Adding Up Scores

These three archers (L-R), Jen Grissman, Sonya Wilson and Rebecca Burks, write down their scores during Wednesday's round of the NFAA Outdoor National Field Championships in Yankton.

What about archery?

It’s worth a shot — so to speak — for Alexis Frye, who was at the time 10 years old.

The youngster from Wayne, Nebraska, had given pretty much every other sport a try. She had been involved in soccer, softball, basketball, swimming and gymnastics.

“None of those really stuck for her, but archery was something she instantly picked up on,” her father, Eric, said. “Something just clicked for her.”

Nobody can really put a finger on what exactly it was, but archery became her passion.

“It just interested me right away,” said Alexis, who is now 13.

She certainly didn’t expect it to.

In fact, Alexis had been coaxed to join her father on an archery outing, and that’s all it took.

“He would shoot archery before bowhunting season, so I would go along,” she said. “He wanted me to try it.”

It also didn’t take long that Alexis’ family to see that she was rather adept at the sport. With the local 4H organization, she would shoot arrows at a target 10 yards away, but quickly proved that she was capable of besting even adults from 20 yards away.

“It didn’t take long for her to be better than me,” Eric joked.

Alexis eventually joined the Norfolk Archery Club, and competed at local and area archery competitions.

“Once she got more into the competition side of it, everything was different,” Eric said. “The equipment was a step up and there were more practices to go to.”

Last year, she competed at the National Field Archery Association (NFAA) Outdoor National Field Championships and the International Field Archery Association (IFAA) World Bowhunter Championships, both of which were held in Yankton — it was her first international experience.

Alexis has returned to Yankton this week to compete in two national tournaments: The NFAA Outdoor National Field Championships (which wraps up Thursday) and the Outdoor National Target Championships (which begins Thursday).

“We wanted to do this last year, but something came up,” she said following Wednesday’s round.

Most of the national archery tournaments this spring and summer were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Yankton was able to host a ‘national roundup’ this week with five different events.

That presented a perfect opportunity for the Frye family, according to Eric.

“When everything else was cancelled but this came up, I thought, ‘I’ll just take a week off from work and she can get out of school for a week,’” he said.

To that last point, Alexis smiled.

“It’s nice here,” she said. “I like the course.”

Of course, it’s also nice for the family to be an hour’s drive away from home — they can drive back and forth every day, according to Eric.

“It’s easy for us to be able to just go home every night, sleep in our own beds and wake up and be here within an hour,” he said.

Might archery be something Alexis sticks with?

“We sure hope so,” Eric said, with a smile.

“She’s come a long way from that first, cheap bow that we bought at Walmart.”

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