The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


April 19, 2014

Sarcoxie archers set sights on Kentucky after winning consecutive state titles

SARCOXIE, Mo. — Archery has been an instant hit at Sarcoxie High School.

The program is in its second year of existence, and Sarcoxie already has two state championships. Interest continues to rise as the school district also has created middle school and elementary school teams.

“There are many different factors,” Sarcoxie coach Kaycia Woolsey said of the reasons for immediate success. “We have a lot of hunters in the area, so we have a lot of kids who have already shot a bow on their own. We have a lot of support from administrators and our school board members. We have great support from the community and the parents, but our kids also are very dedicated. They have a strong desire to achieve their goals.”

Their next target? The Bears hope to succeed at the NASP national meet May 8-10 at Louisville, Ky.  Sarcoxie finished 37th at nationals last year, competing against more than 150 teams.

“Right now, we’re sitting seventh in the nation,” Woolsey said. “I think we will finish much better than last year. We are going up against programs that have been doing this for 12 years, so they obviously have a huge advantage. But for us to be in the second year of our program and be sitting seventh, that looks very promising.”

Sarcoxie’s success at the March 28-29 state meet at Tan-Tar-A Resort at the Lake of the Ozarks gives the team plenty of reasons for encouragement.

The Bears won the state title with a team score of 3,396, which was 115 points better than second-place Helias Catholic. Joplin was eighth with 3,199 points, and Carl Junction was 12th with 3,096. Team scores are compiled by using the top 12. At least four of the scores have to be of the opposite gender.

Sarcoxie senior Hunter Berry placed first individually with a boys state record of 296, four points shy of a perfect score. Teammate Brice Dobbs placed fifth with a 287. Ariana Goddard took third in the girls division with a 286.

While Berry and Dobbs have been shooting a bow for years, Goddard didn’t start until Sarcoxie established the program two years ago.

“At first, I just thought I was going to do it as a hobby,” Goddard said. “But when I tried it, I realized how much fun it was and decided to stick with it.”

Goddard scored a 234 at her first meet in 2013 but has improved rapidly.

Woolsey said the team has several players who have improved their scores by 40 or 50 points over the past two years.

Sarcoxie boasts a deep squad with two players — Berry and Gavin Currey — having scored a 290 at a tournament and eight other players — Dobbs, Goddard, Rachel Baldwin, Nate Baldwin, Taylor Lambeth, Austin Turner, Tim Lingenfelter and Elizabeth Workman — registering a 280.

“What makes our team so strong is that we have so many kids who are shooting 280s on a pretty regular basis,” Woolsey said. “That’s what you have to have.”

Sarcoxie also has qualified for a world tournament in July at Madison, Wis.

But first, the Bears have set their sights on nationals.

“As a team, I’d really like for us to get into the top 10,” Dobbs said. “I think that’s very doable.”

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