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2 more schools looking at
adding competitive archery
By Duane Good, Editor

Pictured at the NASP State Tournament March 13 are Upper Dauphin Area High School team members (from left) Jeffrey Klinger, Hunter Herb, Brenden Miller and Kyle Silks. (Photo courtesy of Jesse Geiman)

A decade ago, Williams Valley was the Sentinel-area’s sole representative at the NASP (National Archery in the Schools Program) state tournament.

At the 2015 state event last month, there were four local schools on hand, each of which – Halifax, Millersburg and Upper Dauphin Area, in addition to Williams Valley – fielded both a middle-school and high-school team.

That number could rise to six in the near future.

Both Line Mountain and Millersburg-based Northern Dauphin Christian School have confirmed that plans are underway to have students qualify for competing at the state tournament and other NASP-sanctioned events.

Line Mountain. ‘‘We are currently implementing archery and the entire 10th grade class is participating,’’ said Michael Buriak, a Line Mountain secondary physical education teacher.

‘‘I am going to continue introducing the curriculum throughout the 9-12 grade levels this year, and the middle-school next year,’’ he added.

‘‘The response has been overwhelmingly positive across the board. Students really enjoy the program. We have some great shooters in the 10 grade class as we are finding out. It's been fun to see,’’ Buriak noted

‘‘Our goal is to have tryouts for a competitive team (for the 2015-16) school year, and hopefully enter the state tournament in March of next year,’’ Buriak added. ‘‘We also are interested in getting together with local schools and hosting little tournaments of our local students from other districts.

‘‘With other Tri-Valley League schools, our hopes would be to possibly have a TVL league of competitive archery,’’ he said.

NDCS. The school is in the beginning stages of creating a competitive NASP affiliated archery team, according to Administrator JoAnn Kieffer.

As a school, we have purchased equipment for the students to use,’’ she added. ‘‘We currently offer the ‘Explore Bowhunting’ program through the Pennsylvania Game Commission as an elective for students in grades 9-11. We pair this curriculum with time to practice shooting. ’’

‘‘As we move further along in the NASP affiliation process, we hope to compete, either as a team or in individual events, depending on the number of participants,’’ Kieffer stated.

The Tri-Valley School District has no plans right now to start an archery program, school officials said.

Interest exploding across the state. There currently are 185 schools in Pennsylvania with NASP-certified archery programs. Another 14 have signed on and are in the process of purchasing equipment, according to Todd Holmes, shooting sports outreach coordinator for the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

The program has grown an average of 40 percent in the recent years, according to Holmes.

As of April 20, school districts close to the Sentinel-area with NASP-sanctioned archery teams are Harrisburg Christian, Hershey Christian and Lower Dauphin (Dauphin County); Palmyra and Northern Lebanon (Lebanon County); Selinsgrove (Snyder County); Fairfield (Adams County); Millville (Columbia County); and Pine Grove Area (Schuylkill County), whose program is coached by UDA graduate Mike Griffiths.

Both Pine Grove and Halifax sponsored tournaments that were held during the winter and saw participation from local schools.

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