“They just put a lot of time in and it’s paid off for them,” explained CJ archery coach Chelsi Leggett.
Carl Junction’s archery program has been putting kids in competitions for eight years.
Kids in fourth through twelfth grade learn about teamwork, how to be a good archer on and off the field, and keeping up their academics.
“If they’re a 3.5, they’re an Academic Archer and then they’re just titled that in the system when they go to tournaments,” Leggett added.
With strong competition in the surrounding area, Carl Junction archers have had to bring their best to tournaments.
“And when you compete against the best all season long and almost every tournament, it only makes us better at state, and then the national tournament, and the world tournament,” Leggett continued. “So, that’s what’s been huge to our program–is that in order to even place at a local tournament, we’re shooting at such a higher level.”
A recent Carl Junction graduate placed at the National Archery in the Schools/International Bowhunters Association Outdoor World 3D Challenge in West Virginia this month.
She shot a 299 out of 300 and won the high schools girls division.
But, archery hasn’t always been her hobby.
“When I first started, I absolutely had no idea what I was doing. I wanted to do it for a long time, just couldn’t afford it, but then I was finally able to my junior year and I was really really excited,” explained archer Ivy Walton. “My first tournament, I shot a 246 and ever since then, it’s just progressed.”
Another Carl Junction student, Jeremiah Jones, finished second in the high school boys division and was just shy of Ivy’s score at 298 out of 300.
Jeremiah has been in CJ’s archery program since sixth grade and is ready to continue improving on his skills these next two years.
“Just continuing to help the team grow and get more precise with archery,” said Jones.