ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — “I was running around the yard and he was shooting and I wanted to do something,” Jacob Slusarz said as he thinked back on being a young boy wanting to hang out with his father.
Jacob’s father, John Layaou added, “He would mimick me. He’d pick up sticks and pretend like he was shooting a bow and as soon as he was big and I wasn’t really worried about him getting hurt, I bought him a bow and he started shooting.”
Like father, like son, Jacob picked up his first bow and arrow at five years old, and what started out as a way to spend time with his father, quickly turned into a hobby, and that was only the beginning.
Jacob said, “I was dropping other sports, I just devoted all the time that I had into doing this and that’s when it hit me that I wanted to do something different than anybody else that I had been around. I wanted to win certain things and accomplish goals that I had set.”
He set out to win state titles, he won several. He set out to win nationals, he won four, and at 12 year old, Jacob set his sight at worlds. Just six years after setting that goal, Jacob is now reminded every day that hard work does indeed pay off.
“To have that happen,” Jacob siad, “It happened in a really good way. That one kind of hit home.”
He said there was no better way of winning that title than having his father right there, just three feet away.
“It was awesome. It was awesome. I walked the last ten targets with him and I knew, I knew it was over. I knew he wasn’t nervous, just to watch, he held it together right til the bitter end and the last target, he let it slip out of his hands, if you ask him.”
Jacob added, “I think he was a little more chocked up than me and I stepped back and the relief was gone and it hadn’t sunk in yet and I think it hit him a little quicker than it hit me.”
He said when it finally sunk it, it just opened his eyes to a whole new world of possibilities. He still competes every year, he said even though he’s not sure what the future may hold, one thing he does know is that he wants to continue competing and give back to a sport that gave so much to him.