Riverside Archery Team Heads to Nationals in Kentucky – Ellwood City, PA news
Since its inception, the team has grown significantly and even promotes the Jim Kline Memorial Scholarship for any senior Riverside graduate.
“He loved archery, he loved kids learning new things and what better way to keep his memory alive,” Conner said.
Conner is joined by a team of assistant coaches: William Stoops, Shawn Baker, Kirby Double, Brenda Double and Mike Kowalski. All coaches are certified Basic Archery Instructor (BAI).
“We have a strong support system with our coaches, families and school,” Conner said. “We couldn’t do it without all of them.”
The team is sponsored and shoots at the Connoquenessing Valley Bowman Archery Club in Fombell and Talkin’Stick Game Calls in Ellwood City.
Conner said any student considering joining the team shouldn’t be intimidated or afraid to try archery. She said participants use a Genesis bow, which weighs up to 20 pounds and can be adjusted to reduce weight per archer and we provide all the equipment.
“Anyone can shoot a Genesis bow,” she said.
And according to Conner, archery gives students confidence, determination, focus, discipline and pride in themselves.
“Kids love it,” she said. “It gives them acceptance. It’s an individual sport where they can compete and prove themselves while still being a team sport. The program builds the confidence of the kids.
Conner added that the students really enjoy practicing and being part of the team has also improved their grades. It also offers children who are not involved in other sports an outlet and a way to be competitive and accepted.
The archery season begins in September with practices on Mondays and Thursdays from 6-8 p.m. Tournaments begin in February.
Conner said schools across Pennsylvania compete against each other and then compete nationally provided they score high.
Scholarships are given to top scorers and this year 120 random scholarships in the amount of $500 will be given to archers. Katelynn Gallagher has already won a $1,500 NASP scholarship and Nikki Mcdowell has also won a $250 NASP scholarship.
“I hope more schools in the area will learn more about NASP and try to incorporate the program into their school,” Conner said.
For Conner, watching students grow and develop and loving archery is like winning a championship.
“Watching any kid shoot and get a target is the best thing. They’re so excited.