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Year Four for MHS Archery

January 9, 2019

The Magnolia High School Archery Team is in its fourth season, and Head Coach Jesse Robinson is still getting more recruits. Last season, Robinson had 33 shooters, including 15 now-graduated seniors - including one of her top shooters in Hunter Huggins. Besides those graduates, Robinson also lost last year's top archery shooter in the state, Damon Witschey, as well as state-qualifier Kameron Melott. Witschey and Melott each decided not to participate in archery this season.

However, Huggins felt he could come back and help Coach Robinson put together another solid team. Also helping out is Josh Arrick's dad, Matt, along with Nicole Witschey and Will Akers.

This season, the Blue Eagles have five seniors and the same amount of juniors. Seniors are Will Akers, Josh Arrick, Jay Eller, Jake Pennell and Tyler White. Juniors are Macayla London, Kiera Morgan, Morgan Moore and Abby Wise.

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Pictured are the members of the 2019 Magnolia High School archery team.

There are a dozen sophomores who make up the most in numbers - Wyatt Bard, Cassara Cooley, Bo Trowbridge, Griffin Wells, Jakob Koontz, Mikalyn Renner, Austin Scheibelhood, Diana Hernandez, Alex Norton, Tanesha Yoho, Sadie Yoho and Jared Young.

Rounding out the team are 10 freshmen: Gage White, Avery Witschey, Kaleb Starkey, Landen Conner, Adian Dinardo, Iliza White, Kelsey Litman, Lily Spratt and Drake Kocher.

Tyler White, Macayla London and Josh Arrick are the team's captains.

The team's goal is to qualify the team to state. Last year, the Eagles had three qualify for state and one to the nationals. To make it to the state, the team must have 12 shooters.There must be at least four of each gender.

West Virginia has around 300 schools participating in archery, with schools to host tournaments and have virtual tournaments to qualify for states.

On a local level, this year, Paden City and Valley high schools will join Hundred and Magnolia in archery.

Through this program, Magnolia, Hundred, Paden City and Valley students will have been given the opportunity to become involved in a life skill that has no barriers. Archery, unlike many sporting activities, is something in which boys and girls of all sizes can easily become involved, whether they are in school or out.

With the strong interest in bow-hunting and competitive shooting in West Virginia, there are unlimited opportunities for students to participate in this activity outside the classroom and throughout their lifetimes.

Wildlife conservation agencies in West Virginia, as well as other states, are concerned that too many young people are forgoing learning outdoor skills that will inspire them to spend more time with wild things in wild places. Natural resource professionals are convinced learning target shooting skills will result in character and self-reliance development that will serve the future of wildlife conservation well.

"And this is something that doesn't have to be over once you finish. You can do this forever," said Robinson. "No matter if archery is in these young futures or not, I hope that some of the discipline and devotion that's learned here - should last forever."

Magnolia's team has an area to practice - the basement below the Supply Closet. It's not a huge space, but it suffices.

Last season, Magnolia held an archery tournament, and this writer found it to be well organized, with one side of the bleachers filled to the brims. This year's tournament will be held Feb. 16, with more teams entering daily. Check out the Wetzel Chronicle in early February for more information and time of competition.

The Magnolia Blue Eagles Archery schedule is as follows: Jan. 12, Buckhannon Upshur; Jan. 26, Wheeling Park; Feb. 9, Cameron; Feb. 16, Magnolia; Feb. 23, John Marshall; March 9 ,Winfield @ WVU; March 30, states for qualifiers in Huntington; May 9-11, nationals for qualifiers in Louisville, KY.



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