Josh is his name ... Archery is his game
By JON KLEINKNECHT
Inquirer Sports Editor
He’s gone from opening holes as an offensive lineman in high school to shooting holes in targets with arrows.
Josh Humberson, a 2011 graduate of Galion High School, is making a name for himself in the world of competitive archery.
“I’ve been shooting for hunting purposes since I was 9 or 10,” Josh said in a recent telephone interview. “The spring after the injury, I started shooting in 3D tournaments.”
Josh was a starting offensive lineman as a junior on the 2009 Tigers football squad that had a 10–0 regular season record, winning the Northern Ohio League championship and being the first Tigertown gridiron team to advance to the playoffs in 20 years. He was looking forward to his senior season.
Something happened between seasons, resulting in bilateral fractures to the L-3 and L-4 vertebrae. As the 2010 campaign approached, Josh began experiencing pain in his back. “I think it was more from lifting than football that caused it,” he said of the injury. “We’re not really sure.”
As a result, Josh was unable to don the Orange-and-Blue uniform his senior year.
“It really hurt us as a football team, and I’m sure it hurt him and his family even more,” Chris Hawkins, head coach of the Tigers said. “Even though he couldn’t play, he was voted a team captain. That shows you the kind of respect his teammates had for him. He was still a regular at the practices and the games. That says a lot about his character.”
Josh has a friend who works at the Sportsman’s Den in Shelby. It was there he became part of a group of archery enthusiasts who travel together to shoot competitively.
“From last March to the end of August I was averaging one (competition) a week,” Josh stated.
In the recently held World Indoor Tournament at the IX Center in Cleveland, scoring 430 points out of a possible 440, he placed fifth in the Hunter Division, an amateur class. That faring qualified him for the Outdoor World Championship to be held this August at Seven Springs, Pennsylvania.
During competition season, Josh practices shooting five days a week, two to three hours a day. “Right now I’m shooting two to three days a week,” he said.
Practice doesn’t just include shooting. Being able to gauge distance is also integral to success in the sport.
Josh works on eyeballing distances with the aid of a range finder.
Shooters usually don’t know until they get to a tournament what distance they’ll be shooting from. Targets can be set up anywhere from 10 to 38 yards away from the participants.
Outdoor tournaments present a different challenge as competitors can be shooting uphill, downhill or straight ahead.
Asked if he wants to shoot professionally, “Josh answered, “That’s something I’d definitely like to work toward.”
Josh will be travelling to Alabama to participate in the Winter Nationals in three weeks.
The spring will bring the National Triple Crown Tournament. He’ll compete in Indiana in May, Pennsylvania in June, and Marengo in July.
Josh spends a lot of time at the Handlebar Ranch in Mount Gilead. There are 3D shoots on Wednesday, as well as shooting on Sunday nights.
“That’s a great place to go and practice and get advice,” he stated. “There’s guys there who have a lot of experience and they’re willing to help. There’s a lot more shoots and tournaments around here than people realize.”