Hurricane Archery is More Than a Sports Team!Updated Sunday January 14, 2018 by Marion Weaver.
Hurricanes Archery—More Than a Sports Team
By Marion Weaver
On December 8, snow fell heavily in the Greenville area and on other parts of South Carolina, just one day before the Christmas Tournament. Seven area schools, eager to compete, had to cancel, and the Hurricanes were left to participate in their second local tournament alone. What may have initially been a huge disappointment and a reason to cancel the event turned out instead to bring out the determination of a special team of coaches, students, and their families who were unwilling to allow a bit of snow to deter their Christmas Tournament. Although a few archers were unable to travel the roads that particular Saturday, most of the team managed to make it and spend the day with friends and family.
Several UHC students were recently asked what they enjoy most about being an archer and being a part of the Hurricanes Archery Team. Surprisingly, the responses were not focused so much on the sport of archery or on being a part of a sports team, but on the relationships within the team. Charlie Hartsell, a senior at UHC and a Hurricanes archer for five years, says that what he loves most about the 'Canes is "the comradery and friendships between archers." Another senior, Katelyn Amos, shares how her team sang "Happy Birthday" at Nationals last year when they were in an ice cream shop and how special she felt knowing that they had not forgotten her birthday. Samuel Weaver, a junior, is in his second season with the archery team, and he says that he finds the practices to be "an amazing place to have fun and grow with friends while practicing and improving [his] skills in archery." Farah Jackson, a UHC freshman, says that she enjoys "socializing and meeting new people," as well as qualifying and competing with the team.
Although the 'Canes Archery Team has proven itself to be topnotch by consistently exceling in the sport, these students share a common thread in their emphasis on relationship and the value of developing friendships within the team. Every practice begins in a prayer huddle and ends in a time of Bible devotions where archers read books like Playing on God's Team by T. C. Stallings and Know Who You Are: Live Like It Matters by Tim Tebow—books that build character, vision, and identity in the students. These activities reach beyond the mark of a bullseye, routine exercise and stretches, to a much deeper place of building character and relationships with others. The benefits of such an environment are manifested in many of the older students who have stepped up and provided a level of mentorship to the younger archers in the new elementary division.
With a high school team that ranks tenth in the world and second spot as a homeschool team in the nation, there is no doubt that these archers are a force of hurricane strength. However, if one were to look beyond the skill and talent, beyond the trophies and medals, bullseyes and score sheets, these students would say that what draws them to their sport is not only the competitions and tournaments, but the people who shoot alongside them at practice each week. They would express how much they enjoy the family atmosphere of the team, the leadership of coaches who genuinely care about them, and the friendships they share with their teammates. As Katelyn Amos so poignantly states, "I love the family aspect and the friendly competition. The coaches show that they care for the archers on a personal level . . . and teach us lessons for on and off the range."
The New Year's Upstate Classic Tournament will be held on Saturday, January 20, at the Eastside Worship Center in Taylors. (According to AccuWeather, snow is not in the forecast.) Come and view a special group of students as they participate in their third tournament of the season, and look beyond the uniforms, bows and arrows, and discover the real Hurricanes Archery Team, a team that is much more than a sports team.