A merry band of brothers

BARRY’S BAY – The Luckovitch brothers are making headlines in the world of archery.
As the oldest and youngest of a family of four siblings, Brandon, 20, and Ryan, 12, have had their quivers full for many months now.
Although Brandon recently won two gold medals, both in British Columbia at the National 3D championships and at the Ontario Summer Games in Toronto, his younger brother Ryan is no slouch, either.
At a recent Running Bear two-day 3D tournament in North Bay, on August 11 and 12, Ryan shot the highest score for the weekend, boasting a score of 790 out of a possible 800 points.
Having his name entered in a draw at the competition for a Winchester compound bow, donated by The Archery Place, Ryan found out he was the winner.
Even though he could have sold the bow for three or four hundred dollars, Ryan decided to donate it back so that someone else “who needed it more than he did” could win it.
Ryan remembers getting into archery at a young age and having his oldest brother with him every step of the way.
“I first shot a bow when I was seven and I got into competition when I was nine”, Ryan said.
Remembering the luck of how he fell into the sport, Ryan initially loved archery for the thrill of the hunt.
“I liked shooting but I was kind of just in it for hunting, and I had to sell the bow so I was off for a year, and then I had to find a new bow that fit me,” Ryan noted.
Brandon also remembers the flukiness of his beginnings in the world of bows and arrows.
“I got into shooting kind of by accident. I went to go practice and there was a shoot at the same spot. So I decided to shoot anyways, and my dad said he’d pick me up after. So I shot in it, and I did well and I’ve been doing it ever since,” Brandon added.
Being the only two siblings in the family who are really into competitive archery, Brandon and Ryan have learned to cheer each other on.
Having traveled to Vernon, B.C. for the 3D championships on August 3, Brandon was energized by seeing a different part of the country and competing at a high level.
“It was really nice out in British Columbia. It was really amazing. The scenery was great and the competition was really tough. We were there for five days and the schedule was full. There were three days of shooting and one day of practice and the last day was an off day. I wanted to go out there to compete and try my best but winning the gold was really amazing,” Brandon noted.
Knowing that this is only the beginning of a long journey and getting into his twenties, Brandon sees his time in B.C. as a wake-up call for a higher level of game play.
“From now on, I’ll be in the mens division, which I’m competing in next year, and there are quite a few good shooters in there, so I have to step up my game to compete with them. I’ve been going out every day and shooting and increasing my form because I got the alternate spot to shoot in the Worlds in 2013 in Italy,” Brandon noted.
Being the brother of a gold medalist and Worlds’ competitor, Ryan is quickly learning the ropes of a solo sport where the pressure is all on one individual.
“You do a lot on your own. I have a few archery friends but they are scattered all over the place. Some are in Sudbury and some are in Whitney,” Ryan said.
As the mother of two rising archers, Donna Luckovitch has watched her sons with pride.
“It’s very cool. I don’t know how to describe it. You’re proud of your kids. It’s touching at the same time,” Donna noted.
Brandon remembers the nerve-racking experience of the Ontario Summer Games like it was yesterday, as he battled back and forth with another competitor.
Story continues in the August 29 issue of The Valley Gazette.