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Woodford County Archery Club gets underway

THE WOODFORD COUNTY ARCHERY CLUB competed in the 2nd Annual Joe Girouard Sr. Memorial Tournament on Saturday Nov 11 at Woodford County High School. (Photo by Bill Caine)

The Woodford County Archery Club opened its season Oct. 9. and the club is off to a fantastic start.

“It’s exciting to get archery started, but it comes with many changes from years past,” said coach Cindy Peal. “First, we have lost a lot of seniors over the past two years; so we are grateful for the freshmen coming from the WCMS program as well as all the new student athletes that have joined us.”

This season, Peal has shortened the club program from nine weeks to five weeks in order to provide more focused practice time for the competition team that will begin after Thanksgiving. The high school teams compete in two divisions, the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) and Kentucky High School Athletics Association (KHSAA). KHSAA only holds two tournaments per school year which are regional and state. So to remain competitive , the club will compete in multiple NASP tournaments throughout the year.

“I'm having a blast being part of this club,” said sophomore Emily Morrison. “It's something that allows me to focus and I really enjoy being around the other kids on the team.”

This season, archery will have a new coaching staff.

Amanda Howard , who served as the WCMS team parent for the last three years, will bring energy as the new assistant coach, and Chris Lathery, a former WCHS Arrowjacket, recently earned his NASP coaching license and is training as a volunteer coach. Jennifer Morrison is also volunteering as the new parent representative for the athletic boosters.

“We are a pretty tight little community here,” said sophomore Justin Lehmkuhler. “Everyone here has a good time. We want to do well individually but we also embrace the team atmosphere. We have a lot of fun together. This is also a great stress reliever as well.”

Peal, will mark her 10th anniversary with the archery team this year with nine of those years at the head coach.

“It’s hard to believe it’s my ninth year as head coach,” said Peal. “I can’t thank the ones that worked with me enough for the knowledge they passed on. It was an honor to work with Rob Kral, Greg Taylor, Joe Girouard, and Philip Soper. Their help, along with former parent representative Joy Soper, made the transition to the KHSAA program a much smoother process.”

At the Dunbar Invitational on Nov. 4, The archery club had a great showing. Caleb Rockhold finished top overall male with 282pts and 1st place male individual. Devon Wilson finished in fourth place and Cameron Jackson in fifth place. On the ladies side, Emily Morrison finished 4th place with a 281 and Savannah Richardson came in fifth. With 11 members out for cross country and band, the team came in second overall.

The archers competed again on Nov. 11 at WCHS in the 2nd Annual Joe Girouard Sr. Memorial Tournament. Savannah Richardson scored a 284 to lead the way in the girls' high school division. Caleb Rockhold scored a 279 to finish second in the boys' division. Kylie Greer scored a 274 to finish second in middle school girls' division.

“I've been shooting for four seasons and I really enjoy the experience,” said Rockhold. “I've been able to be successful with it. I know I cannot be my best every time out there and being realistic about it has made me better. I enjoy practicing and just want to be better.”

The Arrow Jackets will hold tryouts this week for the WCHS competition team.

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