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Over 1000 Pennsylvania students participated in recent NASP archery tournament

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If the record turnout for the recent National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) tournament held in State College is any indication of the popularity of the sport, then school directors and school administrators should take note. They should be made aware that there’s another sport other than ball sports that kids can partake and become proficient in. That, plus archery builds muscle and discipline.

Over 1,100 students from 41 Pennsylvania schools participated in this statewide archery tournament that was the largest field in history. The tournament was held March 14 at the Penn State Multi-Sport Facility in State College.

The top shooters of that tournament now have a chance to participate in the national tournament that will be held May 9 and 10 in Louisville, KY. Qualification for this tournament is based on total point values, and the names of those who will be moving on will be available at a later date.

As for schools entered in the tournament, the Swain School in Allentown, Defranco Elementary School in Bangor, Bangor Area Middle School and Bangor Area High School were the only local schools represented. What a shame. Particularly because the Pennsylvania Game Commission furnishes the equipment free of charge. The only requisite is that the school provides a coach. So there’s limited expense and, surely, there has to be some teachers that are bowhunters or archery shooters in local schools who could give freely of some time for this life-long sport.

This years top winners came from New Castle Christian Academy, Team 1 in the elementary school division (fourth and fifth grades). New Castle Christian Academy Team 1 also took first place in the middle-school category (sixth through eight grades), while Halifax High School, Team 1, was the top-scoring high-school team.

As reported by the Pennsylvania Game Commission, male competitors turning in the best individual performances were Cameron Harvey of New Castle Christian Academy in the elementary division, Justin Birch of Montrose Middle School in the middle school division, and Ian Fillinger of New Brighton High School in the high-school division.

Female competitors taking first place honors were Olivia Goodin of New Castle Christian Academy in the elementary division; Taylor Richardson of New Castle Christian Academy in the middle-school division, and Fawne Hopfer of Tunkhannock High School in the high school division.

Of these top shooters, Ian Fillinger and Fawne Hopfer finished, respectively, as the top male and female overall winners.

A complete list of team and individual results can be found at www.nasptournaments.org. Scroll down and click on “2014 Pennsylvania NASP State Tournament.”

NASP was formed to introduce archery to youths and to promote archery as a sport that can be enjoyed for a lifetime. NASP got its start in Kentucky in 2002 and has since gained participants from around the globe. It came to Pennsylvania in 2005 with the PGC acting as coordinator to help school districts meet physical-education curriculum requirements set by the state Department of Education.

Last year about 800 students competed in the tournament. With 1,100 entering this year, the numbers show the sport has a growing interest.

If you’re a parent of a student who would like to give NASP a try at their school, it’s recommended that interest be conveyed to your school district and to Samantha Pedder at the PGC (717-787-4250 ext. 3327). Pedder will contact the school to assist in selling the program to administrators. You can also check www.facebook.com/PennNASP for more detailed information.

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