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Picayune archery on a hot streak

Picayune’s archery team has been on a roll recently with wins over Harrison Central and Stone County during the last week and a half.

The first victory came over Harrison Central last week with Picayune dominating that match by scoring 3122 to Harrison Central’s 2420. Then on Tuesday Picayune took on Stone County in a much tighter matchup, but the Maroon Tide pulled out the close victory 3146-3140.

Head Coach Brian Edwards said this season has been about advancing and honing his archers’ skills.

There are several youngsters in the squad who are new to the sport, so Edwards is making sure to extensively educate those athletes given the possibility of shooters missing meets because of quarantine protocols.

“We’re kind of up and down. If we can get 12 of them shooting their best scores I think we have a chance to compete at state, but we still have a lot of improving to do.

I’m really proud of our performance (against Stone) because we were a little short handed. Each week you may have one person out for quarantine and it could be one of your better shooters, so we’re still looking for consistency,” Edwards said.

Edwards said a big positive of this season so far has been some of his athletes stepping up and becoming the best shooters in the group.

Seventh grader Kayden Martin has impressed Edwards, meanwhile senior Greg Sandifer has constantly improved his performances. Sandifer shot a personal best 286 against Stone County. Now it’s just a matter of getting other shooters to have the same mentality and skill.

Building consistency comes down to one part technique, one part mental toughness.

There’s plenty of pressure on the athletes when they step up to shoot, so making sure they don’t crack under that pressure while maintaining proper technique is paramount if the team wants to continue getting better.

The South State competition will take place in just two weeks, so Edwards and his archers are running out of time before they’ll be competing for spots at state.

“Sometimes it’s a mental thing. Like when you have a bad shot, I always tell them, ‘What’s your next shot after a bad shot?’ It’s no different than any other sport. That’s where they really, mentally, have to step up and put the last shot out of their mind and focus on the next one. For the most part our kids do that. We’ve seen improvement in that part of the game and it shows in our scores,” Edwards said.