Meridian Star

June 16, 2013

Smith preps for Nationals in archery

Sarah Moomaw
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     The State Games of Mississippi are one of the few archery tournaments that includes a fita round, which Curtis Smith took advantage of and used it as practice for next weekend’s National 4-H Shooting Sports Invitational.

    “Fita is my favorite event,” Smith said. “[Today] was very good practice for it. You almost never seen fita events except in [local] tournaments.”

    In archery, Smith explained, there are a few different tournament events. Fita has set and archer-known distances to the target placed in increments, while field and 3D events are at various distances not known, except 3D uses life-like target in the woods.

    “I just consider [fita] a classical look on archery,” he said. “It’s the regular red, yellow, blue targets. It’s probably the easiest to set up and shoot. I just have the most fun with it.”

    But on Saturday at Upper Bonita Lakes, it was all about competing in a state competition before leaving for Grand Island, Neb., to represent Mississippi.

    “They called me in September and said I was on the team if I wanted,” Smith said. “I’m very excited.”

    On the fita course at the State Games, he had a great day. Smith only dropped 60, of a possible, 450 points. He won’t know until late today where that puts him in his age group, but was confident it should be near the top on past tournament scores.

    “It’s very good for me, I think have done a little better,” he said. “But it’s right in the range I usually do.”

    The 18-year-old out of West Point, picked up a bow and created the family sport at age 12. Once he hit his first bullseye, he was hooked.

    “You have all these contact sports and you have to be in this physical shape and it’s a lot harder on you if your this age or that age. There are peak age levels with it. With archery that’s not existant.

    Smith wasn’t into the ‘normal’ sports growing up, but wanted something to do and be active in. He found 4-H and the shooting sports were a perfect hit.

    “I wanted something to do,” he said. “I got involved with 4-H and it has a shooting sports program. I started through 4-H and it was just a good fit for me. I enjoyed it. I guess I was decent at it."

    He enjoyed it so much that he encouraged his parents to give it a try because, “anybody can do it.”

    Sure enough, they found a passion for it as well and wants everyone to give it a try.

    “I hope that archery continues to grow as a sport for all age levels,” Smith said.