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Placing third at the Region 3 tournament on Feb. 18 in Bullitt County, the Eminence archery team has now qualified for the Archery State Championships for the second year in a row.
The squad - composed of two juniors, two sophomores, one freshman and 13 middle schoolers - is in its third year of competition and is already making a name for itself at the regional and state levels.
"I was really proud of our kids," coach Dewayne Douglas said. "That (advancing to state) was our goal going in."
Bryan Raisor started the program two years ago, was the head coach the first two seasons and now helps out whenever possible, Douglas said. Kathy Moore is the team's assistant coach.
The Warriors finished with a score of 2,621 points out of 3,600 possible, which was good enough to place them third overall. Eminence went from a first-year program to a state qualifier in just one season, and now the Warriors are back in the spotlight with another trip to the state tournament, which will be held March 18, at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville.
At the regional tournament, seventh grader Curtis Barrett led Eminence with a score of 255 points. Gage Bohannon shot a 253, Michael Snell a 251, Jacob Moore a 239, Justin Webb a 236, Nathan Carroll a 235, Chad Lumsford a 222, Cody Gilbert a 221, Ashley Harp a 219, Gailynn Carroll a 166, Rachel Moore a 165 and Sky Gravitt a 159 to round out the scorers for the Warriors.
Other Eminence shooters included Sawyer Simms (157 points), Jacob Congleton (152), Misty Vanlandingham (152), Mahala Smith (152), Michael Gravitt (105), Shelby Dees (37), Travis Fisher and Nathan Frazier.
Each bow shooter shot a practice round of five shots from 10 meters away from the target, then shot three more rounds of five shots from the same spot which counted as points. The players then stepped back to 15 meters, and repeated with a practice round and three scoring rounds.
With each bow shooter getting 30 shots to score points, and a 10 as the highest score per shot, there were 300 possible points each shooter could earn.
The top 12 individuals from each team counted in the team's total points, which was tallied at the end of the competition held at Eastside Middle School.
After another state qualifier as a team - though not as surprising as last year's second-place finish at the regional tournament - the Warriors are now gearing up for the state tournament two weeks away. With all of their players coming back next season, they will gain valuable experience against the best high school bow shooters in the state and get a chance to improve their score.
"Our goal right now is to shoot better than we did at region as a team, and maybe score more than 2,750 points," Douglas said. "For each shooter, we would like them to shoot five points better or more. Everyone on the team thinks thats realistic."
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