"My mom's a coach and so is my dad," she said.
Ellie is an eighth-grader at Elkview Middle School, so is her buddy, Mackenzie Shamblin. The two of them are more than just buddies, they are a couple of the best archers in the state. They received their training through the Archery in the Schools program.
Krista Snodgrass coordinates the Archery in the Schools Tournament and explained how these kids got here.
"Today, we have 444 kids participating in the Archery in the Schools Tournament,” Snodgrass said. “These kids qualified through a state virtual tournament that we held in January and February, so these are the best 444 archers that we have in the state.
The growth has been substantial. When they started this program nine years ago, the tournament was held in a high school gym. Today, there are rows of archers competing and they are putting together scores that are “out of this world.”
In fact, these boys and girls lining up, putting their arrows on the drawstring and firing away, put together scores good enough to take them to the world championships. Ellie and Mackenzie are some of the kids from last year's tournament who qualified for world.
Mackenzie said she was “very excited to say I was representing West Virginia and Elkview."
Although they didn't win, they will be looking for another shot at representing West Virginia. While the more than 400 kids shooting today are the stars, future archers come to watch, hoping they will be competing next year.
Snodgrass said it is absolutely a great program for kids, “especially kids that aren't involved in other sports. It's a life experience they can take with them and use outside of school.”
That makes it something good for all of us.
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