“It was our first trip. It was a learning experience for us,” coach Shane Evans said.
Evans said 19 fourth- and fifth-graders make up the team.
Megan Rouse, a fifth-grade student, said the tournament arena was different than other sport arenas in which she had been.
“When I first walked in, I was like, ‘Seriously, is that where we are going to be shooting,” Megan said. “I was really, really nervous.”
Chad Wine, a fifth-grade student, said he was also nervous because he was not used to shooting with so many students.
“There are 60 targets and 120 kids shooting all at once,” Megan said. “We had three five-arrow, 10-meter rounds and three five-arrow, 15-meter rounds.”
Each participant was paired with a student from another school. When the archers were finished shooting, the students recorded their partner’s score. Scores for how close the arrows were to the target were recorded. Students were given individual scores with the top 16 participants from each team combined for a team score.
Chad, who has played football, said, “Archery has been a definite change of pace.
“You don’t really have to be quick. You have to have more focus (for archery),” Chad said.
The student archer said the team prepared for the tournament by practicing at school.
Megan said her favorite part of competing was seeing the more experienced archers at other schools.
“I think this is really a learning experience for me, because we saw how the other kids shoot. They’ve been doing this for many years,” Megan said.
She said watching the students that competed before her helped her prepare.
Megan was happy with how she competed, considering it was her first time and she does not practice everyday. She was 38th out of 93 in the fifth-grade girls category.
“It’s fun whenever you get a bull’s-eye cause that means you have good accuracy,” Chad said.
He said he was pleased with how he did.
Top male scorers for the team were Conner Fay and Ronnie Hick.
The top five teams in each category will compete in the national event. Evans said there is scholarship money available at this level.
Archery was first offered at Charleston as a physical education class activity.
Megan said she really enjoyed it and her father bought her a bow.
Then, archery was offered to the top 20 students as an afterschool activity to form the team.
The school is the only Bradley County School to participate in the Archery in Schools program.
Evans said he is glad the school is offering the sport because it appeals to students, who don’t want to do other sports.