The Edmonson County Archery Team competed in it's first NASP State Tournament on Wednesday, March 11, in Louisville. That's pretty impressive, but it's down right phenomenal when you consider that just a few months ago, there wasn't even a team. "To be a program that's only 5 or 6 months old and competing in the state tournament is unheard of," said head coach Chris Shelton.
What started out as a club with a handful of students that according to Shelton, "couldn't even hit a target," was quickly whipped into shape as they came together as a unit. "They've all made a commitment to this team and to each other. It's truly a team sport," Shelton said.
The Board Of Education voted back in February to sanction the club as an official team, which granted it KHSAA affiliation. With that, the team now will have many more opportunities to compete on a bigger scale.
The state competition was loaded with powerhouse teams that have been nailing the bulls eye for quite some time, and honestly, as a whole, Edmonson County didn't break any records...but they certainly broke new ground. Shelton said other schools and officials were very impressed with the team, considering the age of the program.
When asked how it was possible for the team to go from "zero-to-hero status" in such a short amount of time, Shelton quickly responded, "Character. This is a great group of kids, we don't have to worry about any of them. We hold these kids accountable, and they know that. They've worked hard to get here."
The top EC scorers from the match were 8th Grader Jarrod Sanders, finishing in the top 9% of all middle school boys, and Caitlin Daniele, who finished in the top 39% of all girls statewide.
In most sports, the conclusion of the state tournament is the end of the season. Not so with archery. It's a school-year round sport. Now, the team will continue to practice for other competitions in the near future. One in particular, The Best of The Bluegrass Competition, is an invitation-only event that allows only the best of the best to compete. This year's event has invited EC's own Trevor Roof to participate. Trevor, an eighth grader, finished in the top 12% of all middle school boys in the state competition.
Even though the team is losing two seniors this year, Dakota Roof and Dakota Mills, Coach Shelton is already anticipating next year. He says with the group he has and the work ethic they've displayed, it will only get better.
Above: 2015 Edmonson County Archery Team. Front Row: Coach Wally Ritter, Devin Smith, Lillian Davis, Seth Shelton, Laura Wilson, Dillon Webb, Trent Taylor, Isabella Stewart, Danielle Dowdle, Rebecca Childress, Robert Saltsman, Adri Ray, Coach Chris Shelton. Back Row: Hunter Ashley, Jacob Pedigo, Jarad Smith, Mason Pierce, Jarrod Sanders, Gavin Dooley, Colbey Shelton, Trevor Roof, Eli Pedigo, Justin Daniele, Eli Ruth, Caitlin Daniele.
The team's coaching staff also consists of Wally Ritter, Jimmy Coniglio, Darren Smith, and Keith Sanders serves as booster club president. The team would like to thank the following sponsors for all their help so far:
The team is also selling cookbooks for $10 each as a fundraiser and you can contact any team member or coach for more information.