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Picayune archery starts season with two wins

The Picayune Maroon Tide archery team had its first two matches of the year this past week and won both of them.

Tuesday, Picayune took on Biloxi and won with a score of 3,002 while Biloxi recorded 2,838.

Two days later the Maroon Tide took on Poplarville and won that match with a score of 3,048, beating the Hornets score of 3,004.

Coach Brian Edwards said the team’s younger shooters stepped up with several athletes out due to COVID-19 protocols.

“Overall, looking at the first two matches, the one thing I look for is improvement and we did. I expected us to do a little better on our home range. Plus I had a couple kids that unexpectedly showed up and did really well,” Edwards said.

The first couple of matches are used to get the archers back into the rhythm of things, especially considering last year’s season was cut short by the pandemic.

Edwards said the lack of experience among some of the athletes ended up not being as big of an issue as originally expected.

“There’s always going to be rust right at first. Some had never shot in competition.”

“We were really pleased with the outcome based on what we were expecting. Rust wise, some of my better shooters haven’t reached their potential yet, but you’re always going to have that right at first,” Edwards said.

The team will now have a week of preparation for the Cougar Classic Tournament Feb. 12.

Edwards said a lot of the top archery programs come out for that tournament, so it’ll be a good way to see where the Maroon Tide archers are this early in the season.

“We can get an idea of the competition and how we fare against them. I’m kind of looking forward to that. I wish it was a little later in the season but it is what it is. It’s a good experience for our kids because it’s more like the competition at south state,” Edwards said.