Story by Jon Dinan
JEFFERSONVILLE February 1, 2013 In 2009, 16-year-old Jeffersonville native Joey Moran picked up a bow for the first time. He has not been able to put it down since.
And during these last four years, he’s gone from amateur to expert in the sport of archery. For his age, Moran is now one of the best archers in the world.
Just last weekend the Sullivan West junior won the International Bowhunting Organization’s Northeastern Championships held in Syracuse, New York.
In August 2011, Moran finished second at the International Bowhunting Organization’s New York State championship, qualifying him for the World Championship, also held in New York. At the world event Moran placed 25th in his Youth Hunter division.
In 2012, Moran won the New York State Championship, and placed 12th at World.
“I became obsessed with shooting my bow. I wanted to shoot all the time,” said Moran. “I fell in love with target shooting, so I spent much of my free time looking at different shoots and organizations,” he added.
In 2010 Moran joined the 10-week-long Catskill Mountain Archers (CMA) League in Liberty where, with the help of league members and organizers, he began to hone his skills.
“Throughout the ten weeks I improved so much because there was always someone keeping an eye on my shooting, so if they saw any problems with my form or technique they got it worked out right away,” said Moran.
After shooting best in his division over the course of his second CMA season in 2011. Moran began participating in, and winning, a number of local tournaments.
In the summer of 2011, Moran attended the Sullivan County Conservation Club’s (SCCC) three-day youth archery camp headed by fellow CMA league member and 2012 SCCC sportsman of the Year, Harry Walker.
At Walker’s camp, Moran learned some important archery skills like hunter safety to arrowmaking.
Moran has since exceeded the camp’s age limit so he can no longer participate, but he still goes back and volunteers his time to help young, up- and-coming archers.
There is no Olympic event fit for Moran’s compound bow prowess, there’s only one for recurve bows. Moran’s expertise comes in compound bow because that’s how he got started.
But there is a professional level in compound that Moran has in his sights and wants to make his career.
To that end, Moran has made contact with Todd Reich, president of Dead Center Archery, a Pennsylvania-based manufacturer of archery products. He’s hoping to eventually land a spot on Dead Center’s professional staff.
He will have to wait at least two years though as Dead Center doesn’t accept anyone under the age of 18. In the meantime, they put Moran on their factory staff, giving him discounts on equipment and sending him promotional gifts.
“I hope that within five to 10 years I’ll be good enough to go pro, but I still have a ways to go,” said Moran.
“It’s nice to know you’re in with a professional group though,” continued Moran, who admits his confidence goes up when he shoots with the pros. “Once you get in with the top people it makes it easier.
“It takes a certain shooter just to be able to shoot alongside those guys. I didn’t need the discount. I’m just happy to be at the level I am now,” he added.
“It’s a great crowd,” said Joey’s father, Jim Moran. “Everyone Joey has come in contact with in the sport has been constructive and very supportive.”
“It’s so much fun I get to go all over and meet all kinds of people,” summed up Joey.
Moran continues to shoot under Gary McGee, whom Moran says has helped him greatly throughout his career.
“Joey has come a long way,” McGee said. “He listens very well, and he has a real desire to better himself. He spends a lot of time practicing because he really wants to be the best archer he can be.”