By J. Daniel Rollins
Register-Herald Sports Writer
Coach John Judy liked Shady Spring’s chances in the WVDNR state archery tournament.
The Tigers finished third in the 2012 tournament and had lost several key members of that team. However, Judy was confident his team would be in the mix for a championship in 2013.
Judy hit a bull’s-eye with his prediction.
The Tigers brought home a host of trophies from last weekend’s championships in Charleston, showcasing their dominance over other teams around the state. The elementary and middle school teams each won first place, while the high school team finished third in the overall team competition. It was the second third-place finish in the state competition for the high school Tigers.
Shady also had six students place in the individual competitions.
Luke Jones won first place in the elementary male division. Dakota Cogar and Grayson Payne finished second and third in the middle school male division, while Renee Hicks won first place in the middle school female division.
Dillon Meador, who Judy linked to being one of his most talented archers, won third place in the high school male division and also took home the third place overall trophy.
Shady’s elementary and middle school teams, as well as the individuals who placed first through fifth are now qualified for the NASP Nationals on May 10 and 11 in Louisville, Ken.
While being seemingly unknown as a prep sport in southern West Virginia for much of the last few decades, archery has grown into one of the more popular sports among students in the region. Shady Spring started its program three seasons ago, while Independence followed in its county rival’s footsteps and started a program of its own this season. Independence coach and principal Chris Perkins expects there to be programs at Independence Middle School and at the elementary level in 2014.
— E-mail: jrollins