THS athletic director Danny Porter requested the board to add the sport because there has been a lot of interest at the school. Archery is a Mississippi High School Activities Association sanctioned sport, and more than 20 schools in the state currently have programs.
North Pontotoc will also be adding an archery program this year, while Nettleton has interest in starting one.
Schools in the Daily Journal’s coverage area that already have archery programs include East Union, West Union and Lafayette County.
Practice would begin in February and the first meets would be in March. Porter said the team would accept any student who wanted to compete, noting that the school can field multiple teams of 12 to 15 archers.
In competition, a team’s total score will consist of its 12 best individual scores on the day, but at least three of the scores have to belong to the opposite sex. “It’s gotta be a mixed team,” said East Union archery coach Trey Humphreys.
Tupelo already has a couple of volunteers who have agreed to coach the team, Porter said. He said it will cost the school about $2,800 for startup equipment, including 12 bows.
“We will reach a completely different group of athletes that we wouldn’t be able to touch any other way,” Porter said.
Humphreys said during competitions each shooter has to use the same type equipment as everyone else.
“In baseball and softball, you can go out and buy different kinds of bats,” Humphreys said. “You can’t do that here.”
Students must take a two- to four-hour safety course before they can try out for the team.
Contact Chris Kieffer at 678-1590 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Contributing: John Wilbert.