Tonight we visit Arnaudville for a special edition of Beyond the Jersey.
Madeline Adams tells us the story of how one St. Landry Parish athlete became a national champion.
It all started with a birthday present.
“My dad on my 10th birthday brought me to the bow shop, and I got my first real bow. And I got that and shot it ever since.”
And now seven years later, Cameron Escoyne is the archer to beat.
Even in the heart of Sportsman’s Paradise, Escoyne is one of the only archery competitors in Louisiana.
“To get good competition you really gotta go out of state, either out of state or either up north Louisiana,” Escoyne says. “They got a few kids that might travel there from out of state. Then a few kids down south. Around here, it’s really just nobody.”
Nobody but Cameron, but that’s just given him a platform. After recording the best shot in state the last four years, he’s got a lot of eyes on his career.
“I’ve made a name for myself through 4-H because a lot of kids look up to me,” Escoyne says. “Had a few people tell me that because it’s my last year and I’m leaving.”
The winning doesn’t come easy. Without a coach or any kind of formal training, Escoyne is in his makeshift backyard archery range perfecting his craft every day.
“I put a lot in to it,” Escoyne says. “I practice everyday.”
Those thousands of hours of practice led to a national title. Escoyne ranked first in an Archer’s Shooters Association tournament in march.
“I’ve tried that for…three years? 4 years? Somewhere around there,” Escoyne says. “I practice so much it’s about time. It’s about time I finally did good. Like these past two years were like a breakthrough year. Everybody knows me now, so many people know me around the country.”
With plans to compete at the world championships and one day achieve a perfect score, Escoyne is right on target to shoot his name into the record books.
Escoyne says that while it is very difficult to turn pro, that is still a dream of his.
With all of the titles and records he holds in Louisiana, that dream doesn’t seem like a long shot.