Prattville High School archers make the mark, head to nationals
PRATTVILLE, Ala. (WSFA) - High school sports aren’t just football, basketball and baseball. There a plenty of options out there.
Some students in Prattville are ready to go up against the best in the country.
“Archery is unique because it’s a team sport, but it’s also an individual sport,” said Prattville HS archery coach John Cooper.
It may not get the attention like some mainstream sports, but it’s very competitive.
“Everybody can’t be 6′5 and dunk a basketball or throw a football 70 yards,” said Cooper. “This is something, with practice and dedication, you can be really good at it.”
It’s a chance to be part of something bigger.
“My grandpa got me a bow when I was ten years old,” said archer Riley Calhoun. “Then I realized Prattville Junior High School had an archery team. I tried out, made it, and have loved it ever since.”
“I got into archery because I was a competitive shooter in other shooting disciplines,” said archer Gabriel Rice.
They get plenty of looks and questions when they tell people they’re high school archers.
“At first, they look at you like you’re kind of weird,” said Rice. “But after a while, they think it’s pretty cool.”
“It’s one of those things where they think I’m a hunter,” said Calhoun. “I don’t bow hunt or fish.”
These are some of the best shooters in the state. It may be different, but they’re good at it. Prattville High School is one of ten Alabama schools to qualify for nationals. The competition is in Louisville, KY, from May 11-14.
So what makes a good archer?
“Being analytical, being thoughtful, almost thinking about it scientifically and not trying to change everything at one time,” said Cooper. “You have to analyze what you did, what the conditions are, and make adjustments.”
“In archery, a little move can affect everything,” said Rice.
“You just have to hone in on being still and in the moment,” said Calhoun. “You can’t let anything get in your head while you’re shooting.”
I think it’s safe to say they are ready to shoot their shot against some of the best in the country.
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