Creedence Hankins, a 13-year-old eighth grader at Glen Rose Junior High School, began practicing archery when she was just six years old.
She enjoyed it so much that she began dedicating more and more time to develop that skill, and it paid off.
Recently in an archery competition held at the State Fair of Texas, Hankins placed second in the junior high division.
Prior to that, Hankins won first place in the Ellis County 4-H indoor archery competition in Waxahachie.
In May, she placed third in the Bertram 4-H archery contest held in Burnet.
She won two qualifying events to earn a spot in the ASA Pro/Am event held in April in Paris, Texas, which featured 1,300 shooters in all. Hankins placed ninth in her division.
In March, Hankins competed in the 4-H state indoor archery competition in Graham and placed 10th among 90 shooters (boys and girls).
Her success has led to getting a sponsor, Gateway Archery of Fort Worth, to help with things such as travel costs.
The archery experience started about seven years ago in her backyard for Hankins, who is the daughter of Justin Hankins and April Davis of Glen Rose.
“When I first started I was six. Dad started really helping me,” Creedence said. “Now it ’s my favorite thing to do.
April said that Justin used to compete in archery competitions when he was in his 20s and 30s.
“When Creedence was six, he got her a bow,” Davis said. “She loves it. She practices just about every day.”
Placing second at the State Fair event was a pleasant surprise, according to Creedence.
“I was really excited. My goal was to make the top five,” Creedence said, noting that there were 96 archers entered in her junior high division. “It was really exciting, and nerve-racking.”
Not only did her father have an archery background, but she also has two uncles and a cousin who shoot.
Her mother added, “But (she) learned everything she knows from her dad … he’s a great coach.”
Creedence has a younger brother named Tyn Hankins, age 7, who is in the first grade. Tyn has competed in two archery competitions, and won a first-place medal in one of them. Their older brother, 19-year-old college student Justin Hankins Junior, used to be involved in archery when he was in junior high and high school. They also have a sister, 20-year-old Hannah Hankins.
Creedence said she used to go deer hunting (with rifles) with her dad, and got her first buck (an eight-pointer) last winter in Iredell.
But, she said that her archery shooting experience is “way more fun than with a gun.”
Although she still has a few years left in school, Creedence is thinking that her archery will continue even after she leaves the 4-H events behind.
“I do want to be a professional archer,” she said.
When asked what she will need to do to reach that level, Creedence said, “Just really work hard, more than I do (now) … just really work at it.”