Elementary archery team brings home title
The Benton Elementary archery team is on top of the world.
A first place finish at the 2014 National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) world tournament has put the Bossier Parish school on the map. The town of Benton welcomed home the team in true celebrity fashion last week with a pep rally and reception.
So how do world champions enter a venue of awaiting fans ready to congratulate their accomplishment? To the tune of ‘We Are the Champions’ by Queen, of course!
Going into the world tournament, Coach Perry Norcross knew the team would be successful as long as they did what they were trained to do in practice.
“I’ve watched the kids shoot and looking at the scores when we got there, I knew what they could do,” he said. “I knew if they got up there and did that, we were going to come out on top.”
And that’s exactly what they did. The team finished with a total of 3,229 points, giving them the overall number one spot out of 30 elementary teams.
“I knew the kids shot good,” Norcross added. “I could tell by the expressions on their faces after they shot that they shot good. It all came down to the final score and we came out 40 points ahead of the second place team.”
The news sent a wave of emotions through the team, coaches and parents. Norcross said the only way he could begin to describe it was exciting.
“We haven’t really had a chance to sit down and let it sink in yet,” he explained. “I know it’s a big accomplishment and I know it means a lot, but it’s so much more than what I could ever think.”
This was the first time a group from Bossier Parish has made it to the world tournament, which includes teams from England, Africa, Canada and Mexico. Joshua Farris and Emma Bunch said they weren’t nervous going into the tournament though.
Farris finished with a score of 282, placing him 10th out of 369 male elementary participants, sixth out of 207 fifth grade males and 103rd overall out of more than 1,000 shooters. Bunch had a great shoot too, placing 10th out of 297 elementary female participants, second out of more than 100 fourth grade shooters and 98th overall out of more than 1,000 shooters.
When asked how it felt to be a world champion, Farris simply replied, “it feels good.”
The trip to Wisconsin alone, Bunch said, was amazing.
“The team is awesome and it was really fun to shoot with them,” she said.
As for the next year, Norcross said he plans to keep things the same and hopes to defend their world champion title next summer.
“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” he said with a laugh.
Norcross also extended his sincerest thanks on behalf of the coaching staff and team to the entire Bossier Parish community for their support of the program through the entire year.
“The kids are wonderful and I would not be here today if it wasn’t for the coaching staff I have around me,” he said. “Thank you all so much for the support. You rallied behind the team to get us there and I hope we made you proud.”