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Some children at East Texas school proud to excel at archery

May 16, 2018

LUFKIN, Texas (AP) — St. Cyprian’s Episcopal School students from second to eighth grade have a chance at nocking another skill in their quiver: archery.

The Lufkin News reports physical education instructor Billy Duncan said the school in Lufkin runs a weekly after-school club for archers in addition to its archery section in the P.E. curriculum. The curriculum begins at second grade, but the after-school club begins at third grade.

Since its 2010 inception, the club has been made up of many students from various grades and is a part of the National Archery in School Programs.

“This is not just an after-school program,” Duncan said. “It’s something we do in school starting with second-graders. We start shooting in-school in the classroom as a part of a school-wide program. Every year since starting, we’ve qualified a team or individuals for the state tournament.”

He said several students and teams have gone to national competitions.

Third-graders Kade Jordan, Caroline Hicks and Gracie Juras said they love archery club and competing.

“It’s going to be you and another person, and you’re going to share a target and a paper with scores on it,” Kade said. “You have to shoot at the target, and you have to shoot the highest you can. The highest is 300.”

The students said each ring has its own score, the outside being 1 point and the inside, bulls’-eye, being 10 points. To score 300, an archer would have to shoot a perfect 50 every round.

“It’s nervous, but you feel really happy, too, because you think that, ‘Well, I’ve done this. I’ve made it, and now I’m competing, like, sort of close to the finals, and it feels really good,’” Gracie said.

“It’s just incredible. I was so happy and nervous when I went to the competition because I was shooting next to a high school student,” Caroline said. “She was giving me compliments, and I was like, ‘Thank you so much!’”

“The high-schoolers were intimidating, and I think they were kind of intimidated,” Kade said.

Duncan said Caroline was one of the highest scorers during the competition in March when the school took a team of 18 to compete. She scored a 247 out of 300. He also said Gracie set a personal goal of beating 100 and scored 186.

The three students said they were learning a lot about patience during their time on the team.

“A lot of times whenever I go fast, I actually mess up a lot, but whenever I’m patient and I take my time, I make really great scores,” Caroline said.

The students said they love competing against each other in practice and in competitions.

The program is an affiliate of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Students compete at an elementary, junior high or high school level. For more information about the National Archery in Schools Program, visit naspschools.org/opportunities/bring-nasp-to-school .


Information from: The Lufkin Daily News, http://www.lufkindailynews.com