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Joplin Schools Introduce New Archery Team

Starting this spring, Joplin schools will have an archery team open to all students grades 6th through 12th.
JOPLIN, MO.--- For the first time ever, Joplin schools are introducing a new team, archery. Starting this spring, Joplin schools will have an archery team open to all students grades 6th through 12th. The idea started with Technologist Specialist Teacher Adam Bell.

"We saw a need to involve students in an activity to get them involved in something in school. A lot of students that maybe weren't athletes or weren't participating in anything else," said Adam Bell, Archery Coach. 

Bell, along with Agricultural Teacher Kevin Sawyer and Special Education Teacher Jeff Brown, will be the coaches of the team. They believe introducing archery to Joplin schools will be beneficial to the students.

"Through this process, we are hoping to not only teach kids how to shoot, but also to build skills that help them become employable and productive members of our community once high school is over for them," said Jeff Brown, Archery Coach. 

After getting the archery team approved by the Joplin School Board last week, more than 200 students signed up. Over 100 of which, were not involved in other school activities.

"We are reaching kids from the entire student demographic, everything from valedictorian to kids who don't do so well that need something or a reason to come to school and stay in school," said Bell. 

Some of the students joining the team said they have shot archery before and are excited to be apart of the team.

"You are able to have more people on it and it's not as competitive as to join, and it's a good motivational sport," said Meghan Gopalakrishnan, National Archer Competitor. 

"It was the first sport I wanted to do when they were talking about it," said Omar May, First Time Archer. 

Bell says the local archery shop, Outback Archery, has become one of the teams sponsors. Once they receive more funding, the team can start practicing. Students hope to start practicing by the end of November and start competing by spring.

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