More than 55,000 students from 650 schools were involved in the Oklahoma Archery in the Schools program this past year. (wildlifedepartment.com)
Two Oklahoma Archery Students Make U.S. All-Star Team
Two Oklahoma student archers have earned spots on the National Archery in the Schools U.S. All-Star Team that will compete against the world’s best in the NASP® World All-Star Championships from July 8-11 in Calgary, Alberta.
The team is made up of 16 of the nation’s best youth archers who were selected based on their performances during the NASP® national tournaments. Oklahoma’s all-stars are:
- Matthew Monroe, 11th grade, Locust Grove High School, coached by Ladney Keener.
- Jerod Aycox, 7th grade, Zaneis School, coached by Angela Aycox.
“It is pretty awesome to have two kids selected for the 16-member all-star team in the same year,” said Information and Education Specialist Jay Rouk, coordinator of the Oklahoma National Archery in the Schools (OKNASP) program for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
The two Oklahoma all-stars were among 14,885 student archers who participated in the NASP® national tournaments in Louisville and Salt Lake City, an elite group representing less than 5 percent of the 2.2 million youths who participated in NASP® this past year. “This gives you an idea of how well Oklahoma is being represented,” Rouk said.
Kevin Dixon, All-Star project manager for NASP®, said that getting two archers from one state on the U.S. team is becoming much more difficult as the program develops. While it has happened before in the team’s six-year history, it might not be something that happens again.
“It’s an honor to have two go, because the competition level is so high now. Scores are so much tighter now,” Dixon said. All of the All-Star archers scored at least 296 points of a possible 300 in order to qualify for the U.S. team.
“These kids should realize that they are one of the best archers in the country, and they get to gather with others who are among the best and get to compete against the best from around the world.”
Ladney Keener, who is Monroe’s coach at Locust Grove, described the 11th-grader as an all-around kid who participates in football and agriculture, trapshooting, makes good grades and holds down a job. “Hard work pays off, and this boy did nothing but work.” Monroe has a GoFundMe account to help with expenses for his travel to Canada.
Angela Aycox, who is Aycox’s coach at Zaneis, said her son won first place at the NASP® Western Nationals in Utah, but did not learn he had made the All-Star Team until about a month later. “He works hard and pushes himself. It’s nice to see all his hard work pay off.”
Oklahoma has had just one previous NASP® All-Star: Mitchell Ritter of Ringling/Elgin in 2016.
Through OKNASP, students have the chance to excel today, tomorrow and throughout a lifetime in the sport of archery. OKNASP is a part of NASP®, a coordinated effort and partnership between schools, state wildlife agencies and the nation’s archery industry.
Designed for 4th- through 12th-graders, OKNASP curriculum covers archery history, safety, techniques, equipment, mental concentration and self-improvement.
OKNASP began in 2004 with eight schools implementing the program. It has grown exponentially in popularity, and now involves more than 55,000 Oklahoma students in 650 schools. In the most recent state tournaments split between Oklahoma City and Tulsa, nearly 4,000 students competed.
In this year’s national and world events, Oklahoma’s student archers definitely left their mark. Here are Oklahoma’s student archers and teams that finished in the Top 3 during 2018 events, along with scores:
Western Nationals – Teams (Target)
- Zaneis Middle School: 1st Place (3,320)
- Bray-Doyle High School: 3rd Place (3,228)
Western Nationals – Individuals (Target)
- Jerod Aycox, Zaneis: 1st Place, Middle School Boy (296)
- Booklyn Keck, Zaneis: 1st Place, Middle School Girl (294)
- Caden Eyestone, Chandler: 1st Place, Elementary Boy (292)
- Karson Warrington, Zaneis: 3rd Place, Middle School Boy (289)
- Leah Brannon, Chandler: 3rd Place, Middle School Girl (288)
- Skyler Hensley, Chandler: 3rd Place, High School Boy (287)
Western Nationals – Team (3D)
- Zaneis Middle School: 1st Place (1,662)
Western Nationals – Individual (3D)
- Karson Warrington, Zaneis: 1st Place, Middle School Boy (287)
- Emilee Manning, Chandler: 2nd Place, High School Girl (285)
- Toby Aycox, Zaneis: 2nd Place, Middle School Boy (282)
- Caden Eyeston, Chandler: 1st Place, Elementary Boy (282)
World – Individuals (Target)
- Karson Warrington, Zaneis: 1st Place, Middle School Boy (298)
- Jerod Aycox, Zaneis: 2nd Place, Middle School Boy (297)
- Emilee Manning, Chandler: 2nd Place, High School Girl (296)
- Caden Eyestone, Chandler: 2nd Place, Elementary Boy (289)
World – Individuals (3D)
- Emilee Manning, Chandler: 3rd Place, High School Girl (295)
- Caden Eyestone, Chandler: 3rd Place, Elementary Boy (286)
NASP® All-American Academic Archers
- Caden Eyestone, Park Road Elementary, Chandler.
- Emma Skinner, Zaneis.
NASP® All-American Academic Archers
Middle School Division
- Jerod Aycox, Zaneis.
- Brooklyn Keck, Zaneis.
- Trenton Gardner, Locust Grove.
- Lani Phillips, Locust Grove.
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