POMARIA — The Newberry County School District held its first ever district-wide elementary school archery tournament this past Saturday with six district schools represented and the experience was right on target for those involved.
The teams are a partnership with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources. Elementary school physical education teachers completed eight hours of training to qualify as archery instructors.
“This was our first time hosting the event,” said Pomaria-Garmany Elementary School coach Dianne Cotney. “We are excited to get this established in the district and provide such an opportunity for our students.”
Last year Cotney was the first teacher in the district to teach archery to grades 3-5. This year others decided to try it as well.
“This was a great undertaking, well run with all the parents and students that came through. We are honored to host the tournament,” said Pomaria-Garmany secretary Cindy Long.
Students were intent on hitting the bull’s eye as they noched their arrows and let them fly.
Hard work and preparation helped Ady Ashmore tie for third place overall among the girls.
“We work a lot in class on aiming,” Ashmore said, “and also on memorizing archery vocabulary words. At 15 meters, Mrs. Cotney reminds us that if you aim at the bull’s eye, the arrow goes some place else. I have worked hard to adjust my aim at 15 meters.”
For Reagan Peel figuring out where to aim was the biggest challenge. “My favorite part,” Peel said, “was watching the arrows fly.”
The Pomaria-Garmany Tigers were proud to host the event in their cafeteria.
“This awesome event goes with our theme of one team, one district, one mission,” said PGE Principal Dr. Beth Brooks. “It really has brought the coaches, students and the community together.”
The top 24 archers will compete March 27 at a DNR sponsored state archery tournament. The tournament is held at the state fair grounds. Over 500 students competed in the state tournament in 2013.
The district’s schools had different ways to qualify their archers for state competition. Pomaria-Garmany held dive practice tournaments and recorded the scores from each.
The highest average scores, when combined with the tournament scores, will attend the DNR tournament as Pomaria-Garmany representatives. Other schools had the option to use an average of multiple rounds or to use the results of the district wide tournament as the selection criteria.
Top scorers were Harmon Vinson — 251; Cole Bouknight — 245; Stanton Hester — 244; Casey Stevens — 238; Grayson Long — 237; Sarah Bryant — 213; Chloe Minick — 210; Ady Ashmore/Reagan Peel — 208; Ashlyn Kinard — 207; and Janiyah Epps — 202.
The top shooting students received medals and the top three schools received trophies honoring their archery team’s efforts.
“It feels good to host the tournament here,” said Pomaria-Garmany student Harmon Vinson, the top individual archer for the day with 251 points.
First place overall went to Pomaria-Garmany Elementary with 2,630 points. Gallman Elementary was second with 2,396 points and Prosperity-Rikard was third with 2,346 points. Reuben Elementary and Newberry Elementary were the only elementary schools not fielding teams.