Since the beginning of January, the Stowe Archers indoor range has been buzzing with activity. Throughout the week, archers would come in and practice for our weekly 450 League on Tuesday nights.
Ever since Walt took over the league three years ago, small tweaks have been made each year to try and make the teams as competitive as possible. This year handicapping was changed from a 10-Week Average to your Season Best.
For some archers, this change lit a fire under them and the competitive juices began to flow. For other archers, this change lead to lopsided scores. While no one complained, as league administrator, I preferred seeing tighter scores and a broader distribution of points throughout the season.
Despite lower total scores, the 2017 Stowe Archers 450 league Finals were fun to watch. There were some excellent matchups – I hope you enjoy the video and commentary below.
When it comes to the Stowe Archers 450 League, there is one team that tends to stand out over all the others – Team Newland. Winning the Championship two years in a row, they were the favorite to win in 2017.
Bill Newland is a very strong shooter and has been ever since joining the league in 2015. His daughter, Amanda Newland, is not only a strong and consistent shooter but, she has also been placing very well in National Tournaments.
A new addition to the team in 2016 was Austin Ayres. Austin is easily one of our club’s top male shooters and has been doing well in the tournament scene. The most recent addition to the team is Bradlee Benjamin. Bradlee is the team’s 3rd Youth Shooter and has been consistent throughout the season.
Team 2 was lead by a father and son – Don and Kyle Pry. Don has been shooting consistently in our league for the past three years – utilizing a bowhunter setup. Kyle is a Youth shooter that has been coming into his own as of late, improving a great deal over the past few months.
Rounding out the team are Rick Riegel and Dave Pacitto – two friends that do quite a bit of shooting together. Typically consistent shooters, the new handicapping system caused them to struggle this year. Both having breakout matchups early on, they had difficulty matching their best handicap.
Filling the unofficial role of Team Captain is Scott Hazel. Scott has been shooting Barebow in the 450 League for the past three years and has come a very long way. He has slashed his average handicap from 61 points per game in 2015 down to 36 points per game in 2017.
Adding a great deal of consistency to their team are Bill DeGideo and Randy Van Sickle. Bill shoots a Bowhunter setup while Randy shoots Olympic Recurve. Both men faired well with the new handicapping system as it seemed to drive them to improve.
Bill Twadell rounded out the team – switching from Barebow in years past to Unlimited this year. Bill tends to shoot better than he would lead you to believe and was fairly consistent throughout the season.
Walt White is a Bowhunter shooter that experienced a breakout year in 2017. Struggling with target panic in past seasons, he was able to drop his average handicap from 12 points per game in 2015 to 5 points per game in 2017.
Chris Deracola is new to the Stowe Archers 450 League this year – after a long hiatus from Archery. Chris fared well with the new handicapping system and worked hard to better his handicap from week to week.
Ava and Henry Dremann were not only new to the 450 League this year, they are also new to the club. Both Youth shooters are involved in the Lancaster Archery JOAD Program and doing quite well – shooting consistently all season long.
Two years ago, a team lead by Joe Hoffman and Mike Triola was a forced to be reckoned with. They came out with an early lead and continued to dominate throughout the season – going into the finals with a 6 point lead over second place.
Two years later, with Mike Bloomfield and Allie Pry added to the roster, big things were expected from their team. Mike is one of our clubs most consistent Barebow shooters – which is the key to doing well in our league. Allie is a young Youth shooter that has been getting better and better every time she steps up to the line.
When it comes to the Stowe Archers 450 League, there is only one team that has gone unchanged since 2015. That team is made up of two father and son pairs that have shot well together every year.
The first father and son pair is Paul Karaman III (known as Paul) and Paul Karaman IV (Known as Young Paul). Paul is a very strong shooter and has the most calm and collected demeanor I’ve ever seen on the line. His son, Young Paul, is another one of our club’s Youth shooters who has been shooting consistently over the past three years.
The second father and son pair is Darren and Dillon Batyko. Darren has is a consistent shooter who has dropped his league handicap from 14 points per game in 2015 to 11 points per game in 2017. His son, Dillon, has improved from 12 points per game in 2015 to 9 points per game in 2017.
Of all the teams in 2017, Team 7 is the one that I considered to be the wildcard. New to the league are Mike Graham and Andrew Fletcher. Mike has a reputation for being a strong 3D Shooter but I haven’t seen him shoot any spot tournaments at the club. Andrew is a youth shooter that I didn’t know until the league began. Taken under Mike’s wing, Andrew is probably the league’s most improved archer.
Returning to the league this year, after a solid season in 2016, is Tim Marks. Tim is a strong 3D Competitor that battled with target panic as the season went on. Rounding out the team was Mike Schelpf. Mike initially started the season shooting Olympic Recurve but made the switch to Unlimited after a few games. His scores improved dramatically and by the end of the season, he was easily outshooting his weekly handicap.
Round 1: Team 3 vs Team 5
Kicking off the 2017 Stowe Archers 450 League Finals was a matchup between Team 3 (7th Seed) and Team 5 (6th Seed). On paper, the teams seemed evenly matched. Unfortunately, both teams struggled with the new handicapping system. Only one shooter, Bill DeGideo, was able to match his best handicap and score a perfect game for his team.
After a tough matchup, Team 3 came out ahead with a score of 573 over Team 3’s score of 542.
Round 2: Team 6 vs Team 3
Fresh off their win, Team 3 had a tough match ahead of them as they climbed the ladder to shoot against Team 5 (5th Seed).
Much like the previous round, the handicapping system played a major role in the outcome of this match. In the end, Team 6 came out ahead with a score of 580 over Team 3’s 556.
Round 3: Team 7 vs Team 6
The last matchup of the night started out with a friendly handshake and a shocking last arrow in the first end. Paul, who has been shooting well all season, had a very uncharacteristic 6. Despite that one bad arrow, Paul rallied back and shot a strong 144 point game.
In the end, it came down to only 3 points. Team 7 was victorious and moved on in the tournament with a score of 584 to Team 6’s 581.
Round 4: Team 2 vs Team 7
After taking a week off, the remaining teams were back in the clubhouse to battle it out and see who would become the 2017 Stowe Archers 450 League Champions.
Struggling, Team 7 couldn’t capitalize on their momentum from the previous week. Team 2 shot an excellent game with two archers beating their handicap and shooting perfect games for their team.
Team 2 had a strong win with a score of 585 points to Team 7’s 573.
Round 5: Team 1 vs Team 2
In the semi-final matchup, Team 1 was considered to be the favorite to win it all. In a shocking turn of events, Team Newland began dropping points and were unable to recover.
Team 2 shot another strong game and were able to prevent the three-pete – coming out ahead with a score of 584 to team 1’s 575
Round 6: Team 2 vs Team 4
With an unexpected upset, Team 2 moved on to the Finals to shoot against a Rookie Team. Trying to capitalize on their win, Team 2 came out strong.
Despite some dropped points from both teams, Team 4 seemed to hold their composure and finished strong. The final matchup was decided by 10 points with Team 4 winning it all with a score of 585 to Team 2’s 575.
2017 Stowe Archers 450 League Scores
Open Results in a New Window
I would like to personally thank everyone for shooting the 2017 Stowe Archers 450 League. The friendly competition, camaraderie, and laughs made this the best season yet! I hope to see all of you back for the 2018 450 league.