Eagle-Eyed Archers from Eagle Mountain Magnet Claim World Title

By Arkansas Game and Fish

First posted on 10-29-2009

In less than a year, Eagle Mountain Magnet School’s archery team went from nonexistent to world champion. But doing well in archery competitions is old hat for this rookie team.

The team was formed one month before the Arkansas National Archery in the Schools Program’s state championship in February, where it took second place. The team finished eleventh at the national competition in Louisville, Ky., in May. The world competition, Oct. 9-10 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., was the icing on the cake.

Coach Susan Parker is as new to archery as many of the students she introduced to the sport. She said bows used in the competition are different from standard hunting bows, although some of her students are bowhunters.

The fledgling team practiced weekends, and before and after school. They even practiced through the summer.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission provides instruction and safety training to team coaches and helps them with the grant process to pay for the official bows, targets and arrows. In its first year, the program has grown to include more than 26,180 students in 296 Arkansas schools, and it shows no sign of slowing.

“We have 12 schools waiting in the wings for grant money to get the equipment for next year,” said Curtis Gray, ANASP coordinator for the AGFC. “The program’s growth is just outstanding. And now we already have a world-champion team. I’d like to take credit for the success, but those kids are the ones who deserve the recognition. They really worked hard to achieve this success.”

For more information on ANASP and how to form a team, contact Gray, (501) 223-6437.