Grand Ledge’s Archery Teams Compete at the State Tournament
March 18, 2019
As we approach spring, the sport of archery gains momentum into its most important time of the season: the Archery State Tournament.
On Saturday, Mar. 16, over 850 archers from around the state of Michigan ascended on the capital city to compete in the state tournament. This year, the state tournament for archery was held at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing, MI. The change of venue from the Central Michigan Student Activities Center to the Lansing Center came after the MI Department of Natural Resources decided to let the MI coaches step up and run the tournament with NASP (National Archery in the Schools Program). It was the first tournament run by the new MI NASP Archery Council. Grand Ledge archery coach, Kelly Shaltry, and coaches from Hartland, Portage Central, Okemos, and many other schools helped put the tournament together with the help of volunteers.
“States went awesome for our first state tournament run by the coaches around the state,” Shaltry said. “The National Archery in the Schools (NASP) organization gave us a lot of support. It ran very smooth. With 140 archers shooting at a time, it was great to see all of the kids so highly trained that it just went great. With this being the first one run by the new MI NASP Archery Council, it went really well.”
GL archers shot alongside archers from Howell, East Lansing, Okemos, Hartland, Fowlerville, Gaylord, Portage Central, and many more. According to coach Shaltry, GL did very well and earned them another trip to Nationals.
“Many of the Grand Ledge archers set their personal tournament record scores and the high school set its team Personal Record,” Shaltry said. “Both the Middle School and High School teams qualified to go to Nationals in May in Louisville, KY. This is the 7th year in a row that the Grand Ledge Archery Program has qualified for the Archery Nationals. Last year, they shot against over 15,000 of the best archers in the United States.”
Grand Ledge placed fifth in the high school division of the tournament behind Portage Central, Fowlerville, Howell, and the first place team, Hartland. GL may have not taken the first place trophy home, but they have qualified to go to Nationals in May. However, to coach Shaltry, he wants the kids to have fun, continue to have a lot of firsts, and continue to develop and expand the sport.
“[I’m] looking forward to next year,” Shaltry said. “We would like to continue to grow the sport and get more schools involved so that we can grow as big as we can. Kentucky held their State Tournament this last weekend and had 7,100 archers participate. I want to follow in their footsteps. The next schools that will start archery programs will be Dewitt and Williamston. Maybe someday we will form the Capital Area Archery Conference (CAAC) and have more opportunities to shoot. It is such an amazing program! What other sport can claim that anyone can participate no matter what their abilities or disabilities? We have kids that shoot from wheelchairs, use their teeth to shoot, and always have a great time making lifelong friends. Last year, we had our first wedding for archers that met in archery the first year of the program 7 years ago.”
Congrats to the Grand Ledge archery teams for qualifying and good luck to GL when they go to compete at Nationals. The archery program is expanding across the state of MI and the country. Hopefully it continues to grow and become the best sport in can be.