The Tupelo Public School District school board voted last week to add archery to the extensive list of sanctioned sports at the school. Tupelo Athletic Director Danny Porter recommended the new sport after a survey of the student body revealed a high amount of interest. Cary Simmons, Tim Wigginton and Don Barnes volunteered to coach the team, which will begin practices in February.
Porter answered these questions last week from education reporter Chris Kieffer.
Q: What are the benefits to students from having non-traditional sports like archery and bowling?
A:You get a completely new group of kids who might not otherwise have had the chance to compete and represent the school. Kids who are wheelchair-bound can still compete in archery. It is also a coed sport, which makes it more appealing.
Q: How much interest for archery do you perceive?
A:Just today (Friday), we had 50 kids sign up. I had even more kids who told me that they were interested but did not get a chance to sign up. That doesn’t guarantee that all of them will participate. They still have to meet MHSAA standards for eligibility. But I’m expecting to have 50-plus students participate.
Q: What sports do you see in the future?
A:I think we’ll eventually do almost anything that is offered by the MHSAA. In the last three or four years, we’ve had a lot of phone calls about wrestling. It was really popular in the ’70s and ’80s and then it just dwindled. We’ve always talked about lacrosse. If you’re going to have a sport, you need to have someone to compete against. There have to be other schools in your area that are interested and willing to play.
NEMS Daily Journal