An unlikely sport is becoming very popular in Tupper Lake: archery. Starting in fourth grade, students are learning how to shoot a bow and arrow in their physical education classes. Through that program, three middle school students saw potential in their archery skills. And our Cara Thomas reports, they have chosen to take those skills to a new level.
TUPPER LAKE, N.Y. -- Tuesday evening was the last chance for three Tupper Lake Middle School students to sharpen their archery skills before heading to Kentucky for the National Archery in the Schools Program's national competition.
Bree Staves, Sarah Reandeau, and Trent Martin all began shooting a bow and arrow about five years ago with family members, never expecting their hobby would bring them to this point.
"I'm just really excited because of out of 8,000 people I didn't expect me to be able to go," said Martin.
"Really excited, but I'm really nervous at the same time," said Reandeau.
The three archers placed in the top ten in the state tournament in March, qualifying them for the national competition, where more than 8,000 students will compete. Tupper Lake is one of only four New York State schools participating.
"I really didn't think I was going to be able to go because when we entered the tournament I thought I wouldn't place good at all. And when I got first I got really excited, I was flipping out," said Staves.
Coach Pamela Savard said all of their preparation and hard work would have been in vain if it hadn't been for the community's support.
"People have all stepped up to help raise money to be able to go. Our local archers gave us money, the local rod and gun club, school's providing transportation for us, and we're pretty excited," said Savard.
The three archers have prepared, know all the rules, and Savard said they're ready to show the nation what they've got come Friday when the competition begins.
"They are very ready. They might be a little shy but they are definitely well in contention," said Savard.
Staves, Reandeau, Martin and their coach will leave Wednesday for their 14 hour drive to Kentucky.
The National Archery Tournament is also hoping to break a Guiness World Record this year. Their goal is to hold the new record for the largest archery competition. Currently, the record is held by China with more than 1,000 archers. And right now, there are more than 8,000 participants registered for the tournament.