Practicing once a week and still performing at a high level is difficult to do in any sport. But it might just be enough for the Trigg County Arrowcats.
The archery team in Cadiz stepped into their facility and fired a score in the state qualifiers that places them 17th best in the state and had two shooters in the top 50 highest scores, despite a limited practice schedule where some of their archers only step up and shoot one day out of the week.
“The season started late this year because of COVID,” Arrowcats coach Shellie Knott said. “It usually starts in October, but this year it started in late November. We were finally able to start practicing. We have 22 archers this year and because of COVID, we can only have 15 kids in the archery building six-feet apart. So most of our kids are only practicing one night a week.”
To see the performance in Trigg’s first and one of the only competitions of the year, Knott said she is happy to see the level of skill her team displayed.
“It gives us a really good feeling considering the obstacles we’ve had to be a top-20 team this year,” Arrowcats coach Shellie Knott said. “Audie Smith has been a top shooter for years and she has really been on point for us this year. We have a kid this year that’s new to Trigg County who had shot archery before but a different style. Watching him adapt and pick up and see him take off has been fulfilling to watch.
“Even through all the struggles, they come in with smiles on their face and they give it their all, that’s all we can ask of them.”
Smith fired the 11th highest score in the state on the girls’ side, a 289, just six points below the top shooter in the state. Being one of four seniors on the team, Knott is just happy to allow them to have a season.
“Having our seniors this year has been amazing because we wanted to have an actual year for them,” she said. “Trying to make that happen has really been trying because of COVID and now the snow, it’s putting a real damper on our season. Those four seniors have really stepped up to the plate and tried their hardest to bring their A-game and shoot as high as they can. We’ve only one tournament this year and that was in our own archery building.”
On the boys’ side, Trevor Hoy shot a 285, placing him in a tie for 35th in the state. Knott said despite the odd practice circumstances and the lack of c competitions, her kids come in ready and determined to get better.
“Once a week, they come in and they’re ready,” Knott said. “They come in and they talk about what happened the last time they were here and what they’re going to work on. These kids just have smiles on their faces. They know it’s an odd year, they know it’s a tough season. … None of these kids have been upset, they haven’t been angry, they’ve just went with the flow.”
Knott and the Arrowcats plan on hosting a tournament in Wildcat Gym at the end of February, giving them one final tuneup prior to the state tournament in March.