MIDDLEPORT — Later this month the Meigs Marauder Archers will take their talents to Nashville to compete in the National Archery in the Schools Program World Tournament.
Thirty-eight to 40 children will be attending the event, which will take place July 23-25.
Before making it to the world tournament, the students competed last March in the Ohio NASP Tournament in Columbus, where the elementary team became state champions — the fourth time they’ve taken the title. Twenty-four archers from the elementary, middle and high schools, made up of both boys and girls, qualified and attended the tournament in Columbus.
The Meigs Elementary archers walked away as state champions, while the middle school squad took third overall.
Individually, Shelbe Cochran placed first in the Female Fifth Grade field for the elementary team, while Ethan Vernon and Zack King placed first and third, respectively, in the Male Fourth Grade field.
In May, the team ventured to the NASP 2015 National Tournament in Louisville, Ky., where they placed 10th out of 148 teams and eighth in National 3D.
The team members are D.J. Bates, Natalie Davis, Faith Hajivandi, Emalie Willis, Jenna Gilmore, Shelby Hudnall, Walker Mayer, Paul Pennington, Ethan Vernon, Shelbe Cochran, Katy Cox, Jeremiah Sims, Tucker Davis, Zackery King, Presleigh Colwell, Jadyn Floyd, Mycah Farley, Brian Balch, Devon Hubbard, Collin Roush, Strauder Little, Kailey Leib, Chloe Runyon, Jessica Workman and Joey Young. The head coach is Dan Thomas.
Thomas said 47 states participate in the NASP program in the United States and numerous countries around the world. The program was set up to help students improve on their motivation, attention, behavior, attendance and focus through a school-taught curriculum. The program began in Kentucky in 2002, but didn’t arrive in Ohio until 2004.
The world tournament will introduce the Meigs archers to competitors from around the world, including those from Africa, Europe and Canada. This competition will provide competitors a chance to shoot at regular or 3D targets.
Coach Thomas said the program is a positive one for children in the county.
“This hopefully gives them a niche and gives them a reason to keep their grades up and stay in school and graduate,” Thomas said. “(There are) not too many sports in Meigs County where you can say you’re going up against kids from other parts of the world.”
Currently, the teams are trying to bring in funding for their latest tournament, and will be hosting a purse/BINGO fundraising event at Meigs Middle School at 5 p.m. July 17. Any donations for the team may be deposited at any Farmers Bank. Anyone with any questions can contact Moe Hajivandi at 740-992-1825.
“It’s like one family,” Thomas said. “I think one reason why we’ve been so successful is because we consider ourselves a family. Everybody helps everybody, everybody brings something different to the table that can benefit the group, and we have a great group of parents. If their kids get involved, the parents get involved. It’s a family venture.”
Reach Lindsay Kriz at 740-992-2155 EXT. 2555.