Cherokees compete in state archery competition
Archers take aim during the Easter Tier 2 portion of the 2018 Oklahoma National Archery in the Schools Program State Archery Tournament on Feb. 21 at the Tulsa Expo Center. Schools from within the Cherokee Nation’s jurisdiction were represented at the tournament as part of their respective Johnson-O’Malley programs for Native American students. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Kenwood School eighth grader Bow Hodson aims his bow and arrow at a target during the Easter Tier 2 portion of the Oklahoma National Archery in the Schools Program State Archery Tournament on Feb. 21 at the Tulsa Expo Center. Hodson ranked 116 out of 448 boys with a score of 241. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TULSA – Archers representing schools in the Cherokee Nation’s jurisdiction competed in the East Tier 1 and Tier 2 2018 Oklahoma National Archery in the Schools Program State Archery Tournament on Feb. 21-22 at the Tulsa Expo Center.
More than 200 archers per hour shot in eight flights each day in the two-day tournament.
“Last year we had over 104 schools in the 14 counties. That’s grown so I wouldn’t be surprised to see over 110 schools in the 14 counties. Statewide, there’s over 650 schools in the state of Oklahoma that have archery in school now,” CN School Community Specialist Brian Jackson said.
Students compete using Genesis bows and shoot three rounds of five arrows at 10 meters and again at 15 meters for a total of 30 shots. The maximum score is 300 points. Scoring is based on the arrows piercing a 10-ring target, scoring from one point to 10 points.
“One thing I love about the archery program is there’s a lot of kids that do archery that don’t play other sports; they don’t play basketball; they may not play football. So there’s a lot of kids in the school that haven’t found what their good at. Well a lot of those kids do archery. The other thing I really love about the archery program, if your school has archery and you go to a local shoot and submit your score to the state you get to go to the state tournament,” Jackson said.
He said he volunteers at the state tournament to gain knowledge to help local schools run their tournaments. Other volunteers include Johnson-O’Malley field specialist Lacee Jarvis.
“Cherokee Nation is able to assist with Brian Jackson and help with the archery. We encourage all of our Johnson-O’Malley schools to have archery in the school. We partner up and help get the equipment and encourage our students to participate in the regional and the state,” Jarvis said.
Jarvis said JOM assists in archery tournaments because of the positivity it brings to Cherokee students.
“The kids benefit greatly. It teaches life skills along with working together. A lot of these kids otherwise wouldn’t have these opportunities,” Jarvis said.
Johnson-O’Malley is a federal program that assists Native American students in various programs for culture, language, academics and dropout prevention.
Kenwood School eighth grader Bow Hodson competed in his first state tournament at the Expo Center. He and 15 other students represented the small Delaware County school.
“I love archery. I love scoring. Most of the times I was shooting I was too excited I was missing the target, but then I started going again. I just love shooting,” Hodson said.
Hodson said he practiced at home, has done some hunting, and attended local competitions to help him get ready for the state tournament.
For the tournament’s East Tier 2 portion, Hodson ranked 116 out of 448 boys who competed, with a score of 241.
“Archery is one of the sports that’s a lifelong sport. You learn about the safety. You learn about the bow. You learn about the form, the stance. A lot of those that go on to hunt learn those basics here and go on to a lifelong sport of hunting and other things that carry on through their lifetime,” Jackson said.
The CN’s connection to archery lies in the Joe Thornton Archery Range named after Tahlequah resident and CN citizen Joe Thornton who was a world champion archer in 1961.
For more information, visit naspschools.org