I pulled this from the Raton Post… Good Stuff
Archery program draws greater interest
By Bob Morris, Sports Editor
• Fri, Apr 22, 2011
Four years ago, the Archery in the Schools program came to Raton Middle School — and since then, interest in the program has risen dramatically.
Raton middle and high schools, along with Cimarron, Des Moines, Mosquero, Springer, Clayton and Mora have all formed teams this year, accounting for nine of the 22 school statewide that have registered to participate in the state archery tournament, organized by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.
“I think when people see the program, they want to try it,” said Clint Henson of the Game and Fish Raton office. “The kids get excited, the teachers want to try it, the parents want to try it.”
In particular, the program appeals to students who may not have interest in other physical education activities, said RHS PE teacher Brian Saccomanno.
“Some of the kids who are reluctant to participate (in other activities) are the ones who really go along with it,” he said. “They really seem to buy into it and it reflects on their attitude in PE in general.”
Saccomanno added many who participate enjoy outdoors activities, so they find archery enjoyable.
He noted the sport not only encourage physical activity, but also helps students learn other skills. “You have all these steps they have to follow,” Saccomanno said. “It forces them to really focus on a single task.”
The national Archery in the Schools program first came to New Mexico in 2008, with Raton Middle School one of 15 schools who received a grant for free archery equipment. The program has grown to 22 schools since then, with nearly half of those schools in northeastern New Mexico.
“It’s wonderful to see the interest in the program,” Henson said. “It’s such a good opportunity for Game and Fish to get into the schools and build relationships with the kids.”
The program first came to Raton High School last year and Saccomanno said turnout at first was “disappointing,” but that changed this year. “The kids who experience it at the middle school really made it happen and we had a full team of 12,” he said.
“It was something I was excited about getting back here this spring,” Saccomanno added. “It’s something we are going to sustain as long as they’ll have us.”
Raton and Cimarron both competed in their state event April 15 at RHS. The archery program’s state competition does not feature teams competing at a central location, but each school’s team competes at the respective school or other location. Henson said all teams must register by April 15 and have competitions completed by April 29 to be eligible for state competition.
After April 29, all reported scores determine which schools are the best in the state. Currently, Des Moines is the top team in northeastern New Mexico with 2,860 of a possible 3,600 points. Henson noted Des Moines is “200 points above all others in the area” that have completed competitions. Springer is the second highest in the area with 2,627 points.
In the competition, every archer fires 15 arrows at 10 meters and 15 more arrows at 20 meters. An archer can score one to 10 points for each arrow that hits the target for a maximum possible amount of 300 points. Each team has up to 12 members.
Last year, the Raton Middle School team placed third out of 16 schools and the high school team placed fifth. Springer’s Kyra Laumbach, who was a seventh-grader last year, had the highest individual score among girls statewide.
The program started in 2001 in Kentucky and has expanded to include in nearly every state and in Canada. Henson said plans are to ultimately have a state champion team in New Mexico attend a national tournament.