CHARLESTON – Seven is indeed a lucky number. There wasn’t much luck involved as Ripley High School notched their seventh (team) State Archery Championship on Friday at the Charleston Civic Center. The Vikes have raised the trophy four straight years putting their seventh overall team trophy in the history books.
In 2006 Nathan Randolph brought home the championship when the competition was an individual event. Nearly 800 shooters from 28 schools participated and over 1300 spectators took in the West Virginia Championship on Saturday that saw the Vikings score a tournament record 3410 points.
The Archery in the Schools Tournament is open to schools that received Division of Natural Resources-sponsored training.
Coaches Tess Gump and Tom Kruk have turned their program into one of the best in the state of West Virginia, regardless of the sport.
“I am so proud of our entire team. Each shooter has worked extremely hard to make our program successful.
We have shot a 3400 (points) in other tournaments but never at States until this year. What an accomplishment! Our next goals are to place first in our conference and place on the podium at Nationals,” said Coach Tess Gump.
For Ripley, in the girls individual division, Jenny Gibbs took first and first overall (292). Three-time State Champion Cayla Goodson (286) brought home second. For the the boys, Nick Rhodes took top honors in the individual (his second straight) and tied Gibbs (292) for top shooting honors in the tournament. Carter Fisher landed a second place recognition (292). Jeffery Sheppard, who has developed into a fine shooter, notched a fifth place honor with a score of (287). Other team qualifying scores included; Corey Hill (286), Matt Caruthers (286), Corey Walters (284), Nick Nettleton (281), Levi Staats (281), Andrea Weese (278) and Sarah Welling (273). “Each week different kids step up. This week it was Jeffery, Sarah, Matt, Corey and Jenny. If we can get everyone to shoot their best who knows what we can do in the nationals, said Coach Tom Kruk.
Look for coverage of the team at nationals in a future edition of JN.