Florida Sports Foundation awards Easton Gator Cup Best Mid-Market Event of the Year for 2016

The Florida Sports Foundation (FSF), the state’s leading sports promotion and development organization, presented six awards to recognize Florida communities and sports commissions for their outstanding efforts in sports tourism in the State of Florida.  The events were awarded or held between April 1, 2016 and April 15, 2017.

Mid-Market Event of the Year:  Easton Gator Cup, Newberry, Gainesville Sports Commission.

While this is an annual local created event, what made the 2016 event special was winning the bid to host the USA Olympic Team Trials as the last chance for men and women to qualify in the US to go to the 2016 Olympics in Rio.   During the Olympic Trials the top 8 men and women were eliminated down to the top 4, a 3 person team with one alternate archer.  This was not only great marketing for the local community but also for the State of Florida to host an Olympic Qualifier before Rio.  Over 600 people attended the five-day Gator Cup Tournament and Olympic Team Trial.  Over 80% of participants were from out-of-state and over 95% of participants were from out-of county with 38 states represented and archers from Canada, Trinidad and Bermuda.  1,138 room nights were produced with over $175,000 direct hotel impact and a direct Economic impact of $452,067.

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Aim True – Partnering for Performance

Story and Photography by Ray Carson

Sometimes it takes a partnership to create a project.  In 2008, the City of Newberry Parks and Recreation Department was tasked with a plan to create a sports park that would not only benefit local residents, but would also use sports tourism as an economic engine for the city.

As is often the case with small town government budgets, funding was limited.  The solution was to form a partnership with other entities that could share resources and funds to create the park.  Florida Fish and Wildlife donated land and the Easton Foundations provided additional funds and an archery facility.   Read more….

Easton Foundations Gator Cup and 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

U.S. Olympic Team Trials

Media Advisory:
Event: Easton Foundations Gator Cup and 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Archery, final nomination shoot

Where: Easton Newberry Sports Complex – 24880 NW 16 Ave, Newberry, FL 32669

When: The Easton Foundations Gator Cup will take place May 26-28, immediately followed by the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Archery, final nomination shoot May 29-30.

What: The Easton Foundations Gator Cup is the second of four U.S. Archery Team (USAT) Qualifier Series Events of the 2016 season where archers earn valuable points towards a spot on the national team. The event will consist of official practice, a 72-arrow ranking round, and head-to-head elimination matches. The 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Archery, final nomination shoot is the last of a three-part trials process. The U.S. has qualified a full men’s team of three archers, and has earned one spot for our women. They will have one more chance to qualify a full team, and this Trials process will determine which archers are nominated to those slots to go to the Games in Rio.

Who: Top archers to watch include 2012 London Olympic Silver Medalists Brady Ellison, Jake Kaminski and Jacob Wukie and five-time Olympian and Olympic Bronze Medalist Khatuna Lorig, who also taught Jennifer Lawrence archery for her role as Katniss in the Hunger Games movies. Zach Garrett and Collin Klimitchek are the two youngest archers in the running for the men’s top 8, and both have a good shot with multiple recent international medals under their belts. Garrett invents his own archery equipment that he competes with, and Klimitchek is an avid adventure seeker and nature lover, which is how he found the sport of archery.

Mackenzie Brown leads the women’s field with a wide margin. Nicknamed the Girl on Fire, Brown narrowly missed the 2015 World Championship team, but then came back to suddenly win a spot on almost every major international podium for the remainder of the season. Currently ranked fourth in the world, Brown also won bronze at the Rio Test Event and is a strong contender for a medal this summer.

The top eight men stand as follows:

1. Brady Ellison (Globe, Arizona)
2. Zach Garrett (Wellington, Missouri)
3. Jake Kaminski (Gainesville, Florida)
4. Collin Klimitchek (Victoria, Texas)
5. Jacob Wukie (Fremont, Ohio)
6. Thomas Stanwood (Raynham, Massachusetts)
7. Daniel McLaughlin (West Chester, Ohio)
8. Sean McLaughlin (West Chester, Ohio)

The top eight women stand as follows:

1. Mackenzie Brown (Flint, Texas)
2. Hye Youn Park (Cupertino, California)
3. LaNola Pritchard (Lehi, Utah)
4. Ariel Gibilaro (North Branford, Connecticut)
5. Khatuna Lorig (West Hollywood, California)
6. Erin Mickelberry (Bothell, Washington)
7. Lauren Clamon (Chula Vista, California)
8. Heather Koehl (Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin)

Live updates as the Trials continue are available here. For more, follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For any media questions or credential requests, please contact media@usarchery.org.

About USA Archery
USA Archery is the National Governing Body for the Olympic sport of archery in the United States. USA Archery selects and trains Olympic, Paralympic, World Championship, and World Cup teams, as well as developing archery at the grassroots level across the United States. For more information, visit http://www.usarchery.org.

Media Contact
Sarah Bernstein/Public Relations

Latest News from the Easton-Newberry Archery Center

By Eric Blalock:

As we transition into the indoor season, things have finally started to slow down slightly at the Easton Newberry Archery Center. Outdoor tournaments are coming to an end, with only the Florida Archers Association’s State FITA Field and Florida 4-H’s State 3D Match remaining on the schedule.

ENACThe staff and coaches here would like to congratulate our members and the CODP (Community Olympic Development Program) class participants for an excellent 2015 outdoor season. The CODP class participants finished the season with an outstanding 57 podium finishes, 34 of which were first place, at State tournaments. Their national success in 2015 was unparalleled to any seen here at the Easton Newberry Archery Center, with 38 top 10 placements, bringing home 9 gold medals and 18 overall podium finishes.

We want to wish the best to eight of our members as they travel to Chula Vista, California for the Junior Dream Team selection camp. Also, a big shout out to our members, Meghan Collins, Ryan Oliver and Adam Heidt, for making the Cadet USAT Team.

There are some exciting events in the coming months. On January 16th the Easton ENACNewberry Archery Center will be hosting a one-day Judges Seminar led by International Judge, Mike Cullumber. We are kicking off our indoor season with the 2nd Annual Gator Classic on February 5th and 6th.  Only a couple weeks later Easton Newberry Archery Center will be hosting, for the first time in Florida, the U.S. National Indoor Championships and JOAD National Indoor Championships on February 19th through the 21st.

Updates from the Easton-Newberry Archery Center

By Carl Greene

The 2015 summer season has been exciting with approximately 75 participants continuing throughout the summer with camp and classes. With camps alone our staff coaches and office personnel have been super busy logging over 1316 total hours of individual camp experience. These experiences have included a trip to the University of Florida Sports research center and an introduction to proprioception training. Of these different training techniques one stood out as some had the privilege to go ‘Stand-up Paddle Boarding on the Santa Fe River.’ The three-hour river trip on SUP’s was a big hit among archers on a hot Florida evening. These camps have been fun and inspirational to many. Archers never considered how much something like Stand Up Paddle Boarding complemented an archer’s posture and body awareness. We look forward to seeing these young athletes in the coming years as elite performers.

Many of our students as well as facility members who train here at the Easton-Newberry Center have excelled in this years state, national, and international level tournaments. With multiple podium finishes as well as personal best records the excitement and momentum to excel here in Newberry has taken its place. This momentum is expected to help us launch into a new year as schools start back and our regular classes begin.

As we look forward we will be offering more coach training certification classes as well as proprioception training, nutrition, equipment, and judge training workshops. These opportunities will be available to all coaches, athletes, and programs to benefit from. Feedback and suggestions from coaches, judges, athletes, etc. are encouraged to help us in our search of improving what is offered at our center.

Four Students from Easton-Newberry Archery Center make Junior Dream Team

Part of our mission here at the Easton-Newberry Archery Center is to help athletes prepare for a position on the USAA’s Junior Dream Team (JDT) and the Resident Athlete Program. This help comes from private instruction, events structure, classes, and facility use. We would like to congratulate four of our athletes who train at the Easton-Newberry Archery Center—Ryan Oliver, TJ Rodriguez, Hala Skelton, and Thadrick Heaney—who made the Junior Dream Team.

Ryan has been a member of the recurve JDT program for over two years. His efforts and progress has earned him a spot on the JDT Red Team. The Red Team is the highest level of performers on the JDT program. TJ was selected as an alternate recurve JDT member last year and has now earned his position as a full JDT member going into 2015. Hala attended the first ever Compound JDT selection camp this past November and earned her spot as a CJDT member. Thadrick also attended the first Compound JDT selection camp in November and earned his spot on the CJDT as well.

The selection process was held in Chula Vista, CA and is quite complex. All of these archers worked extremely hard to earn these accomplishments. These archers dedicate many hours and days year round to making themselves the best they can be. They all show tremendous leadership potential in addition to outstanding performance as a top athlete.

2015 will be a very intense year for all four of these archers. These four athletes as well as many others will be a regular face on many stages in the future of our sport. We are very grateful to have such a tremendous group of athletes and support system of families here at the center. Again, Congratulations to you all!

Latest News from the Easton-Newberry Archery Center

By Carl Greene:

With schools starting back and the outdoor tournament season winding down we have been very busy at the Easton-Newberry Center.  Many of the camp participants during the summer came back to participate in our regular class sessions.  We are averaging 64 participants.  We also created a commuter class that makes participation possible for those that live some distance away.  The commuter class has participation from as far away as a 5-½ hour drive.  This is exciting to see new people come onboard and enjoy this sport we love.

We have been working hard on completing our Roving NFAA field range and we were honored to have the Florida 4-H participants be the first to try it out during their state field match.  While enjoying a beautiful fall day these archers enjoyed winding through the trees with a walking trial just over a half mile long while shooting at 14 different target scenarios.  While here, the 4-H scheduled five additional tournaments for the upcoming year.  We are excited to see this program grow with us here at the Easton-Newberry Center.

As we look forward to the 2015 tournament season, we are already planning many tournaments.  Between local JOAD club shoots, Florida 4-H program, Florida Archery Association, ASA, local 3D, and our USAT Gator Cup we have approximately 43 shoots scheduled for this coming year.  In addition to our weekly league night, we are developing a local league and national league that other Easton centers and affiliates can join in the fun.  More information on the National League to follow!

Carl Greene Hired as Director of Archery…


From: Caren Sawyer, Executive Director

Date: March 10, 2014

Carl Greene Hired as Director of Archery for the Easton Newberry Sports Complex

Newberry, FL—Easton Sports Development Foundation is pleased to announce the hiring of Carl Greene as the Director of Archery for the Easton Newberry Sports Complex in Newberry, Florida.

Carl, a USA Archery Level 5 Coach, will be responsible for all archery activities at the Newberry facility. As Director of Archery, Carl will report directly to Robert Romero, Director of Coaching.  Carl will be relocating to the Newberry, FL area from Georgia to be closer to the center.

Carl brings with him an extensive archery background including:

  • USA Archery Level V National Training System Coach
  • USA Archery Level IV Class trainer
  • USA Archery ITS Staff 2013 & 2014
  • USA Archery Junior Dream Team Red-Team Coach
  • USCA Board Member 2012 & 2013
  • Georgia Shooting Sports Foundation Treasurer
  • GA 4-H S.A.F.E. State Advisory Board
  • GA 4-H S.A.F.E. State Training Board
  • Head coach of Southern Eagles Archery Team at Georgia Southern University
  • Head coach of The Range JOAD archery program
  • Owner of The Range / Statesboro Archery Pro Shop

Carl has been shooting a bow for over 35 years.  He began his coaching career in 2004 with a local 4-H program and since then has continued as part of the Georgia State Training and Advisory board and, through his work with USA Archery, he has trained many coaches and coached his own students to local, state, and national titles.

“The Easton Foundation is pleased to have Carl join our team, stated Greg Easton, President of the Easton Foundation.  His experience in business and as an archery coach will serve him well in leading the team in Newberry.”

“We are extremely pleased to have Carl Greene join the elite team of archery coaches within the Easton Foundations. Carl’s exceptional coaching and management capabilities are key assets in furthering our mission of creating the coaching infrastructure needed to address the growing number of new archers coming into the sport. Carl’s Elite Level coaching status and National Trainer experience offer the skill sets necessary to develop and fully implement those programs. We are extremely happy to have Carl join the Easton Foundations family.” stated Don Rabska, V.P. Easton Foundations.

Carl’s response to joining the Easton Foundations’ team reflects his professional attitude toward the position, “It is an honor to be selected by the Easton Foundations to fill the position of the ‘Director of Archery Programs’ in Newberry, FL.  I look forward to working with the staff and clubs to promote the future of archery and the role of a ‘Community Olympic Development Program’.”

Robert Romero, Director of Coaching stated, “With Carl Greene coming on board as the Director of Archery Programs of our Newberry Florida center, I feel that the our programs will continue to grow in a direction that will suit not only our new CODP designation but also the Newberry and North Central Florida community. Carl brings with him high level coaching experience as well as a very successful grassroots program knowledge that will help guide our center into the future.”

For additional information contact Ms. Caren Sawyer, Executive Director, at 818-901-0127 Ext. 104, or at csawyer@esdf.org.

About the Easton Foundations:

The Easton Foundations’ aim is to keep archery a viable part of the sporting culture in communities across the United States.  Founded during the 1982 Olympics by Jim Easton, the founder and former CEO of Easton Sports, Inc., the Foundation actively works to introduce the Olympic sport of archery to communities across the country.  It supports the training of aspiring archers, trainers, coaches, and administrators and building of archery facilities at city parks, schools, universities and sports complexes.

The Easton Foundations encourages and engages youth to participate and develop skills in the sports of archery, baseball, softball, ice hockey, and cycling.  It contributes to selected 501(c)(3) charitable groups and universities that share its vision of excellence and innovation in sports programs, business and engineering education, and medical research.

Two Newberry Archers Selected to USAA Junior Dream Team

Newberry Archers 2Two students of the Easton Newberry Archery Center have been selected to the 2013 USA Archery Junior Dream Team (JDT), which consists of 24 of the most promising junior and cadet Olympic style archers in the country.

Cub recurve archer, Ryan Oliver, and cadet recurve archer, Chris Francis, were chosen to the Junior Dream Team. The team was developed to bridge the gap between Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD) and the Resident Athlete Program in an effort to fast track those archers who show early potential. The program’s former students include Olympians, several World Archery Youth Championships Team Members, and USA Archery Resident Athletes. 

“It is such an honor,” said Oliver. “It has always been my goal to make the JDT and it feels great to have finally accomplished that goal.”

Oliver’s 2012 competition resumé was one reason he was selected. He collected 22 gold medals in 26 events at the club, state and national level. The highlight of his season came in June, when he defended his 2011 title by winning the gold medal in the Olympic MALE Cub Recurve       division at the Easton JOAD Nationals in Hamilton, Ohio.

Oliver, 13, has been taking classes at the Easton Newberry Sports Complex since it opened in 2009.

“The center is less than a mile from my house, so I can ride my bike there,” said Oliver. “Having a facility so close makes it very easy to train. I started taking weekly classes with Coach Bob Romero at the center once it opened. That is where I first started learning about the NTS (National Training System).

“I started competing at the end of the JOAD tournaments. My first FITA (Federation of International Target Archery) was in June 2010 at the Sunshine State Games where I shot 144 arrows in temperatures over 100 degrees. That was the first state level gold medal I earned. Since that time, I have shot tens of thousands of arrows, and I now I take classes with Coach Robert Turner.”

Under his current training regimen, Oliver shoots 600-700 arrows a week, along with Special Physical Training (SPT) and cardio training. Now that he is a member of the Junior Dream Team, he expects his physical training to intensify. And his mental approach to the sport of archery is pretty simple:

“You have to forget about the bad shots and focus on making the next one better,” said Oliver. “When you make a good shot, you try to make your next one the same.”

Oliver was not the only Newberry Archery Center athlete to make the Junior Dream Team. Chris Francis, 17, was also selected to the team.

“Since I haven’t been competing very long, I didn’t really expect to get on the Junior Dream Team,” said Francis. “I think it’s great to be in that company. I’m excited about getting to work with the coaches and being part of a great team.”

Francis only recently became interested in the sport of archery and began training at the Easton Newberry Sports Complex.

“I started taking archery classes about two years ago,” said Francis. “I became interested because my brothers and sisters were taking archery classes, and I’ve always enjoyed shooting sports.” 

In the 2012 season, which was Francis’s first year in which he competed on the state, regional and national level, he ended up placing in the middle of the Cadet Male Recurve division in national and regional tournaments.

“I was pleased with my finishes,” said Francis. “Although naturally, I want to do better. My division is one of the largest divisions at the national level, so I thought that placing in the middle was pretty good for my first time competing. However, my scores have gotten better over the past several months and I hope to place much higher next year.”

After placing first in all of the state tournaments that Francis competed in, as well as currently holding six state records, he is working hard to improve on the regional and national level. He believes the Junior Dream Team will help him accomplish that.

“I currently practice about four days a week and take two classes a week,” said Francis. “I also do exercises and strength training. As a member of the team, I will have to keep a training log and meet with a coach once a month using Skype, so I think that will help me to be consistent in my training.

“Taking classes at the Newberry Archery Center has helped me learn how to shoot and also helped me to improve my skills. The coaches at the center, other experienced archers I have met, and my mom have all helped me to improve my shooting skills. Additionally, all of the tournaments that the Center hosts have helped me to gain experience in competitive target archery.”