Ripley High archery team adds to its rich history

Mark Martin
The 2021 Ripley High School archery team recently captured a 14th state championship and finished third in national competition.

Since fielding an archery team at Ripley High School, success has followed.

And nothing has changed.

In his first season at the helm, Roy Bennett led his royal and blue and white squad to a 14th state championship.

And now comes the crowning moment of the 2021 season — a finish of third in the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) Virtual Tournament.

“The kids did real well,” said Bennett, a 1994 graduate of Ripley High School. “They surprised themselves as well as myself.”

While Ripley’s placing of third was impressive, consider the Vikings were just a point away from second and not very far off the mark from being a national champion.

Ripley posted a team score of 3,450. Bullitt, Ky., was just ahead of Bennett’s crew with a total of 3,451.

Harland, Mich., captured the national crown with a team score of 3,459.

The team totals were accumulated from the top 12 scorers at each school.

Leading the way for Ripley was Levi Radabaugh with a score of 296 (out of 300). 

Klay Ranson had a 295, Rayne Thompson finished with a 293, Jordan Kerns and Gracie Jordan turned in scores of 292, Jaiden George scored a 288, Logan Smith was at 287, Jonathan White finished with 286, Hunter Chapman had a 284, Delaney Thomas was at 280, Connor Hamon turned in a 279 and Riley Bennett was at 278.

Bennett, who has worked with both the middle school and high school programs, said this year’s team knew how to deal with adversity.

“The kids just never gave up,” Bennett said. “They could mess up but then turn around and get a 10 on the next one.”

The 2021 Ripley team consisted of 25 members with seven being seniors.

With a state championship and a top three finish at nationals, Bennett said things could not have gone much better in year No. 1 as the head coach.

“Not too shabby,” he said laughing. “We were just nine points out of first place (at nationals) and just one point shy of second.”

It was yet the latest layer to the rich history of archery competition at Ripley High School.