A rural White County teen has completed a season of archery competition that included tournaments around the country and stands ranked number five in the nation in Archery Shooters Association scoring.
Bradford Sauls, 17, is the son of Ricky and Trina Sauls of New Haven and is a senior at Norris City-Omaha-Enfield High School.
This year’s competition included tournaments in Newberry, Fla., Ft. Benning, Ga., Paris, Texas, London, Ky., Metropolis, Ill., and Cullman, Ala. In Metropolis, Sauls won the annual Superman Classic held by the city in advance of the national tournament. Sauls also competed in the Southeastern Illinois College tournament during its inaugural high school 3-D archery tournament.
Sauls captured the men’s division title while Alli Armstrong of Hardin County won the women’s division. Other area competing high schools included Eldorado, Carmi and Gallatin County. SIC’s 2014 national championship team, which included team members Clayton Hall of Grayville and Cody Nelson of Carmi, presented Sauls with his first place trophy.
Sauls captured fifth place during a tournament held Oct. 3 and 4 at Sahara Woods State Park in southern Illinois that included Division I level colleges as well as SIC, whose team regularly competes at that level, which includes teams from Michigan State Univeristy, Purdue and Penn State.
Sauls placed fifth while shooting the same collegiate level course as the college competitors. While ineligible for collegiate honors due to his “guest” status, he still garnered the fifth place award.
Sauls has gained a sponsorship from Ben Pearson Archery in Monroe, N.C., and is a member of their shooting staff.
Sauls’ success, with only about two and one-half years’ experience in the sport, has also included a second place finish in the Illinois ASA Tournament and has inspired his father, Ricky, to open an archery range at their rural White County home. The range is recognized as the first Southern Illinois Archery Club to become a member of Scholastic 3-D Archery, an after school program whose mission is to foster, educate and guide youth from third through 12th grade in 3-D archery shooting sports. Ricky is the S3DA regional director for southern Illinois.
“I look forward to watching Bradford continue to grow in this sport,” said Ricky, who also noted one of his younger sons, Hayden, is also competing in archery tournaments and is also finding success in the sport as the 2015 Kentucky Junior Eagle State Champion.
For more information about Sauls’ range, check their Facebook page at Southern Illinois Archery Club.