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Hitting the mark: Archery continues to grow in schools

Breanna Petty, 9, a fourth-grader at Monroe Elementary School in Oklahoma City, takes aim during the Moore West Tiger Shoot archery tournament at Norman Archery on Jan. 28. Twenty schools and almost 400 students competed in the tournament. [PHOTO BY JIM BECKEL, THE OKLAHOMAN] 

Breanna Petty, 9, a fourth-grader at Monroe Elementary School in Oklahoma City, takes aim during the Moore West Tiger Shoot archery tournament at Norman Archery on Jan. 28. Twenty schools and almost 400 students competed in the tournament. [PHOTO BY JIM BECKEL, THE OKLAHOMAN] 

Archery in the Schools continues to grow.

Last weekend, 20 schools and nearly 400 students participated in the Moore West Tiger Shoot at Norman Archery, a tune-up for the state shoot on Feb. 15-16 at State Fair Park.

Moore West Junior High started its archery program four years ago. Archery coach Duane Smith said school administrators were reluctant at first to teach archery at the school, but quickly became comfortable with it upon seeing how it works.

"You think about kids with bows and arrows in their hands, and everybody gets a little uptight, but after they have seen it in operation, everybody loves it," Smith said. "It has really taken off...

"So many kids who are not involved in sports or other clubs, that is their motivation to come to school every day."

Archery in the Schools is administered by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. The agency, which provides a grant to schools for equipment and training for teachers, has a waiting list of schools wanting to join the program.

The Wildlife Department annually distributes about $50,000 in grant money to schools to help begin programs. The Wildlife Department pays half of the initial costs with schools paying the other half, usually through fundraisers.

Smith said he had to turn away schools who wanted to participate in the Moore West Tiger Shoot.

"We are considering making it a two-day tournament next year so that we can accommodate more schools," Smith said.

The top team scores in the tournament were posted by Wayland Bonds Elementary, Moore West Junior High and Chandler High School.

The top individual shooters in the elementary division for boys and girls were Tyre People of Houchin Elementary and Gabi Font of Wayland Bonds.

For middle school, the top scorers were Dillon Graham of Southlake and Leah Rannon of Chandler.

In the high school division, the individual winners were Mitchell Ritter of Elgin and Ambria Noman of Chickasha.

Ed Godfrey

Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more... Read more ›

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