BROWNSTOWN — Some members of the newly created archery program at Brownstown Central Community School Corp. had the chance Saturday to participate in their first archery tournament while raising money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The event held at the middle school was the National Archery in the Schools Program St. Jude E-Championship Charity Tournament.
Archery has opened some different doors for a lot of students involved in the program.
Eighth-grader Lukas Shumaker said he joined the team because he didn’t need a physical and there were scholarship opportunities.
“Some sports require more physicality, but this requires more focus than others, and that’s why I like archery,” he said.
Eulan Beavers, a seventh-grader, said she has enjoyed competing in archery because it’s not a typical sport.
“I joined archery because it was something different, and it was something that seemed more fun,” she said. “I thought this was going to be good for accuracy and participating in something else with everyone else.”
Having personal coaching is another reason Beavers said she has liked participating in archery.
“You’re also able to have a coach and you’re able to have one-on-one while talking to your coach instead of like in other sports where they’re all about the teamwork and winning,” she said. “This is more about having friendships.”
Seventh-grader Skylen Schulz said he has liked being on the team because he hunts and the practice he receives through the program has improved his accuracy.
During all of February, schools are able to submit scores from tournaments they host to be on a worldwide leaderboard. Those results will be released on March 3 for three classes: Elementary school, middle school and high school.
In the elementary school class for Brownstown’s tournament, fifth-grader Kaia Easterday placed first and also had the most 10-point shots of her class. Others on the podium for that class were fifth-grader Hayden Marshall, who finished second, and Tyler Tormoehlen, a third-grader at Lutheran Central School, who wound up third.
Seventh-grader Kamren Maxie took the top spot among the middle school archers and had the most 10-point shots in his class. Eighth-grader Layla Fritsche finished second, followed by eighth-grader Destanie Collins.
Jacob Barnes won top honors in the high school class and had the most 10-point shots in the class. Braxton Guillion was second and Cameron Markel third. All three are freshmen.
Rebekah Altepeter, who attended the tournament to watch her fifth-grader stepdaughter, Summer Altepeter, shoot said she was really excited to go to the tournament and thinks it’s a good way for her to get out and socialize.
“We’ve been looking forward to it,” Altepeter said. “I’ve got my whole family here. Her family’s over there. We’re all really excited about it.”
Summer said she had a good experience competing in archery for the first time and looks forward to the next tournament. Her favorite part of the tournament, of course, was hitting the yellow area — or center — of the target.
Ben Hampton and Abbigale Stout, also seventh-graders, said they also hunt and have enjoyed the challenge that being on an archery team brings.
“It’s different because of the way we have to shoot the bow,” Hampton said. “We can’t put our two fingers on top and the bottom. We have to shoot differently here because of the rules. I think it definitely helps.”
Stout said participating in archery has helped her focus more in class, and she has enjoyed meeting friends through NASP.
“You usually have to shoot with sights when you’re hunting, but here, we can just shoot for fun,” she said.
Proceeds of $866.60 from the event went to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Archery was introduced in 2021 as a physical education class unit, but this year, students were able to sign up to be on an archery team at their respective schools.
The in-school NASP program also was incorporated into Brownstown schools. That NASP program helps improve education performance for students from the fourth grade all the way up to graduating seniors by teaching life lessons like patience and discipline through archery.
Brownstown’s archery program was recently approved for students to receive high school physical education credits for participants.