Bulls­eye: Dil­lon di­als in

The Covington News - - SPORTS - SHA­KEEM HOL­LOWAY shol­loway@cov­news.com

Archery coach Ge­orge Ryals first saw Dil­lon McGe­orge when he was in the sixth grade. McGe­orge was about 11 or 12 then when he came into Ryals’ Archery Learn­ing Cen­ter in Snel­lville with an in­ter­est in tar­get archery.

Dil­lon’s first ex­pe­ri­ence with a bow was with a hunt­ing bow. He would travel around with his par­ents and com­pete in lo­cal tour­na­ments. Ryals had just started a brand new archery pro­gram called Ju­nior Olympic Archery De­vel­op­ment (JOAD).

“We got in­volved with that pro­gram and were train­ing kids up who came into the shop and were in­ter­ested in archery, but Dil­lon, be­cause he had spent a lot of time work­ing with me di­rectly get­ting his form to­gether and learn­ing how to shoot, he was at a much higher level than the be­gin­ning kids,” Ryals said.

Dil­lon and three other kids were so ahead of the pack Ryals cre­ated the Hor­net pro­gram, an elite travel team. Many mem­bers of the Hor­net pro­gram are na­tional cham­pi­ons, and just four months ago at 16 years old, Dil­lon be­came a world cham­pion.

“As he grew he started win­ning state shoots, then he started win­ning re­gional shoots, then he won his first na­tional event which is a huge event in Ve­gas. Which was the third leg of the world in­door and his sec­tor that he shot was a na­tional level event the Ve­gas Cham­pi­onship,” Ryals said.

“We de­cided to try the world in­door tri­als this year, which is a lit­tle early for him be­cause he is a cadet and not a ju­nior, but he shot in the ju­nior di­vi­sion just to try out the world in­door and ended up qual­i­fy­ing first,” Ryals said. “He made the team, and the team went out there and won team gold in Nimes France.”

Dil­lon and his team out­shot Italy 233-221 in the fi­nals. Dil­lon recorded the high­est score on his team.

“Un­der ex­treme pres­sure, shoot­ing against 44 or 45 coun­tries that ar­rived to shoot for the world in­door, for be­ing as young as he is and be­ing as ner­vous as he was in the sit­u­a­tion, he still rose to the oc­ca­sion and shot as good as he does nor­mally in prac­tice. His com­pet­i­tive day was way above what a nor­mal shooter would be able to do,” Ryals said.

“He shot the high­est score of the other kids on the team. He did re­ally well, es­pe­cially for some­one be­ing on that level for the first time.”

Ac­cord­ing to his fa­ther El­lis McGe­orge who owns the Saw Shop on Hwy 278, Dil­lon McGe­orge is a mild-man­nered kid, mostly quiet kid, who’s very hard not to like.

“Part of what his talent is, is that he has a re­ally good ath­letic abil­ity,” Ryals said. “He has a highly de­vel­oped sense of sen­si­tiv­ity, and by that I mean he can feel what he’s do­ing much bet­ter than most people can. So when I give him a skill to try or try to show him some­thing new, he can take on a new skill or do some­thing new fairly eas­ily be­cause he can feel what he’s do­ing.”

“He’s pretty dang good at just about any of that stuff that he’s tried. Whether it be tree-climb­ing with a chainsaw, whether it’s base­ball. He has a wicked curve­ball that’ll make you jump out of the box.”

El­lis McGe­orge said that his son is not far from be­com­ing a pro in the sport of archery.

“His age right now is what keeps him from be­ing a pro. He’s won enough to be a pro, it’s just that his age is hold­ing him back,” El­lis McGe­orge said. “When he gets 17 or 18 in an­other two years, Dil­lon will be able to be­come a ju­nior pro if not a pro at that point. That’s what his goal is. We’re be­hind him; we’ll just see where it goes.”

“At this point I think that his goal is to try to shoot archery and to make a liv­ing at it. He’s more than ca­pa­ble of do­ing it,” El­lis McGe­orge said. “It’s just like any­thing else as time goes along there’s go­ing to be bumps in the road and dis­trac­tions, so it de­pends on how he gets through them. It de­pends on whether he stays on that path of try­ing to be­come a pro.”

Photo cour­tesy of charlesarchery­blog.word­press.com

Dil­lon McGe­orge (mid­dle) with his team­mates Char­lie We­in­stein (left) and Bridger Deaton (right). McGe­orge and his team­mates won gold at the 2014 World In­door Cham­pi­onships in March.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.