By John Balch
All three of the South Pike County Rattler Archery teams have qualified for the national competition May 11-13 in Louisville, Ky., and fundraising efforts are now underway for the trip.
The teams qualified for the national shoot by finishing high in the Arkansas National Archery in School Program’s state tournament held March 3-4 in Hot Springs. The elementary team placed fourth at state with a 2,912 score while the middle school team finished eighth at 3,139 and the high school team wrapped up in fifth place with 3,247.
The top four Rattler elementary female archers included: Kyla Collins (263), Alexis Rowe (257), Alyssa Jones (234) and Janie Howell (233).
The top four male elementary archers were Samuel Pettigrew (254), Noah Cox (252), Alex Mitchell (249) and Jacob Fugitt (245).
Rounding out the elementary archers top shooters were Brady Self (239), Jamya Green (232), Meghan Self (229) and Kara Jackson (225).
The top four middle school female archers included: Morgan Bonner (274), Erin Lamb (268), Montana Fugitt (261) and Francis Keys (257).
The top four male middle school archers were Alex Bailey (269), Grady Jones (268), Harley Keys (262) and Dusty Lee (259).
The middle school’s qualifying points were rounded out by Jarod Posey (257), Jackson Manlove (257), Kailee Backus (255) and Noah McGalliard (252).
The top four senior high female archers included: Alyssa Keys (274), Aspen Harris (270), Bethany Bagwell (265) and Raegan Spillers (263).
The top four male senior high archers were Alec Pettigrew (284), Austin Mussett (283), Tyler Tomlinson (281) and Dylan Branch (278).
Rounding out the qualifying points were Samuel Corson (273), Skylar Duke (260), Gage Bailey (259) and Jaleisa Hicks (257).
Kyla Collins finished in eighth place overall among the female top 10 while Morgan Bonner placed 10th overall among the female top 10. The overall Rattler Archery program also received the state tournament’s Spirit Award.
Coach Shelly Pettigrew said the Rattler teams have set a goal to raise approximately $300 for each student who plans to attend the Kentucky shoot. Tentative plans are to take at least 16 archers from each of the three divisions, but Pettigrew said up to 72 kids may make the trip to the national event.
To raise funds, the South Pike County Rattler Archery teams are currently selling chances for a Savage Axis firearm with a Bushnell Banner 3x9x40 scope, which were donated by Diamond Gun and Archery. The person who wins the firearm may order the gun in certain calibers to their specific liking. Calibers available include .223, .22-250. .243, 7mm-08, and .270.
Tickets are one for $5 or six for $25 and the drawing will be held April 21.
Chances are also being sold for a 6‘x10’ utility trailer donated by Diamond City Trailer. Tickets are one for $5 or six for $25 and the drawing will also be April 21.
For more information about the raffles or to make a donation, Shelly Pettigrew at (870) 285-1755, Ronald Pettigrew at (870) 200-0150 or Caprice Keys at (870) 557-1535.