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Archery league will feature nine local teams

This archery season in Harlan County is setting up to be the biggest and best in history. The league will now jump from five to nine participating schools. The following is a small overview of each team this year.

Black Mountain

Justin Howard takes over coaching the Tigers as they laid out an impressive season last year, finishing 2nd in the Championship Competition. With a lot of returning archers, like Calan Neely who was top male at one competition, Black Mountain looks to be very competitive.

Cawood

Coach Teddy Stephens has been preparing students at Cawood for a couple years now, but this will be their first year participating in competitions. Cawood looks to have some talent and poised as a veteran team because of their in-school archery component. “We’re making great progress. I know they’re all working hard and very excited to get the season started,” Stephens said.

Cumberland

Cumberland is hustling to join in this archery season under the coaching of Scotty Bailey. Getting started a little late into the planning process, Cumberland looks to be on the road all season but hopes to build a solid foundational year for the program.

Evarts

Coach Heather Galloway takes over at Evarts following a dominating season. Evarts continuously received top team awards in various competitions throughout last season. Galloway hopes the returning shooters can build on the successes of last season.

Green Hills

Coach Andy Howard continues his stint at Green Hills, finishing off an impressive victory at the county championship last season, earning top team honors in the county. Green Hills had the honor of having the overall top male and female last season.

James A. Cawood

Veteran Coach Ben Johnson has high hopes for his group of archers at JACES, coming off a very competitive season last year. Ethan Rhymer, Jarrod Rhymer, Annabelle Williams, Cameron Johnson, David Farley, Landon Smith, Dustin Jones, Tyler Coots and Michael Harris all put up some really good scores last year and should continue to do so. Dalton Burgan and Miranda Burgan will be back for one last year as well. They have shown much improvement over the past few seasons. JACES has picked up some very promising fifth- and sixth-graders in Josh Stewart and Landon Brock.

Rosspoint

Coach Stacey McCreary is on her third year of coaching, stating “I’m excited for the upcoming archery season, and I think it’s great that more schools are able to participate this year.” Rosspoint was the underdog last season, having started two weeks later than the competition. Rosspoint is set to begin on time this season, so the Wildcats could be a threat to the other teams.

Wallins

Coach Greg Edens makes his transfer from Black Mountain to the Devils for this upcoming season. This will be the first season that Wallins will be participating in the county league. “I am glad to help get archery into another school and there appears to be a lot of interest,” Edens said.

Harlan County Christian

Coach Julie Collins has started preparing archers at Harlan County Christian School to start up archery this year. Upon acceptance into the county league, HCCS has planned to host some competitions and assist in the league.

James A. Cawood Elementary will be hosting the season opener invitational and invites all schools to attend on Feb. 22 at 11 a.m.. With the increase in participating schools, Coach Johnson says, “Saturday is the only real option to get every team competing at the same school and on the same day. It would take two nights otherwise.” So that leads to a Saturday of archery to showcase all the talent this upcoming season. Please come out and support this program in Harlan County!

Each school is preparing in its own way, either utilizing their in-school component or already practicing after school. James A. Cawood most recently participated in a National Archery in the Schools Program archery competition in Letcher County. The experience is something few students in Harlan County middle schools have had the opportunity to do. With the number of participating schools and preparations taking place, this season has all the markings to be on target.