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Press Release

Release Date: September 28, 2022
by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

KULLIHOMA – At 3.5 feet and 40 pounds, Miles Scribner needed a little help to pull the poundage exerted from a small bow he clutched.

Enter his dad, 6-foot, 270-pound Andrew.

Stooping down to the size of his small son to help him steady the bow, Andrew had words of encouragement. “Stay calm. Do the best you can,” he told 4-year-old Miles, who was competing in his first Chickasaw Annual Meeting and Festival Circle of Honor Cornstalk Shoot. His mother, Briana, praised him from the sidelines.

Miles was going head-to-head with solid veterans — shooters with experience and savvy.

Competitors included Ray Cornelius. The son of Tim and Dionne Cornelius took home top honors after a brilliant performance, piercing accuracy and steady demeanor. Ray’s position and aim were stoic, utilizing a slight left tilt to his bow so he could pinpoint his target and, more often than not, send an arrow crashing into the cornstalks with a resounding “TWACK.”

Ray’s stylistic approach proved best in an hourlong contest. He defeated veteran cornstalk competitors Easton Thomas, who finished second and Isabella Alexander, who took home third place.

Easton is the son of Whitley and Jared Pharr. Isabella is the daughter of Ashlie Stick and Blake Alexander.

Easton, much like Ray, took his time launching arrows and studying the results of the previous shot. Little wind hindered the youth shoot, unlike the breezy conditions that assaulted adult competitors later in the morning on Sept. 24.

Isabella is a quick-shot artist. It took the third-place finisher little time to grab an arrow, draw the bow and propel arrows into the 4-by-4-foot target of stacked cornstalks. She was going against relatives — twin sister, Kyley and teen sister, Hailey. The Alexanders have been competition fixtures for years.

The Circle of Honor Cornstalk Shoot was the first time in two years Chickasaws gathered together for the competition since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March 2020. The tribe kicked off its 62nd Annual Meeting and Festival Sept. 24. It culminates with Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby delivering his “State of the Nation” address Oct. 1 in Tishomingo.