The Vinton-Shellsburg Archery team kicked off their 2023-2024 season in late October of 2023. The archery team is an after-school program, meaning they are not funded by the school and run solely on entry fees and donations. In order for the after school program to be allowed and honored by the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP), students have to engage in a two-week curriculum during school hours. We are very fortunate to have great difference makers like Megan Albertson, middle school PE teacher, as well as, Heather Kalous and Joe Johnson, high school PE teachers, who help us out and teach the curriculum in the schools. Not only do we have great difference makers who help with the in school curriculum, but we also have a handful of adults who volunteer their time to coach the team. The team includes seven adults who volunteer their time and work hard to help archers improve weekly.

Last year was the first year Vinton-Shellsburg offered an archery team and it was open to only high school students. The team included roughly 16 archers last season. This year, the team was open to high school and middle school students and the team doubled in size with 32 archers.

Not long after the winter holidays did the tournaments start and the team made nothing but great improvements since! During a tournament, archers shoot one practice round from the 10 meter line, followed by three scoring rounds from the 10 meter line. A perfect score after the three scoring rounds is 150 points. After shooting from the 10 meter line, archers move back to the 15 meter line making it a bit more challenging. They have to be able to adjust their aim points to accommodate for the longer distance. Again, they start with one practice round from the 15 meter line, followed by three scoring rounds with another perfect round totalling to 150 points. A perfect flight would be a score of 300 points. All archers follow whistle commands throughout the tournament, as well as, during practices. Two whistles indicate the archers to "get bow" from the bow rack. Then the archers stand at the shooting line with their bows on their toes until they hear the next whistle command of one whistle signaling them to "shoot". Everyone shoots at their own pace and racks their bows when completed and waits at the waiting line until they hear the final whistle command of three whistles signaling them to "go get arrows". They then are instructed to score their partners round on a bubble score card before returning to the waiting line for the next round. This sport is amazing to watch with how disciplined the athletes are making it a safe environment for all archers, coaches, and spectators.

It is always amazing to see how dialed in the archers get by the end of the season! Everyone has done a great job this season and has made some great personal bests. Some tournaments we attended this season were held at Center-Point Urbana, East Buchanen, Wellman, Oelwein, Dike-New Hartford, and Prairie. Although the season has wrapped up for most of our team, we are very excited to announce we have had two of our archers qualify for the state tournament. This is the first time our team has had individuals qualify.

At the high school level, in order to qualify for the state tournament, archers must have a combined two scores of at least 532 points. Junior, Lucas Birker, qualified with a combined score of 540. At the middle school level, in order to qualify for the state tournament, archers must have a combined two scores of at least 516. Sixth-Grader, Mackenzie Thomsen, qualified with a combined score of 534.

The state tournament will take place the first weekend in March at the Des Moines Fairgrounds. We are still waiting to hear what flight assignments and times both archers will have for that weekend,


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RB February 16, 2024, 3:24 pm Way to go Lucas.๐Ÿ˜ƒ
Great Auntie R