Everybody wants a piece of Hamlet resident Tyson Pruitte these days.
In recent months, the 17-year-old Pruitte has been requested to appear before the Hamlet City Council and the Board of Richmond County Commissioners. Last night, Pruitte was scheduled to appear at the Richmond County Agricultural Fair. He was featured in The Daily Journal’s sports section last weekend.
For the record, it’s all well-deserved recognition, for Pruitte has a talent in the competitive sport of archery that has him going places. Later this week, he heads to China for the World Archery Youth Championship in Wuxi, China. Competition begins Sunday and runs through Oct. 20.
On Monday, Pruitte addressed the Rockingham Rotary Club as the featured guest speaker in the conference room on the second floor of Richmond Memorial Hospital. With his compound bow in hand, he had the full attention of his audience, which include business owners, nonprofit leaders, elected officials and others. And while he might have been a bit nervous speaking to such a well-dressed crowd, soon enough his familiarity with the topic allowed him to put aside any anxiety.
During the informal presentation, Pruitte accepted and answered questions from the audience. Richmond Community College President William D. McInnis asked what school he attended — knowing, of course, that the answer was RCC.
Pruitte provided a glimpse of what it takes to excel in his chosen endeavor. He tries to practice at least 90 minutes a day, sometimes much more than that. Every day. Rain or shine.
Pruitte has been and will continue to be applauded for his accomplishments. Also, of no small significance, is the positive attention he brings to Hamlet and Richmond County as an unofficial ambassador during competitions across the United States and, now, on the other side of the globe.
A total of 24 Americans will compete in multiple divisions in China. Pruitte’s teammates come from Connecticut, Michigan, Texas, Ohio, Minnesota, California, Washington and other far-off places. To each of these people, he serves as likely the first, and perhaps the only, insight into what the people of Richmond County are all about. And Pruitte and his teammates will be pitted against nearly 140 other athletes from 39 countries.
What they see of Pruitte is a dogged determination disguised in his country, “aw shucks,” laid-back manner. That’s the kind of character anyone in Richmond County should want to display for the world to see.
“I’m about as ready as I’m gonna get,” Pruitte told the group.
He’s put in the hours of training over the weeks and months. He’s qualified at every level necessary to advance to the world championship. We think he’s ready, too.
And Ty, we’re rootin’ for ya. Good luck.