By Brittany J Jones
Nashville, TN -(AmmoLand.com)- Every spring, forty-two states determine their state champion National Archery in the Schools Programs (NASP) archery teams to identify who may advance to NASP Nationals and then, if they are good enough, on to the NASP Worlds.
However, it is not every year that two teams from the same school district, win the world championship. Not to mention, one of those teams becoming back-to-back world title-holders.
Such was the case for Benton Elementary and Middle Schools located in Bossier City, Louisiana. Coach, Terrie Streetman, shed some light on his school’s archery program and more specifically its students.
“It’s a great program for the students. Team cohesiveness is strong not only during competitions, but also when we travel and stay together,” says Streetman.
One of the things NASP is known for is promoting friendships and top-notch sportsmanship.
Coach Streetman shares, “NASP is so much more than training and competing. I have had the privilege of making lifetime friends with many of the parents of these students. It is so heartwarming to hear stories from parents who are thrilled their child has found a niche with this group of athletes. While they are not always the tallest or strongest, they are often highly focused athletes.”
One great example of this is nine-year-old Savannah Strain. She is far more than an ordinary athlete. She was born with only one hand, but she was determined to be on the archery team. Savannah, like all other aspiring shooters, 120 to be exact, had to try out for a spot on the Benton Elementary team. Savannah made the team and shoots with a modified bow that enables her to pull (draw) back the string with using her teeth instead of fingers. She hopes to be champion one day, and many who root for her, think she will!
It is no mystery why student archers are so driven and focused in NASP. They are not only taught lessons to apply on the shooting line, but important values such as; patience, concentration, focus, and positive attitude, can accompany them throughout life. It’s a special kind of discipline that one would only know while staring at the target center, with bow in hand, concentrating on the process of correct shooting.
Coach Streetman explained that when the program was first introduced in their county, there was only one competition, located at Byrd High School. They had only a handful of kids (not quite enough to call it a team).
Looking on the bright side, “at least the students could compare their talents with the other students,” says Streetman.
Since the program has taken flight, the interest has grown to include more schools and contests and students now look forward to in-school instruction, team tryouts and competitions.
In 2014 Benton Elementary School won the NASP world championship in Madison, Wisconsin with a score of 3229. This year, they traveled to the NASP Worlds in Nashville, Tennessee with 4,800 other archers. At the conclusion of the tournament they were thrilled to learn they were back-to-back champions with an even higher score of 3290. Benton Middle School was also the 2015 world champion in their division, scoring a whopping 3367. Two schools, in the same district, archery champions? That’s what we call a focused and driven archery community! Congratulations to Benton Schools, the coaches, and especially the archers!
“It’s amazing how much these students have accomplished in such a short time in the sport! We look forward to many great years of competition in NASP, as the sport continues to grow in the state of Louisiana.”
Dedicated coaches, parents, and archery-enthused students, help make NASP as strong as it is today, the largest youth archery program in the world! Coach Streetman and his outstanding group of archers are one example to look up to!
Congratulations to Benton’s student archers, and we’ll see you next year on the shooting line in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina!
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About National Archery in the Schools Program:
The National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) promotes student education, physical education and participation in the lifelong sport of Archery. The mission of NASP is to promote international-style target archery as part of the in-school curriculum, to improve educational performance and participation in the shooting sports among students in grades 4-12.
For more information, please visit www.NASPSchools.org.