ARCHERY: Summers signs with Thomas More
STANFORD — Surrounded by family and friends, Lincoln County’s Jacob Summers became the first archer to ever sign with the Thomas More College archery program.
The NCAA Division III school announced in January that archery would be added to its list of sports programs in Fall 2018 and, when Summers inked his scholarship agreement during a special ceremony held in the school library, he made history as Thomas More’s first archery signee.
Dr. Chris Powers, an LCHS alum and now vice-president of enrollment at Thomas More, said he was excited that Summers chose to play for the Saints.
“We’re so excited to have him on campus. We’re starting archery, he’s going to anchor the team. So we’re very excited about that,” he said. “He’s done very well with his scholarships. He has two scholarships. One for archery, which totals $22,000 over four years, and his academic totals $44,000 over four years. So there is scholarship opportunity for archery and, of course, academics.”
Summers, the son of David and Kristal Summers of Danville, said the thought of receiving all that scholarship money to fund his education was an impetus to make Thomas More his college choice.
“When Coach (Ricky) Mullins told me to apply just to see what they would give me for archery, I did because I wanted to see what I could get and if it would amount to anything,” Summers said. “They got right back with me and gave me all kinds of scholarships.”
Summers wasted little time sharing the news with his mother,
“I told my mom and, once I did that, she burst out into tears because that’s the school she wanted to go to when she was my age,” he said. “She didn’t get the chance to go.”
The scholarship offers and his mom’s tears helped sway Summers in his college choice, but it took some prayer and a visit to the Crestview campus of Thomas More to seal the deal.
“I prayed about it because I wanted to see God’s will, not mine. So I was just like, ‘God, what do you want me to do?’ Once they told me all the scholarships and how great of an offer I got, I was like, ‘Alright God, I see what you are doing. Let’s see what else you want,’” Summers said. “So we went on a college visit. As soon as we stepped foot on that campus, I fell in love. I said, ‘Alright God, I have a feeling this is where you want me to go so if that is it, just lead me to fully commit.’ He did and I did.”
Summers, who is undecided on his college major, says he has steadily progressed in his scores over the years shooting with the Lincoln archery team.
“When I first started, I was shooting 260’s and 270’s and this year I’ve been shooting 280’s, 290’s, mainly 290’s. So I am almost 300, almost perfect scores in general,” he said. “I feel very comfortable in it and feel like I can do a whole lot more at Thomas More.”
“This is going to be something new, but I’m definitely looking forward to it,” Summers said of making the jump to collegiate archery. “I think it will be a great change to my life.”
Mullins had to choke back tears when he talked of his years coaching Summers.
“I’ve just watched him increase his scores. How he’s improved has been awesome,” he said. “He’s a super kid. Not just as an athlete or as an archer, but as a person also. I’ve really enjoyed working with him.”
Before Summers put ink to the paper during the signing, Powers confessed to the Lincoln archer that he had ulterior motives in trying to get Summers to sign with Thomas More.
“It’s been a personal objective of mine to try to get some people from home back into (Thomas More),” said Powers, who was a classmate of Mullins. “I went to Berea College. Both of my parents had a seventh-grade education. I was the first one in my family to go to school. I’m very happy with my roots here and I’m happy to give you the opportunity to come up.”