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Lost Creek’s Richards putting city and archery on the map

Won six of seven IBO tournaments in 2021
Power outages reach day 12 for many
Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 10:36 PM EDT
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LOST CREEK, W.Va (WDTV) - In the matter of a year, Drew Richards has become a decorated archer. He’s been working on his craft within the sport for nearly half a decade and after an impressive 2021, has the hardware to show for it.

Richards picked up a bow when he was ten and hasn’t put it down since, taking after Lost Creek native and 2015 and 2021 world champion Kelsey Palmer. Success has become the expectation in the past year, and not just placing, but placing first.

“Last year was the first year I really won anything to speak of,” Richards said. “Shot seven tournaments and won six of the seven.”

Richards competes within the International Bowhunting Organization. Archery has taken him all over, with competitions in West Virginia and surrounding states, but also down in places like North Carolina and Alabama.

Archery isn’t your average sport - it isn’t offered at the high school level - but that didn’t deter Richards from being a part of it. He quickly figured out the methods behind the madness.

“There are different rings - an 11, a 10, an eight and a five - the 11 being the best,” Richards said. “That’s what you want, but you don’t always get 11s on every one.”

He’s humble about it, but Richards does shoot quite a few 11s and those add up. To name a few of his accolades over the past year, Richards won his division at the IBO winter and spring nationals in 2021 and 2022 and secured the 2021 National Triple Crown from competitions in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio. After this many wins, sometimes certain moments stick out, but for the most part, Richards just gets locked in.

“Some shots are cool, like to put a target on a log,” Richards said. “You remember those. Other than that, they’re all kind of the same.”

Being a continuously growing sport, and one you can grow with yourself, Richards hopes to see more interest in archery from those close to home and from around the world.

“Try to get more people involved with it and interested,” Richards said. “They’ll probably like it too.”

As for competition preparation, Richards typically shoots 40 targets prior to any given competition. The distance from the starting point to the target is always unknown, so it takes a lot of mental and physical reps to be ready for a tournament - something Richards is more than happy to do.

“Hard work pays off, and a lot of it. Just work hard and I guess the results come with that,” Richards said. “I’d like to just keep shooting as long as I can and just hope for the best.”

Richards was also named the 2021 Shooter of the Year in his class. Now, he’s in the midst of another year of competition within the International Bowhunting Organization and continues to add to his growing collection of first place finishes.

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