Focused and driven to win, young Jacob Gardner continues to make waves in the world of competitive archery. Only a freshman at Rhea County High School, Gardner has already caught the eye of industry giants.
“It’s pretty awesome,” said the 14-year-old who just inked a major sponsorship with industry-leading bow manufacturer Elite Archery.
“It feels great because in my opinion they’re the best bow making company on the market.”
Jacob competes in the growing sport of 3D Archery where competitors shoot at animal shaped targets as opposed to traditional targets.
Gardner burst onto the scene this summer when he won his first championship in the Archery Shooters of America, Middle School Open 3D Archery State Championship.
“He’s probably one of the best archers we’ve seen in Dayton in a long time,” says uncle and archery coach Doodle Gardner.
“When he’s got that much drive, you might as well feed it and see what he can do with it,” insists Doodle a co-owner and proprietor of Harvest Archery, one of East Tennessee’s top archery outfitters located right here in Dayton.
“I have complete confidence he’ll be on the podium this year.”
Along with parents Tim and Yvonne, he’s excited to see how far Jacob can go.
“I’m very proud,” said his dad, Tim. “The work and dedication he puts in for a 14-year-old, it’s pretty special.”
“It wasn’t just a one season sport for him,” insists his mother Yvonne. “He’s stuck with it for three years and continues to improve.”
His focus is now fixed on the 2017 ASA opener in Foley, Alabama to be held in late February.
“I’m gonna shoot a lot, and go to some local courses to get ready for it,” said Jacob.
Also an avid hunter, Jacob is quick to remind fellow hunters, “it’s way cooler” to shoot a trophy buck with a bow.
“I’ve seen a lot of people I know start shooting,” he says of area’s growing interest in the sport. “It’s gotten a lot more popular.”
Harvest Archery is conveniently located at 1264 Market Street in downtown Dayton. With experts on staff, the shop offers an amazing selection of bows and accessories with a 30-yard indoor range to ensure your gear is tuned and sighted in.