By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
SARCOXIE, Mo. —
The sport of archery at Sarcoxie High School was a smashing success in its inaugural season.
The Bears’ success by the end of the season wasn’t a surprise. The degree made it memorable.
Sarcoxie, coached by Kaycia Woosley, won a Missouri championship — the fifth annual National Archers in the Schools Program — on March 23 at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg.
The Bears did it with aplomb. They beat three-time defending champion Crane 3,339-3,302.
The Berry siblings — Hunter, a junior, and sophomore America — fueled Sarcoxie.
Hunter’s score of 290 was the overall No. 1 male shooter for the high school division and the second highest overall for all divisions (there also are middle school and elementary school divisions). America, with 285, earned identical honors for female preps.
The Missouri Department of Conservation and the Conservation Federation of Missouri coordinated the competition.
“Our goal was 3,270 points,” Woosley said. “We surpassed our goal by 69 points. That’s a lot for a team coming out of nowhere.”
The 3,270 goal was obvious considering that Crane reigned with 3,269 in 2012.
Willard and Galena finished second and third, respectively, in 2012. This year, Willard was third behind Crane.
“We took 18 to compete in the high school division with the top 12 scoring,” Woosley said. “At least four of those had to be of the opposite gender. We had five girls on our team. We took 29 overall (middle school and elementary).
Completing the scorers were senior Kelton Maupin-Opel (283), sophomore Gavin Currey (283), junior Chance Moomaw (282), sophomore Brice Dobbs (279), sophomore Nikki Bramwell (277), eighth-grader Savannah Goddard (275), freshman Weston Johnson (273), sophomore Rachel Baldwin (273), sophomore Harlee Harrison (270) and junior Garett Triplett (269).
“We also had a fourth-grader, Summer Walters, finish second in her age division.”
There were 1,438 archers and 74 schools were represented in the MoNASP competition at Central Missouri that isn’t sanctioned by MSHSAA,
Woosley estimated that 60-80 students attended practices in the cafeteria during the regular season.
Woosley early was pleasantly shocked when trying to gauge interest in the activity.
“Interest forms were returned from 257 students,” she recalled. “Then, I believe, we had forms returned from 168 parents.
“So many pieces had to come together for our success,” she said. “You start, of course, with the support of the school board and administration. You also have the parents — we didn’t begin with enough equipment — and volunteers.”
Superintendent Dr. Kevin Goddard and wife Melanie have children in the program.
“Mr. Lewis (Principal Philip Lewis) always did his best to help us confirm a place to practice,” Woosley told Pete Bradshaw in the Sarcoxie Record.
Sarcoxie competed in meets at Crane, Rogersville, Willard and Buffalo during the regular season.
“We didn’t enter the competition as a team,” Woosley, who’s assisted by husband David, said. “We wanted to see how we’d do as individuals.”
Soon, Woosley, when adding results, etc., started coming up with intriguing numbers.
“We could see with those numbers we’d have a chance (to finish high in the team standings at state or actually win),” Woosley said.
Said athletic director Jeff Kabance: “That’s why I wasn’t surprised (by the success). We could see the development. Coach Woosley coaches them up. Also, several of the students have their own bows. Several have experience. They go hunt.”
Added Woosley: “We saw we had talent as the year went along.”
Woosley, who competes nationally, said the Berry siblings have a father, Chris, who also travels and competes.
“He’s won more than I have and at a higher level,” Woosley said with a laugh.
“Hunter (Berry) has been shooting for years,” Woosley said.
Chris Berry, Mr. and Mrs. Woosley and Kaycia’s mom, Mariea Palmer of Sarcoxie, will be in Paris (Texas) this weekend for national compound competition.
Kaycia Woosley said she was second in women’s open A in 2012. She also has been second another time and twice third.
Woosley, a special education teacher at Wildwood Elementary, is a graduate of Sarcoxie High School and Missouri Southern. She isn’t surprised that Principal Lewis slips and refers to her as Coach Palmer. They were senior classmates in 1991.
Sarcoxie and its archers still have traveling to do this season.
They go to the 2013 NASP Nationals on May 10-11 at Louisville, Ky. They face World competition June 28-30 in St. Louis at the Edward Jones Dome.
“Take our scores and, based on last season, we would be about 20th,” she said of the nationals. “I hate to put a number on it. It depends on how much we practice and our determination.”