 yards from her target.

Related coverage
* April 23: Walker on croquet: ‘I know the game’
* April 22: “Gimme that ball”
* April 20: “There’s so much talent” at Silver Arts
* April 18: Seniors take flight on field day
*  April 17: Bowling with ‘Games face on’
* April 16: McLain on the Games: “I’m back”
* April 15: Pickleball ‘a tongue hanging out game’
* April 14: Taylor, Clemmons, Wells lead swimming
* April 14: Women’s bocce
* April 13: Opening ceremony
* April 13: Men’s bocce ball opens Games
* March 18: Last day to register
* March 9: No rhythm required
* Feb. 8: Senior Games set for April
* Oct. 18, 2014: 4 locals win gold at NC Senior Games

 

 

Filed in: Featured News, Hamlet, Latest Headlines, Outdoors, Sports

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