The Ashville Middle School Archery Team recently brought home top honors in the National Archery in the Schools (NASP) Championship held in Louisville, KY, on Friday, May 7, 2010. The students scored 3,378 out of a possible 3,600 points and placed first out of 106 middle school teams. Ashville qualified for the national championship when they won the middle school state title in Birmingham in April.
Also taking top honors were ninth grader Stephanie Whisenant from Ashville High School, who tied for first place in the Individual High School Female Division; and tenth grader Joshua Clarke of Alma Bryant High School (Irvington), who tied for second place in the Individual High School Male Division. Both Stephanie and Joshua shot a near perfect 296 out of a possible 300 points.
Alabama was represented by 16 teams from 11 different schools at the national event. Alabama schools placing in the top five in team competition include: Ashville Middle School, first place, Middle School Team Division; Breitling Elementary (Grand Bay), second place, Elementary School Team Division; and the Alma Bryant and Ashville High School teams placed fourth and fifth place respectively in the High School Team Division.
More than 7,000 students from 33 states and one Canadian province were represented at this year’s national tournament. Scoring for the championship is based on Olympic style, target archery in three divisions: elementary, middle and high school. Competition included team and individual levels. NASP archery is a co-gender sport with every team required to contain boys and girls.
The NASP was founded in Kentucky in 2002 and has since spread around the country. The program was introduced in Alabama in 2003, and approximately 202 Alabama schools participate in the NASP program. In Alabama, the NASP is a joint venture between the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division and the Alabama Department of Education.
The program promotes participation in the lifelong sport of archery as part of a school’s physical education course and after-school programs. The NASP program can also be included as a unit or activity in the Lifelong Individualized Fitness Education (LIFE) course as part of the Alabama Course of Study. The program meets the criteria of one credit for physical education required for high school graduation.