March 15, 2019
By: Courtnie Carr
Since the first NASP® seniors graduated from high school, these archers have asked for an opportunity to shoot again with their teammates and coaches. On March 15th, 2019 following the first day of the Kentucky NASP® State Tournament, they got that chance. Nearly 250 prior NASP® archers, coaches and soon to be graduates took aim showing they still love shooting their Genesis bow and are still very good at it. These same archers are the first members of the newly formed NASP® Alumni Association. Many of the archers formed teams with their prior teammates and coaches and others chose to compete as individuals. Seventeen teams competed for the grand prize of starting a NASP® program in a new school by donating a NASP® start-up kit, valued at $3,200, to a school of their choice in need of a NASP® program. Second and third-place teams won 6 new Genesis bows to donate to schools of their choosing.
When the dust settled, the West Kentucky Bush Wookies came away with first, the Trigg County Arrowcats came in at second-place, and Lincoln County High School came in at a close
third. On the individual front, Courtney Campbell, Kaylin Smith, Samantha Hartman-Stackhouse, Morgan Belcher, and Katie Ridings were first through fifth respectively for the women while Shawn Clark, Dalton Hinkle, Clay Stevens were first through third respectively. T Sanchez, and Ryan Beard tied for fourth with Roby Mullins earning fifth.
There were smiles and high-fives all around during the event. Sarah Purtee, a 2015 graduate of Southwestern High School said “The Alumni Tournament was better than expected. It ran fast and smooth and it was nice to see those of us who helped start the program get together and do what we loved for so long. I will definitely be going again.” Courtney Blevins, a 2018 graduate of Bullitt Central High School, commented similarly saying “I loved shooting the NASP® Alumni Tournament and I can’t wait to come back for the next one. It reminded me of where my love for archery began and it was wonderful to see all the people that once shared the same passion come back to experience it again.”
The goal of the NASP® Alumni Association is to reconnect former archers, encourage involvement in the outdoors, and give back to archers currently competing in NASP®. Kody Appleby, a 2015 graduate of Hopkins County Central High School, touched on this when he said “I’m so happy my team was able to win first. Not just to say we won, but to be able to say we got to help a school without a NASP® program start one is great. Giving other kids the opportunity to be introduced to archery the same way I was is priceless.”
National Archery in the Schools Program