State Archery Championships Held At The Fairgrounds

Wednesday, March 26th 2014, 7:45 pm
By: News 9

We're used to the big three sports here; Football, basketball and baseball tend to get most of the attention. But a different sport is taking aim at becoming more popular.

Archery dates back to about 50,000 BC. Soak that in for a second. Doesn't that sound too trendy for current teenagers? That's where we're wrong.

Even one of the most prolific archers of all time, Robin Hood, doesn't have anything on these Oklahomans.

"I feel like it's really natural to me," said Isabel Bruski.

"It takes a little bit of confidence and talent," said Kaden Pilkerton.

Fifth graders Kaden Pilkerton and Isabel Bruski, and 12th grader Kaitlyn Bailey are just three of the 1,400 elementary, middle and high school students aiming to be top shot in the state.

"I didn't want to do basketball and I really enjoy archery."

"In basketball you might shoot the ball a million times, but in archery you only get five arrows per round, so if you mess up one time it really hurts you," said Bailey.

With a unified sound resembling rain drops on a rooftop, students from 80 schools across the state line up 100 at a time, right alongside Kaitlyn, Kaden and Isabel, each archer firing for the same goal.

"Try to hit the yellow," said Bruski.

The department of wildlife's Jay Rouk holds the strings to this whole new wave.

"I have watched it grow," said Rouk.

And while Hollywood and hunting may have helped, archery in schools is what really draws in the students. In 2004 only 10 schools in Oklahoma offered archery. Now that number is around 450, targeting nearly 55,000 students.

"I do like the ‘Hunger Games' a lot," said Bailey.

"Archery is fun. You put it in schools [and] kids are going to want to do it," said Rouk.

But archers like Kaden and Kaitlyn don't like to get stuck on the all the numbers.

"Just having fun... and just shooting at some targets," said Pilkerton.

Now to get to this point, the archers had to have some of the highest scores in the region and from here they could go to nationals, taking aim at the state fairgrounds.