Liberty proud of inaugural archery season
MADISON – The Archery Team at Liberty Middle School progressed to honors and awards during its inaugural season.
Cole Kelley served as head coach. Kelly’s assistants included assistant volunteer coach Dr. Molly King and team captains Kia Craven and Alex King.
In summer 2016, core team members and their parents worked hard to raise funds to start a team. Their fundraising efforts included being a part of the U.S. National Target Championships and U.S. Open & Easton Nationals for Junior Olympic Archery Development or JOAD, the most prestigious archery event in the United States,” Dr. Molly King said. “The team interacted with 2016 USA Olympic Archers, USA World Cup Archery Team, champion archers from 45 states and Olympic team archers and champions from seven countries.”
After tryouts in December 2016, practices started in January 2017.
With only one week of practice, the Lions competed in their first tournament, the second annual Maverick Shoot-Out hosted by Mill Creek Elementary School. Liberty took home top honors in the middle school division, King said.
In the girls and boys divisions, Lizzie Voeten and Alex King won first place; Kia Craven and Evan Baker, second place; Lani Wolf and Ryan Hausermann, third. Overall, Liberty placed second among six teams.
Lizzie Voeten, Alex King, Kia Craven, Evan Baker, Chase Lynn and Andrea Torres earned first, second and third places in other tournaments throughout the year.
Seven Lions qualified for regionals: Gillian Farmer, Kia Craven, Lizzie Voeten, Hayden Ward, Gavin Wood, Evan Baker and Alex King.
In February, Liberty entered the Rine100 Tournament in Eufaula with Lizzie Voeten, Savannah Dozier, Ryan Hausermann, Ronnie Humphrey and Alex King. King earned an award pin for shooting par.
In March, Chick-fil-A Madison graciously helped the team begin raising funds for the next season by allowing the team to host a Spirit Night,” Molly King said.
In April, the team ended their competition season by raising funds to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with a friendly team competition as part of the National Archery in Schools Program in the St. Jude E-Championship Charity Tournament, she said.
At the team competition level, Lizzie Voeten and Alex King placed first in the girls and boys divisions, respectively. Kia Craven and Evan Baker placed second, and Andrea Torres and Chase Lynn placed third.
Nationally, the female team members placed second, seventh and ninth in the nation in their grade divisions. The males placed sixth, seventh and eighth. Liberty placed fourth in the nation, Molly King said.
For their fundraising efforts, Gillian Farmer and Alex King earned the right to put pies in the coaches’ faces at the last practice.
Liberty’s Archery Team ended the season with an awards banquet. All archers were recognized at the banquet for their accomplishments. Top award-winners follow:
* Most Valuable Male Archer — Alex King.
* Most Valuable Female Archer — Lizzie Voeten.
* Academic Archer (highest individual grades) — Andrea Torres.
* Most Improved — One Kim.
* Spirit of Archery (for attitude and positive example) — George Merrill.
* Perfect Attendance Awards (all practices and tournaments) — Ryan Hausermann, Hayden Ward, Evan Baker, One Kim and Ian Ayala-Diaz.
* Top Bullseye Club — Evan Baker and Alex King.
* Team Captains — Kia Craven and Alex King.
Liberty’s inaugural archery team members, parents and coaches would like to thank Nelson Brown, former Liberty principal, and Liberty Vice Principal Jamie Golliver for their support, Molly King said.
While the team will lose some members as they begin their new adventures at James Clemens High School, they are looking forward to new members from local elementary schools joining the 2017-2018 team. They are especially excited about possible team members from Mill Creek Elementary School’s team, coached by Jennifer Klein, as Mill Creek qualified for and participated in the 2017 National Archery in the Schools Program World Championship, she said.