Woodlawn Elem. Archery Team competes for world title - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Woodlawn Elem. Archery Team competes for world title

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By David Carroll

dcarroll@wrcbtv.com

CHATSWORTH, GA (WRCB)- The Woodlawn Elementary Timberwolves, an archery team, is set to compete for a world championship next month in Orlando.

Coach Brad Bates, with the help of John Mitchell of Georgia's Department of Natural Resources, started the team from scratch last year to boost student attendance and discipline, and to offer students a chance to compete in a unique sport.  Bates and Mitchell both say students who "might not be the strongest athlete or the fastest runner" are excelling in a skill which requires concentration and focus.

Mitchell is encouraging other schools to participate.  He says it is among the most inexpensive sports to establish, and grants are available from the state to help schools start an archery program. 

Here is more information provided by Woodlawn Elementary School:

In the fall of 2009 Woodlawn Elementary applied for a state grant that would enable Woodlawn to start the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP). With the help of donations from local business the dream became a reality. The required training was presented to the 4th thru 6th grade students through the physical education department, and the formation of the Timberwolves Archery Team began. As the team progressed the Woodlawn Timberwolves were challenged to participate in the 2009 Georgia State Tournament. This first year team surprised everyone by taking 3rd place in the elementary division. Two of the Timber Wolf archers performed exceptionally well at the tournament.  As a fourth grader, Haley Bagley, became the Girl's State Champion and fifth grader Bailey Coker took state runner-up honors.

In February 2010 the Timberwolves Archery Team competed in the Georgia Archery in the Schools State Tournament for the second time. The newly founded Timberwolves shocked competitors posting a 3145. This score earned the Timberwolves the title of Georgia State Champions in the elementary division. The Timber Wolf pack was amazed to find that their team score took overall honors outscoring even the middle and high school teams. This score now stands as the overall state record for the state of Georgia. Six Timber wolf archers took home several honors.  Morgan Ray became the elementary girls' state champion with a score of 277 and also took the overall honors out-shooting all middle and high school girls at the tournament. Morgan received a $1000.00 college scholarship, a Genesis bow and a Morrell target. Haley Bagley, last year's state champion took first runner up with Laura Alton finishing third, followed by Bailey Coker who finished fifth.  On the boy's side, Jordan Priest claimed the elementary boy's state championship with a score of 271 with Isaiah Waters finished in third place.

The most important part of the now two year old archery program is the positive impact that is evident within the lives of the team members as well as the student body at Woodlawn. Archery has opened doors of opportunity for these students that they otherwise may never had. They have been featured three times on News Channel 9; articles have appeared in several different newspapers, the Georgia EMC magazine etc. There is even a segment on the Disney Channel that features Haley Bagley and several of her teammates! In June the coaches and a few of the players were invited to the Georgia DNR Board Meeting to receive recognition. The program has improved team member' focus, self-confidence, school attendance, and has allowed them to achieve goals and honors they will remember for the rest of their lives.

The Timberwolves state accomplishments earned them the privilege to represent the state of Georgia last May in the NASP National competition in Louisville KY. There the team competed against 91 elementary schools from all across the United States and claimed 3rd place in the National Tournament. The Woodlawn Timberwolves became the first Georgia team to place in national level competition.

This accomplishment has now brought the Timber Wolf Archers an invitation to compete in the NASP World Tournament in Orlando Fl. which will take place on October 6-9, 2010.  Preparation is in full swing with the team shooting three days a week throughout the summer in preparation for the tournament. The final hurdle for the Timberwolves is finances. We understand that the current economic state has made life tough for everyone, however for the World Tournament to become a reality for the Timberwolves we must raise approximately $12.000.00. The Timber Wolf Archery Team has worked hard and in reality stands a solid opportunity to actually win the World Tournament. Would you consider helping make this final tournament a reality?  Any amount that you could give would be greatly appreciated!

To find out more on how to start an archery program at your Georgia school, contact John Mitchell:  john.mitchell@dnr.state.ga.us

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