It has been quite an impressive season for several local archery teams. In addition to two area co-ed squads winning state titles, another individual went on to add a national championship to his résumé.
The action started back in April at the state tournament in Montgomery sponsored by the National Archery in the Schools program. Coming home with team titles were Alma Bryant High and Saraland Elementary.
With a perfect score of 300 points, leading the way for the Irvington squad were Miles Wilson (291), Shantell Williams (287), Austin Sharlow (285), Kendall Newell (284), Aaron Bentley (284), Aubrie Tharpe (284), Chris Austin (280), David Seaman (279), Alyzea Robertson (279), Connor Herring (277), Joshua McGuffin (277) and Alicia Miller (276).
Saraland claimed the elementary title behind the shooting of Steven Douglas (276), Ashlynn Gunter (272), Landon Flynn (270), Ethan Stringer (268), Zachary Burkett (261), Kailee Clark (253), Jordyn Gaddy (251), Carmen Kelley (251), Niya Finklea (245), Avery Wilkins (242), Trace Allen (240) and Ethan Wilkinson (239).
Next up was the national championship in Louisville, Kentucky. Wilson, a 16-year-old junior, was almost perfect at the event. Out of 6,570 competitors, he took top individual honors with a score of 298.
“I was honestly surprised,” Wilson said of his score. “I focused on my form and everything else fell into place. The score wasn’t on my mind at the time.”
Success is nothing new for Wilson, who earned $2,500 in the scholarship competition at the nationals. A member of Alma Bryant’s team since the fourth grade, he has won four state titles and was the top elementary shooter in the world in 2010. He has been selected for a second time to be on the National Guard All-Star Archery Team.
Roy Richardson, Alma Bryant’s coach and Wilson’s stepfather, said the program thrives because of the dedication of his student archers. Many volunteer as instructors at youth camps, which introduce the sport to future team members.
Alma Bryant finished seventh among 192 teams at the nationals. Also scoring high were Miller (288), who was 27th out of 1,690 high school girls, and Newell (287), who was 98th among 1,954 high school boys. Richardson pointed out that Carson English, a fourth grader at Grand Bay Middle School, shot 279 at the event.
Of 148 teams, Saraland Elementary was 22nd. Leading the way were Flynn (277), who was 47th out of 1,959 boys; Clark (275), who was 34th out of 1,594 girls; and Steven Douglas (272), who was 97th among the boys.
Alma Bryant wrapped up its season July 23-25 at the NASP World Tournament in Nashville, Tennessee. Among 78 teams entered, the Hurricanes took seventh place.
Wilson shot 295, putting him in 9th place among 684 high school boys and 10th overall among 2,633 shooters. Williams followed with a 294 (4th among 609 high school girls, 4th overall of 2,238 shooters), and Seaman had a 289 (38th for boys, 54th overall), while Carrie Bentley recorded a 286 (42nd for girls, 63rd overall).
USA announces ticket prices
Football fans only have to wait one more month until the University of South Alabama (USA) squad kicks off the 2015 season. In preparation for opening day, the Jaguars are now offering single-game tickets to the general public.
USA will play six games at Ladd-Peebles Stadium this season, starting Sept. 5 with Gardner-Webb and ending Dec. 5 with Appalachian State. Seats cost $20 on the sidelines and $10 in the end zones.
The highly anticipated match with North Carolina State on Sept. 26 cost $30 for the sidelines and $20 for the end zones. For the Arkansas State (Tuesday, Oct. 30) and Louisiana-Lafayette (Thursday, Nov. 12) games, the prices are $25 for sidelines and $20 for end zones.
Homecoming is set for Nov. 7, when tickets will be $10 for sidelines and $5 for end zones. The Jaguars are offering a special two-game package for the North Carolina State and Idaho games, with $30 for sideline seats.
Kickoff for the opener will be at 5 p.m., and the game will be available on ESPN3. For ticket information, visit www.usajaguars.com or call 251-461-1USA (1872).
● The Sun Belt Conference (SBC) has released its preseason football roster, and USA placed four players on the unit. On the first team were offensive linemen Chris May and Joseph Scelfo, along with placekicker Aleem Sunanon. Safety Roman Buchanan is on the second-team roster.
A 6-foot-5, 290-pound senior, May was all-SBC in 2013 and on the honorable mention list last season. Scelfo, a 6-foot-1, 295-pound junior, has been picked for the preseason watch list for both the Rimington Trophy and Lombardi Award.
Sunanon, a 5-foot-7, 170-pound junior, led USA in scoring as a sophomore while hitting 15 of 18 field goal attempts. A 6-foot-2, 210-pound junior, Buchanan was third on the team last year with 74 tackles.
● The Sun Belt Conference recently recognized its members for outstanding academic achievement during the 2014-15 school. A record-breaking total of 162 USA student athletes were on either the Commissioner’s List or the Academic Honor Roll.
This was an increase over last year’s previous high of 155. USA ranked sixth in the conference overall, but second with 88 on the Commissioner’s List, which highlights those with a 3.5 or better grade point average. The other 74 Jaguars were on the Academic Honor Roll with GPAs of 3.0 to 3.49.
The effort lines up with USA’s success on the field. The Jaguars won the Vic Bubas Cup in May for being the conference’s best overall program, after winning titles in soccer, men’s cross country, baseball and women’s tennis.
● The Gulf South Conference (GSC) placed seven members of the Spring Hill College women’s golf team on its spring academic honor roll. In only its first season of membership in the GSC, the Lady Badgers had the most student athletes on the roster.
The list included Stephanie Lee, Madison Oates, Rachel Failla, Christine Grzesiak, Lauren Kasuda, Mary-Grace Pollet and Alexandria Ryals.