Oklahoma Archery In Schools Program Hits The Bull's Eye

Wednesday, February 16th 2011, 5:02 pm
By: News On 6

Rick Wells, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- The Oklahoma National Archery in Schools program is growing almost as fast as they can find equipment. Regional shoots are going on this week at the Tulsa Fairgrounds.

Both students and parents say the program hits the bull's eye.

Many young people are competing in day one of the Oklahoma regional archery shoot at the fairgrounds.

"We're having a great time we have 300 or 400 kids out here. They are competing as part of the Oklahoma Archery in the Schools Program," said Micah Holmes with the State Wildlife Department which sponsors the program.

More than 250 schools are competing across the state. The sport has grown so fast this year they've had to offer regional competitions

Mark Brandt is an 8th grader at the Keystone school in Sand Springs.

I got a 10, a seven and the rest nines," he said.

His mom Laura Garrison says she loves the program. Mark can't play most other sports, so this is his football.

"He has found his niche, and it's archery," Garrison said.

His coach is Gary James. He says the kids practice every day during PE and also at recess, but the bad weather has cut into prep time because school was out.

"Fifth and sixth grades you did a great job," James told his students.

He has 32 shooters competing in the two age groups. He's looking to continue their string of good performances. James has taken a team to nationals in Louisville the last three years.

Mark Brandt went to Nationals last year, so I thought I'd get some archery tips.

Rick Wells: "How do you score so well?"
Mark Brandt: "Aim at the same spot."

Somehow I thought there was more to it, although his mom told me he's pretty good.

"I am," Mark said.

Atta boy.

The state competition is next month in Oklahoma City. Mark Brandt finished ninth overall today, and his Keystone team finished third. Last year Oklahoma sent more than 200 competitors to the National Shoot.