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Archers take state awards

Troy City School’s elementary, middle and high school archery teams competed at the state tournament on Friday and came back with hardware.

Head coach Forest Lee said the elementary school team finished second of 50 teams in the state and qualified for nationals. The middle school team finished ninth of 52 teams and the high school team finished 14th out of 38 teams.

For the elementary team Caleb Watkins finished fourth in the state and shot a 270. Brady Huner finished seventh in the state and shot a 268. Both qualified for nationals.

Also, Noah Prestwood finished 13th in the state and shot a 263. Braden Norris shot a 255, Kassidy Mizell finished 12th in the state and shot a 255, Kaylee Mizell finished 20th in the state and shot a 250, Kameron Ousley placed 30th in the state and shot a 250, Kaley Lecroy finished 22nd in the state and shot a 249, Jackson West shot a 243, Conner Lee shot a 240, Sarah Madison Davis shot a 237 and Tatum Brook placed 44th in the state and shot a 236.

For the middle school team, Cole Hilson finished 25th in the state and shot a 274, Brandon Cain finished 33rd in the state and shot a 271, Tyler Ward finished 46th in the state and shot a 270, Barton Hicks finished 46th in the state and shot a 268, Gracie Sneed finished 37th in the state and shot a 268, Amber Barron finished 56th in the state and shot a 263, Alex Morgan shot a 262, Loftin Worthington shot a 257, Arman Sheffield shot a 256, Jaleigh Owens shot a 256, Gus Hughes shot a 252 and Paige Crawley shot a 250.

For the high school team, Abigail Salmon placed fourth in the state and shot a 283 and Lindsey Fox placed ninth in the state and shot a 279. Both qualified for nationals.

Also, Will Worthington placed 49th in the state and shot a 277, Tyler Turner placed 80th in the state and shot a 270, Kush Patel placed 89th in the state and shot a 268, Gavin Roberts shot a 266, Kyle Goodson shot a 262, Jordan Williams shot a 258, Ashton Lewis shot a 256, Cait Ryan placed 90th in the state and shot a 255, Soobin Park shot a 254 and Daunte Downing shot a 252.

Lee said this was the first time the elementary school team had made it to the winner’s podium in some years.

“We finished second in the state and that’s the first time since 2008 that we have been on the podium,” Lee said. “We are very, very excited. I am speechless. I’m at a lack of words.”

Lee said the teams had improved from year to year. “The elementary team finished 10th last year, but now we have improved to second, and they are fourth- and fifth-graders,” Lee said. “The middle school finished 16th last year, and we finished ninth this year. Last year the high school finished 19th and we finished 14th this year.”

Lee said the goal was to continue improving, noting the success of the teams in year’s past like the elementary school team’s state championship run in 2008.

“We used to dominate in the beginning … and we’re trying to get back to the mountain top,” Lee said.

Four of the team’s members qualified for nationals this year in Louisville, Kentucky, but Lee said he wasn’t sure if those qualifying would be able to travel to competition.

“I’ve got a parent meeting tomorrow, and we have qualified for the nationals,” Lee said.

“We just found out Saturday that we qualified, but we don’t know when we could shoot. We have not raised the money to go, but we’re looking into the possibility of going.”

But, even if qualifying athletes don’t get to travel to Louisville, Lee said the future looks bright for next year’s archery team.

“I’d like for all three teams to get on the podium next year,” Lee said.

“That’s my goal. It’s a big goal, but it’s doable. I’m tickled to be where we are. We have achieved our goal last year by getting better, and we always hope to get better.”