Lesa Johnston, DFG Education and Outreach, (916) 322-8933
A Wilton teen is heading to Kentucky to represent California at the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) tournament on May 13. Sixteen-year-old Jacob Campbell, a junior at Wilton Christian School, earned the honor after finishing first in a statewide “virtual” archery tournament.
“I’m really excited about it,” Jacob said. “I’ve been bow hunting since I was five.”
Thirteen-year-old Esther Jones, an eighth grader at Wilton Christian, was the top-scoring female archer in the virtual California National Archery in the Schools Program (CalNASP) tournament. She also qualified to compete in the national tournament, but will not attend. Both Jacob and Esther received new Genesis bows from NASP.
This was the first year CalNASP held a virtual archery tournament, encouraging schools from across the state to participate and introduce students to the sport. The virtual format enabled schools to hold their own competitions and then record their scores online, allowing students from schools in more rural communities to compete with one another and participate in the program.
Jacob, who volunteers as a teacher’s assistant for the archery program at his school, performed at the top of the class, showing the focus and concentration needed to shoot well. As CalNASP’s first-place winner statewide, Jacob has earned the right to further test his mastery of the sport at the National NASP tournament in Louisville, Kentucky.
Wilton Christian School’s CalNASP program is coached by physical education teacher Terry Jones (Esther’s mother), who attended special training through the CalNASP program in order to implement the program at the school. Fifty-five boys and girls from ages 10 to 18 practice during physical education classes supervised by Jones with the assistance of junior and senior students.
Jones said that the popular archery program opened a world of opportunity for many of the students at Wilton Christian. “I even had students who are no longer in PE wanting to participate and try it,” she said. “This gave some of the students who normally aren’t part of the regular team sports like basketball, volleyball, or soccer the chance to compete and learn this skill.”
Other schools producing high-scoring students included Brookhaven Elementary School in Sonoma County, Weimar Hills Middle School in Placer County and Cesar Chavez Elementary School in Monterey County.
NASP started in 2002 in Kentucky with 21 middle schools and the aid of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. Since then it has become a nationwide program, implementing curriculums in more than 9,000 schools across the country and partnering with 47 other state agencies for funding support. California was the 35th state to join NASP and currently has close to 70 schools offering the program in physical education classes. CalNASP is sponsored by the California Department of Fish and Game.
This year’s national contest will be hosted by NASP in partnership with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. It will begin on Friday, May 13, at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville. The event will start at 9 a.m. and will conclude at 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 14.
It will be the largest archery contestever held, surpassing the 6,784 attendees who competed in 2010. The first place boy and girl will each receive a Genesis bow and the first, second and third placing teams from each of the divisions represented will receive team trophies