An archery powerhouse is emerging in a small town in the eastern part of Green Country.
Matthew Monroe almost didn’t take up archery. In his words, he “didn’t feel it.”
But a hole in his second semester eighth grade class schedule may have changed his life forever.
“I had to drop a class in the eighth grade and had to pick up another one the second semester,” said Monroe. “I ended up having to take it. They made me take it and I just fell in love.”
That class was Locust Grove’s archery class, headed by coach Ladney Keener.
Now, Monroe is a rising senior and one of only two kids from Oklahoma to make the United States all-star team.
“At first, it was pretty unbelievable, but now, the more I get into it, I was meant to be on this team,” declared Monroe.
Coach Keener says Monroe is “the hardest working kid in the room.”
Monroe will compete in the National Archery in Schools World All-Star Championships next month in Calgary.
“I mainly want to represent the USA the best I can and our town of Locust Grove,” he said.
Monroe isn’t the first student from Locust Grove to be successful at archery. In fact, the Pirates are somewhat of a dynasty. They are three-time defending champs and it doesn’t appear like their talent pool is going dry any time soon.
“We have a lot of students wanting in and we don’t turn them down,” said Keener. “Anyone that’s in our school system is welcome to come in and shoot.”
One of those students is the junior high’s Katie Quantie, who won the overall girls State Championship this year.