By Erik Walsh
Monitor Sports Editor
KEMP–Kemp resident Keith Foisey has proved yet again that he is a master at his craft after becoming the Deerman’s 3-D True Hunting Experience (THE) world champion in Ada, Oklahoma July 18-19.
Foisey’s world championship win came on the heels of the Texas title he claimed last May and places him as the best 3-D target archer from the 30-foot range in the entire THE system.
The success has came quickly for Foisey, who just recently took up target shooting last February. When he showed up to his first event in May, which happened to be the Texas Championship, the grandness of the event and competitors nearly intimidated him into going home without shooting.
“At the time I had no experience and I didn’t even know what class I would shoot in,” Foisey said. “I looked around and other archers had much more expensive bows.”
After talking with his wife, Foisey decided that he had nothing to lose and shot anyway. It was a good decision.
“I decided to just go for it,” he said. “We already made the drive anyway,” he said with a chuckle.
Foisey likes shooting with THE because of its sportsman ideals and humane mentality treating wildlife with respect; only taking the shot if you can attain a clean kill. To simulate a true hunting experience, THE sets up its courses with brush and obstacles between the archer and the target.
“I’ve been bow hunting for more than 10 years now, and 3D targets are a great way to stay sharp,” Foisey said. If you are hunting in the woods, that deer is probably not going to walk out into the open for you. If you don’t secure a clean kill, you may never find the animal and it could suffer an agonizing death.”
THE rewards a top score of 15 points per round with a shot to the most vital part of the heart. A small flinch dropping the arrow low could miss the vitals entirely and give the archer –5 points for the round.
This is all that separated Foisey from winning the Oklahoma state tournament in June.
“The competition level at these tournaments is such a high level,” he said. “I missed one of my targets by a quarter-inch and scored negative five points. The winner scored just 13 points higher than I.”
With just one shot separating him from a third title, Foisey has progressed much faster than he ever expected and puts in the time each day to keep improving. He shoots at least 50 arrows a day to stay sharp, averaging about an hour and a half of practice time each day between his range at home and On Target in Canton.
“Considering I just started target shooting this year, this has all been a pleasant surprise to me,” he said. “The guys at On Target peeked my interest in target shooting and it’s been a great experience.”
Foisey says that he is practicing on shooting from farther distances for next season.
“Next year I will go to the 40-yard class and give it a try,” he said. “I didn’t expect to win at the 30, so who knows, I may do well at the 40 also. I’ll give it a try.”
Posted by : July 30, 2015| On :
Posted by : July 26, 2015| On :
By Erik Walsh
Monitor Sports Editor
KEMP–David “Bird” Jones is an emerging name in the street racing scene and is getting close to an opportunity to make an appearance on the Discovery Channel TV show Street Outlaws.
One could say racing is in the blood of the 2008 Kemp ISD graduate. He has been racing since he was 12 years old and has an impressive pedigree. His father, Jackie, was the 2005 National Hotrod Racing Association Champion.
“For as long as I can remember my dad has been my role model,” Jones said. “I look up to him in every way. He’s been my hero from day one.”
It’s been nearly 10 years, but Jones says his biggest moment in racing came when he was just 16 years old, in 2006. Jones lined up in a processional race at Texas Motor Place in Ennis and defeated every other contestant on the field–including his reigning champion father. Jones’ father still races today, now in his 36th year, all while using the same race car.
“Ennis was my first $10,000 win,” Jones said. “To beat my father, who was the champion, was one of the best moments of my life.”
He adopted the nick name “Bird” when he was 16.
“I’m six foot tall and over 200 pounds,” he said. “They called me Big Bird, and it stuck. Now, it’s changed into just “Bird.”
While Jones broke into racing on the track, he has transitioned to a newer “street racing” style that some traditionalist racers don’t identify with. Jones says some cities issue permits for street racing and dispatch police for safety.
“I make sure everything is done legally,” he said.
His reputation in street racing is catching the attention of the people that make the Street Outlaws show. Jones began making a name for himself in the scene after beating some of its biggest names, including three racers that have made appearances on the show. After he defeated the previously unbeaten Kye Kelley, one of the guys from Street Outlaws tagged Jones in a post on social media and a conversation began.
On the post, a tentative plan was made to “eat, talk some friendly smack, and find a dark road somewhere and pass some money around!”
If the meeting takes place, there will probably be cameras rolling for the show as well. Jones hopes that becomes a reality.
“Being on Street Outlaws is a big goal of mine right now,” he said.
And while Jones has accomplished a lot in the racing world, he says he couldn’t have done any of it without the help of his close-knit family.
His mom, Lynn, is with him at every finish line and “is always there to get whatever (car) part I need.” He gives her credit for being the woman behind the scenes, registering him for races online and booking hotels.
His aunt and uncle Rhonda and Less Smith have also contributed in a big way, giving him an F350 to haul the racing equipment.
“I couldn’t be doing this without them,” he said.
He also gives credit to his brother, Aaron. “He’s always in the shop to build anything I need. Who else will be there at 1 a.m. the night of a race to help me out?”
Posted by : July 23, 2015| On :
By Erik Walsh
Monitor Sports Editor
MABANK–Coaches often get into their profession because of a combined passion for sports and helping kids. This is no different for Mabank’s new Head Softball Coach, Brent Achorn.
Achorn spent 11 years in law enforcement as a police officer before he decided the best way to impact the lives of young people was to become a coach and teacher.
“I got tired of seeing all the crimes committed against kids,” Achorn told The Monitor. “I had always been a sports person so I decided I could affect more lives as a coach.”
At the time, Achorn was assigned to the Stephenville police force. He enrolled at Tarleton State University and eventually became the graduate assistant and helped with the football team.
Now, 10 years later, he finds himself in Mabank, teaching U.S. history after nearly getting hired for the same job in Athens.
“I originally applied to the Athens position,” Achorn said. “I was among the two finalists for the job, but they couldn’t get my teaching field lined up with their needs, so I was left looking for other positions throughout Texas.”
That’s when Mabank Athletic Director Tracy Carter got a call from Athens Athletic Director Paul Essary, who was impressed with Achorn and recommended Mabank’s open softball position to Achorn. The rest, they say, is history.
“I got the call from Coach Carter on the way home from an interview in Wichita Falls,” Achorn said. “I’m excited about coaching in Mabank because I get to keep teaching U.S. history and inherit a group of hungry girls that are excited to play softball.”
Achorn brings 10 years of head softball coaching experience to Mabank after spending time at Granbury, Fossil Ridge and Abilene high schools. In his initial season at Fossil Ridge, he helped bring the team to the playoffs for the first time in 10 years. Achorn will also chip in coaching volleyball as the freshman coach in Mabank. He has six years of volleyball coaching experience.
Now Achorn and his wife are making the transition to Mabank. “We just got a contract on a house last weekend,” he said. “I am excited to meet the girls and their parents.”