Cotaco archery qualifies for nationals

Cotaco School’s junior high archery team qualified to compete at the National Championship Tournament in Louisville, Ky. on May 8-9 as a result of its performance at the State Championships in Montgomery on April l1.

The 24-member team scored a combined 3,059 points and two of its members finished among the top 15 shooters. Jacob McMinemon placed 10th overall and John Moore finished in 13th place.

Eighth grader Jacob McMinemon, Cotaco's best archer, placed 10th in state championship in Montgomery April 11.
Eighth grader Jacob McMinemon, Cotaco’s best archer, placed 10th in state championship in Montgomery April 11.

McMinemon received a certificate to commemorate his achievement.

“The kids are really excited and I’m very proud of them,” said Leigh Anna Childers, P.E. teacher and team sponsor. “This is our third year of competition and first time to make it to the nationals. We made it through district and reached the state tournament last year.”

Cotaco received a pilot grant three years ago from the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) to implement archery as a competitive sport.

The junior high team currently has 24 members from grades 6-8 and the elementary team has 13 members from grades 3-5.

“The elementary division team wasn’t able to compete at state this year because it didn’t have enough members,” Childers said.

Pictured are John Moore (left kneeling -13th place in state - 8th grade), Mrs. Leigh Anna Childers (standing, sponsor/coach), Jacob McMinemon [right kneeling - 10th place in state/Cotaco's highest shooter).
Pictured are John Moore (left kneeling -13th place in state – 8th grade), Mrs. Leigh Anna Childers (standing, sponsor/coach), Jacob McMinemon [right kneeling – 10th place in state/Cotaco’s highest shooter).
Childers said the idea of applying for a NASP grant came from Arab Junior High School.

“We were aware that a number of our parents are involved in bow hunting and felt that archery would go over well here,” Childers said. “We have not been disappointed. Tryouts are held well before the season starts in February and we’ve always gotten good response. Eva School is in the process of forming a team and and Brewer is interested in forming a team.”

In competitions at the junior high level, archers shoot 15 arrows from 10 meters and 15 arrows from 15 meters.

“We were able to purchase equipment for the sport with the grant and a cheese cake fundraiser,” Childers said. “The kids love it. Some of them have purchased their own bow and arrows so they can practice at home.

Childers has coaching assistance from parent Greg Rice, a competitive archer.

“He has been a great asset to our program,” Childers said. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without his help.”

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