It’s a rare occurrence in sports for a team’s challenge of an official call to change the end result of a contest, but the 3rd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment, succeeded in its quest Friday, allowing them to claim the first-place trophy from the Commander’s Cup 3-D Archery Tournament.
It all came down to a discrepancy over a gopher decoy, and how it was scored for the Medical Department Activity team. A scoring judge mistakenly awarded MEDDAC players 7 points each for hitting the gopher’s outer ring instead of the standard 10. Tournament officials later attempted to fix the discrepancy — which would have put MEDDAC three points ahead of the 3-10th Inf. Bn.
However, the 3-10th Inf. Bn. players argued that the points awarded at the time MEDDAC’s shots were made and counted by the scoring judge should stand, just as an official’s call in a baseball or football game must stand, even if such rulings are later considered to be bad calls. While MEDDAC players countered that they pointed out the discrepancy when it was made, Chief of Sports Coleman Swinton ruled in favor of the 3-10th Inf. Bn. after consulting with both teams.
Seven three-person teams participated in the tournament, the second annual archery event since the sport was reintroduced to the Commander’s Cup series last year.
Each player had an opportunity to shoot at nine separate 3-D targets, including gopher, raccoon, rabbit, coyote, turkey, boar, bear, bobcat and mountain lion, placed between 20 and 45 yards away. Players could earn one point for hitting anywhere on the decoy, 10 points for hitting the outer ring or 12 points for a bullseye hit. Players could also earn an additional seven points by hitting a deer decoy placed 50 yards away.
The 3-10th Inf. Bn. team, made up of Jason Duncan, Michael Gossman and Tyler Chambers took first place in the tournament with 233 points. Chambers led the team with 90 points, followed by Gossman with 77 and Duncan with 66. It was the second consecutive tournament win for the 3-10th Inf. Bn.
“For me, and maybe for everybody, (the most difficult shot) is that laying buck, which we estimate is out about 50 yards. It’s not a shot you typically take — at least I don’t,” Duncan said.
Taking second place with a total of 227 points was MEDDAC, led by Nick Hasbrouch with 97 points, and followed by Paul Newman with 66 and Kristina Newman with 64.
Third place went to the 31st Engineer Battalion team of Jeff McPherson, Scott Lund and Shawn Tham, who finished with 227 points.
McPherson said the team was happy and surprised to do so well since most of its members were out of practice.
“I haven’t shot my bow since November of last year; (Lund) hasn’t shot his in two years, and (Tham) hasn’t shot his in a month and a half, so we did very well to get third place,” he said.
Lund credited Tham for the team’s success.
“It’s really all about teamwork, really,” Lund said. “Lieutenant Tham carried us through; he motivated us with his speech and his leadership, and we really owe it all to him.”
Michael Green won an end-of-tournament shoot-off to give the 515th Sapper Company the fourth-place finish with 187 points. The 515th and 2nd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment, had been tied at 177 points each, and decided to go ahead with a tiebreaker by giving each player once shot to hit the deer decoy. Green, who had missed the shot earlier, said he simply made some slight adjustments.
“I knew I did (it) wrong the first time, so I aimed a little higher and put it close to the middle,” Green said.
“It’s all about getting your Soldiers out here and competing to see who’s better. In the end, it’s all about having fun,” he continued.
The 2-10th Inf. Bn. in fifth place, was followed by the 14th Military Police Brigade in sixth with 118 points, and the 554th Engineer Battalion, with 88 points.