You’ll forgive Mark Bain, George Lob, Pete Baan, his wife Susan and a few other local folks if they walked around with a little extra giddy-up in their step last weekend.
The event was the long-awaited FAA/FNAA 2013 Indoor State Championship Archery Tournament and the aforementioned officers of the Miami Springs/Virginia Gardens Optimist Archery Club, including Bain as its president, were extremely pleased over how well everything went.
After first petitioning to host the event nine months ago, which was then followed by the eventual planning of it once approved, the gymnasium of the Miami Springs Community Center was blocked off all weekend (Friday through Sunday) and served as the host venue for more than 100 archers from as far away as Central Florida to compete. (Two other state competitions were also held in conjunction with the Miami Springs event further upstate near Gainesville and Tallahassee).
Who won? There were plenty of individual winners, even a few locals, but perhaps the real winner was the local archery club itself along with the City of Miami Springs.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic,” Bain said during Saturday’s afternoon competition. “We’ve worked so hard to prepare for this weekend and could not be happier with how everything has gone. The shooters have all been making comments to me about how out of our way we’ve gone to host them and accommodate them.”
As he said that, a cluster of archers entered the “hospitality room” where all kinds of goodies along with plenty to drink in the way of water and soda awaited them. The club had also made arrangements to have transportation available, if needed, for any of the contestants if they wished to hop over to the Circle to enjoy the Optimist Club’s other big function going on, the Third Annual BBQ Cookoff.
“This is really impressive, from the way they are hosting us to the actual facility itself,” said Tony Leon of Fort Lauderdale, who is a member of both the MS/VG and Fort Lauderdale clubs. “I’ve never seen any kind of hospitality room anywhere else and it’s just fantastic that a club like ours could put on an event like this and that’s just not me talking, that’s comments I’ve heard from others as well.”
The one who really needed to be impressed — and was — was tournament director Shelly Mascaro.
“It’s so obvious that Mark (Bain) and all of the folks in Miami Springs have gone out of their way and really reached out to make this a first-class event,” said Mascaro. “What really makes this especially terrific is that with the exception of Newberry (a small town near Gainesville), there are no other indoor facilities like this one that can host this kind of tournament.”
Mascaro was so impressed she even brought up the possibility that Miami Springs could conceivably apply to host the 2014 national tournament — the 2013 event takes place next month in Louisville, Ky.
“There is also a junior national tournament referred to as JOAD (Junior Olympic Archery Development) that could be a possibility as well,” said Mascaro. “We’ll just have to see what happens down the road.”