“When I got back in town after the Games, everyone just asked me to show them how to shoot,” said Endicott. “I know I’m not the best, but I agreed to teach them what I know. Before I knew it, I had nine people showing up every Monday night to practice at the shop.”
Endicott led a team of nine archers to attend one or more of the qualifying events in Las Vegas, Louisville and Pittsburgh with hopes of making the cut to the Games. Endicott was the only one to survive the Las Vegas shooting rounds, but pupil, Karen Demaris of LaPine, Ore., gave it a second try in Pittsburgh and made the cut there.
“I was completely surprised because I didn’t feel that I had shot as well as I could have,” said DeMaris. “Right now I’m excited, scared and nervous about competing in the Great Outdoor Games, but mostly just excited. I know it’s going to be a great time.”
Every Monday night from November through February, Endicott’s band of nine would put their skills to the test on his indoor shooting range. DeMaris and her boyfriend would drive 120 miles each way to attend Endicott’s practice sessions.
“I’ve known Wayne about 15 years, and he encouraged me to try to qualify for the Games,” said DeMaris. “What’s really great about what he’s done is that he’s given archers the chance to shoot with other phenomenal archers. Everyone in our group is really supportive of each other and wants each person to perform well.”
“Being a part of the Great Outdoor Games last year was incredible,” said Endicott. “Being a father of five and raising a family, my shooting always had to take a backseat, and July is our shop’s busiest time of the year. I thought it would be unreasonable to try and get away for the Games, but I’m definitely glad that I went. The experience was so rewarding, it was a real dream come true. After seeing how interested others were in the sport, I wanted to share that experience.”
Endicott picked up his first bow and arrow at the age of twenty and began competing at 25. Not only is he the 2004 Great Outdoor Games silver medalist, but he’s also the men’s 2005 Oregon State Indoor Champion.
DeMaris also holds several titles, but had never qualified for the Games until now. She is the women’s 2005 Oregon State Indoor Champion, was the Northwest Triple Crown overall winner three times, and Woman Bowhunter of the year three different times.
“I’m thankful to Wayne to invite us all to be a part of his shop and his training program,” said DeMaris. “He’s just been incredible. To be so encouraging and enthusiastic about training all of us is really something. He’s a neat guy and great for the sport. He really cares for the sport and the people involved. He wants to see everyone succeed.”
“I wanted all of my students to do well and qualify, and it was awesome to find out that Karen had made it,” said Endicott. She’s a great lady and has always been a solid archer. In everything she does, she just jumps in and takes the bull by its horns. She deserves to go to the Great Outdoor Games.”
“With one more year of practice, I hope to see even more of our group qualify. With all the heart they put in, it’s definitely possible,” he added.
Fans can catch the Great Outdoor Games live July 7-10, 2005 at Disney's Wide World of Sports ® Complex and Tenoroc Shooting Sports and Training Facility. Admission to the 2005 Great Outdoor Games at Disney’s Wide World of Sports ® Complex is $5 per person per day, with children 10 and under free. Admission to Tenoroc Shooting Sports and Training Facility is free. Re-entry is allowed each day. Tickets can be purchased on ticketmaster.com through June 26 and purchased at the door the day of the event.
The Games will be aired on ESPN and ABC Sports July 14-17, 2005. For more information visit www.greatoutdoorgames.com.
The ESPN Great Outdoor Games feature top outdoor athletes from around the world and are the ultimate championship of outdoor sports, featuring one-of-a-kind, head-to-head competition in timber and target events, sporting dogs and ATV skills competitions. While entertaining large crowds on site, the ESPN Great Outdoor Games also draw a worldwide television audience on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC Sports.
For more information, contact Kim Jessup, ESPN Outdoors Communications at (407) 566-2175.