Hilltop Students Going To Archery World Tournament

Hilltop Students Going To Archery World Tournament

By Susan Neuhalfen

Thanks to Coach Joan Wittmis, Argyle Archery has become a household name. The physical education teacher at Hilltop Elementary has coached Argyle students from Kindergarten through 8th grade that are now competing at state, national and now world tournaments with the NASP, the National Archery in the Schools Program.

At Hilltop Elementary, her 3-5th grade team saw over 100 kids participate and three teams of 24 qualified for the state tournament. For the first time, Wittmis also coached the kids at Argyle Middle School. She had two teams of 24 and both qualified for the state tournament.

Because they are not school sponsored, not everyone automatically goes to the tournaments. They have to rely on the parents for expenses.

“Sometimes it’s a financial decision,” said Coach Wittmis. “Sometimes the kids just don’t want to compete. So everyone who qualifies for tournaments doesn’t always go.”

In the end, two archery teams, one from Hilltop and one from Argyle Middle School, competed at The National Archery Competition in Louisville, Kentucky in May.

Argyle 5th Grader Merritt Hawkesworth won the state tournament with a personal high score of 268. 

The Hilltop Elementary team qualified to compete in the world tournament based on their 3102 score. 3600 is a perfect score.

“This is the best elementary team I’ve scored,” said Coach Wittmis. “Out of 180 schools we came in number 28.”

The world tournament will happen in Orlando July 20-22. Wittmis is hopeful but knows that not everyone can go.

“My parents are working to get the Argyle community involved so that we can get scholarships for the kids who want to go to these tournaments but can’t,” said Wittmis who is considering a GoFundMe page for just such an event.

As for next year, Coach Wittmis says she has more 3rd graders than ever ready to take their archery game to the next level and many from her first rate elementary team this year are moving into middle school. This year she already has 11 coaches certified to help her teach the kids.

“All the kids and parents get along so well considering some are athletes and some are academics,” said Coach. “They’re from all walks of life but they really understand what team means.”

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