Texas School Archery Championship Draws Record 1,600 Kids

Texas School Archery Championship Draws Record 1,600 Kids
(Burnie Kessner, © Texas Parks and Wildlife Department)

Hunger Games movies still a factor, but broader reasons behind archery's soaring growth

AUSTIN, Texas – From 63 schools across Texas, 1,664 students in grades 4-12 will gather March 4-5 at the Bell County Expo Center for the 10th annual Texas-National Archery in the Schools Tournament and Scholarship Championship. That’s up 23 percent from last year’s 51 schools, and college scholarships have doubled to $20,000.

What’s driving the growth?

Clearly, the pop cultural allure of movie star Jennifer Lawrence taking aim in two Hunger Games films has fueled youth interest in archery. Of kids going to the March 4-5 tournament, 704 are girls. But the movie alone can’t explain the program’s mushrooming popularity, say those involved.

“It’s an opportunity for kids who are not necessarily athletes to participate in a sport that is in the Olympics,” says Burnie Kessner, the Pied Piper of Texas youth archery, for the past 8 years Texas Parks and Wildlife Department archery coordinator.


From little schools like Maud ISD near Texarkana, to big ones like Pearland High School outside Houston, to remote places like San Vicente ISD at Big Bend National Park, kids and parents are coming to Belton. But it’s a LOT of big schools from big suburbs around Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and other cities.


“Yeah, most kids saw the Hunger Games, and now they can go to school and do the same thing. But it spreads in lots of other ways. Sometimes kids who did archery in junior high will go to a high school where they don’t have it, and those kids and their parents ask for it. It also spreads through PE (physical education) teachers. In the past 10 years, we’ve had PE teachers who taught archery get promoted to a principal or health and PE coordinator position, and they’ll spread it to an entire school district.”


And there’s money on the table. This year, total college scholarship awards will be double the amount for each of the past 4 years. Since 2011 the total has been $10,000; this year it will be $20,000.

For those competing March 4-5, college scholarships will go to the top five male and top five female high school archers, along with trophies, ribbons, and t-shirts in all categories. First place male and female archers in each division receive Genesis bows, and the high scoring male and female archer will receive a limited edition Genesis bow. Door prize drawings will take place throughout the day.

Only schools that teach TX-NASP archery as part of the in-school curriculum and shoot a qualifying score in the State Qualifying Tournament are qualified to compete in annual March tournament. The qualifying tournament was held last Dec. 2-19, when more than 2150 students from 80 Texas schools participated.


First place teams in each division are automatically qualified to attend the national tournament in Louisville, Kentucky. Additional teams may attend with qualifying team scores, and First-10th place male and female individual winners in each division qualify to attend.

NASP® is a non-profit foundation able to operate only by support from a variety of generous donors including medal-level sponsors; Mathews Archery, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Morrell Targets, The Block, and Rinehart Targets.

Toyota is the primary sponsor of TX-NASP and the program is part of the state’s hunter and bowhunter education efforts, programs that are supported from the sales of archery equipment through "Federal Assistance in Wildlife Restoration" efforts.


Recommended for You

Shooters across the U.S. are using this competition shooting mat. Guns

MidwayUSA Pro Series Shooting Mat

G&F Staff

Shooters across the U.S. are using this competition shooting mat.

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies. Panfish

Find and Fish Bluegill Beds Efficiently

Terry Madewell - May 22, 2019

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

New Spinning Reel for Finesse Fishermen

New Spinning Reel for Finesse Fishermen

As Pure Fishing's Andrew Upshaw explains, reel making giant Abu Garcia has done it again at ICAST 2019 with a new spinning reel geared towards finesse fishermen.

Lure Lock Tackle Cases: No-Spill, No-Scent

Lure Lock Tackle Cases: No-Spill, No-Scent

Glenn Walker talks us through the soy-based technology that makes Lure Lock cases spill-proof and scent-proof. With Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

Mustad

Mustad's Inkvader Octopus Live Jig

From big fish to small, just about any saltwater game fish out there will love the new Mustad Inkvader Octopus Live Jig that Mustad's Russ Whisler shows to OSG's Lynn Burkhead.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Who needs live bait when the big 'gills are so eager to strike these lures? Other Freshwater

5 Great Lures For Bluegills

Stephen D. Carpenteri - March 10, 2011

Who needs live bait when the big 'gills are so eager to strike these lures?

 Catfish tend to be found in shallower water at night, but they are still active during the day; Catfish

Catfish Night & Day: How to Catch 'Em Both Ways

Terry Madewell - April 04, 2018

Catfish tend to be found in shallower water at night, but they are still active during the...

We all have our Catfish

10 Secret Catfish Baits You Didn't Know About

Anietra Hamper - April 02, 2015

We all have our "swear by" bait for catfish. For me, it is chicken liver, live shad or my...

See More Stories

More Stories

Predator hunters living in more open areas are in a unique position to enjoy coyote hunting at its Stories

Guns & Loads for Long-Range Coyote Hunting

Stephen D. Carpenteri - December 13, 2015

Predator hunters living in more open areas are in a unique position to enjoy coyote hunting at...

A rimfire, old standard and new import top our list of favorite rifles for coyote hunting 

All Stories

3 Coyote Guns

Brad Fitzpatrick - September 28, 2017

A rimfire, old standard and new import top our list of favorite rifles for coyote hunting...

From a world-record crappie to the best gear of the year, these hunting and fishing articles were most popular with our readers. Stories

Game & Fish's Top 10 Stories of 2018

G&F Online Staff - December 24, 2018

From a world-record crappie to the best gear of the year, these hunting and fishing articles...

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×