By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
Saltillo has hit the ground running with its first-year archery program.
The Tigers set an overall state record by shooting a 3,362 en route to the Class 5A/6A championship this week in Jackson at the 2012 Archery in Mississippi Schools State Archery Invitational.
“To say that I’m proud of them would be a dramatic understatement,” said Saltillo coach Mark Davidson. “I could not possibly be more pleased with their performance.”
Saltillo didn’t get its equipment until August but has now qualified for the national tournament in Louisville, Ky. next month.
In Jackson, it finished 322 points better than second place Hancock.
Saltillo entered the event after winning its division title but wasn’t favored in Jackson.
“I was told as soon as we got down there that there had been a high score already turned in,” Davidson said. “I knew my team was capable of surpassing it. When crunch time came, they cowboy’d up.”
Tiffany Goldman (281) and Nate Flinn (293) were the high shooters for Saltillo.
Amory finished second in Class 3A/4A, 28 points back of Columbia’s record 3,327. For the Panthers, junior Callie Humphrey’s 288 was the highest score of the event on the girls side.
Amory coach Shaun Beck said Humphrey nearly didn’t even make this year’s team.
“She didn’t show a whole lot last year. Then about a month-and-a-half ago, she figured it out,” Beck said. “She really helped us out, always pulled us through when we were needing a girls score.”
Amory has finished second in each of its first two seasons and again qualified for the national tournament.
Two-time defending 3A/4A champ North Pontotoc finished third, shooting 3,284.
In Class 1A/2A, Hatley’s 3,124 was good for second place, while Myrtle (3,050), East Union (3,037), Tremont (2,812) and Pine Grove (2,671) rounded out the top six.