Some students in Brock and Poolville are taking aim at a pretty big prize in Louisville, Ken.
Both schools will have teams attending the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) Nationals May 7-9. Poolville will be sending its varsity team and Brock will have an elementary team competing.
This is Poolville's third time to qualify for Nationals, although the team did not compete last year due to a state testing conflict. They were, however, ranked sixth in Texas.
Brock qualified its varsity for both Nationals and World competition last year. But with most of those students now having graduated, coach Kelly McDonald said they chose to let the elementary competitors get some experience on the big stage.
"We only had two students return from last year's team, so 98 percent of this year's students are brand new to the NASP program," McDonald said. "I feel that they need more time to prepare to be able to compete at the national level.
"But we did put it to a student/parent vote and the varsity vote was not to go and the elementary vote was to go. We pushed for Nationals and World last year mainly due to the fact that there were nine seniors on the team, and that was their first and last time they would be able to compete at that level."
At the state competition, both Brock varsity and elementary programs placed fifth.
Poolville did not compete at the state level because of the ice storm that hit the area during that time. However, it was not necessary because the scores they turned in to qualify for state also qualified them for nationals.
Determined to make the trip this year, Poolville coach Holly Stanley said her program is in the process of raising funds, as they are also doing in Brock.
"There is nothing to compare with watching this group of awesome archers," Stanley said. "They are on target. I cannot wait to see what the future for these young archers brings."
Poolville team members are Sophia Tavalione, Sarah Cicalo, Hailey Terry, Allie Pickett, Makela Wampler, Katy Smith, Makenzie Lewis, Jennifer de la Torres, Colby Bobbitt, Brady Miller, Dakota Bobbitt, Sven Kommer, Dylan Ranspot and Matt Simmons and manager Hailey Simmons.
Brock team members are:
Trisha Bottom, Dee Bruner, Austin Cole, Daniel DeBusk, Trace Fukner , Brook Harvey, Caroline Hayden, Korey Massie, Kannon Pitchford, Tatum Ralston, Barrett Smith, and Mathew Wilke.
"These are all first-time NASP shooters and the very first elementary team to go to nationals," McDonald said. "This is the beginning for the future of the program.
“Once these shooters reach the high school team they will have enough experience to be competitive, maybe sooner but that will be up to them."
This is the third year for Brock and Poolville to have programs. Brock, which even has its own practice facility, had 42 in its program this season (17 elementary, 18 junior high, 7 high school), up from 16 last year.
Poolville has 16 on its high school roster, and Millsap had over 30 try out for its inaugural high school squad.
Millsap competed at state but did not qualify for Nationals.
Those who qualify from Nationals will move on to World competition July 23-25 in Nashville, Tenn.