Pisgah archery team wins state championship

CMS wins fourth place overall
By DeeAnna Haney | May 02, 2014
Photo by: Donated photo The Pisgah High School archery team from left to right: Andrew Franklin, Jacob Boyd, Kenneth Farmer, Dalton King, Jesse Henson, Coach David Franklin. Not pictured is Coach Ashley Ensley.

The Pisgah High School archery team took home first place in 2014 NC Youth Hunter Education State Championship the held in Ellerbe last weekend.

A total of 54 teams participated in the competition from across the state, including 554 students from 30 high schools and 24 middle schools. More than 2,5000 spectators and staff came to watch the tournament.

Pisgah freshman Kenneth Farmer shot a perfect 200 for the archery team, but was beat by other by "X" counts.

The Canton Middle School overall team scored fourth place in the overall competition.

The Canton Middle School archery team, which consists of Logan Clark, Mady Chambers, Merit Kuydendall, Tristan Carson and Chance Best, were junior division runner-ups and tied for first place in scoring but lost the tie breaker.

The Canton Middle School shotgun team, which consists of Logan Clark, Will Norris, Merit Kuykendall, Bradley Lanning and Jared Shoemaker, won third place overall. Shoemaker shot a perfect score of 200 but lost in the shutoff. The team placed sixth in rifle.

In individual competition, Ethan Hipps placed second in rifle and Logan Clark placed third in archery.

This is the highest Canton Middle has ever placed in a state tournament before, said Coach David Franklin.

Sportsmans teams in Haywood County may not get as much recognition as other sports, but they are just as valuable for the students.

"For most of these kids this is a lifestyle for them," Franklin said. "A few play other sports, but for the most part shooting is what they do."

Not to mention, being a part of sportsmans teams gives young people lifelong skills he said.

"The responsibility that comes along with handling firearms and archery equipment safely is something that is instilled in these kids. This will stick with them for the rest of their lives," he said.

Still riding high from their successful final weekend of competition, the sportsmans teams will be holding their largest annual fundraiser, the Friends of the NRA Banquet, at 6 p.m. May 10 at Laurel Ridge Country Club.

Supporting the teams

The local sportsman clubs are not funded by the school system, therefore the students rely on donations to pay for ammunition, targets, safety equipment, travel expenses, tournament entry fees, etc, which sometimes add up to between $8,000 and $10,000 each year. They typically receive about $4,000 through grants from the Friends of the NRA, but the rest comes from local donations.

"Without this [funding] these programs would not be able to operate without charging a pretty large fee to each participant, some of whom would not be able to participate if that were the case. We want to keep this program open to all students who would like to participate, not just the ones that can afford it," Franklin said.

Franklin said support from countless volunteers, the school system and school principals is also key to the club's success.

This year's banquet will be serving sliced sirloin and stuffed chicken with spinach. There will be silent auctions, live auctions, raffles and other prizes ranging from collectable handguns to an autographed Charlie Daniels guitar. Tickets cost $45 each. To purchase tickets for the banquet, contact Franklin at 828-779-2442.