Zaneis Middle School’s archery team placed first in two divisions during the first ever National Archery in Schools Program Western National Tournament on April 11.
The team, comprised of 4th through 8th grade students, was named the first place Middle School Bullseye Team and the first place
Middle School IBO 3D team. Archery Coach Angela Aycox said team members also won multiple individual awards and scholarships in different events.
“It’s kind of like track, in a way,” Aycox said. “You compete as a team but you also compete as an individual. You’re always trying to better yourself, and it helps your team and on the days when one person doesn’t shoot as well, someone else steps up.”
Aycox said she’s been coaching the team for three years now. In previous years, the team would compete in the eastern tournament held in Kentucky. Last year, they placed 50th out of 250 teams.
“Whenever we’d go to the east there’s a lot more competition, the schools are a lot bigger,” Aycox said. “I’d done my homework a little bit and I felt like we were going to do well, because we were competing against more teams our size.”
The team now has five individual national champions to their name. Kolt Perkins and Toby Aycox won the distinction in 2009 and 2016 respectively. This year, Jerod Aycox, Brooklyn Keck and Emma Skinner earned the title as well. Toby and Jerod are Angela’s sons.
“I think it’s really awesome that we have five bows here,” Aycox said. “It takes a lot of practice, time and dedication from the kids.”
The team will be recognized again at a sports banquet on Thursday, and Jerod Aycox will be competing at the world tournament in June.