Students at OGMS have a new sport available to them – Archery.

“We are extremely proud of our team and their coaches! ” said Derik Landry, OGMS principal.

Oak Glen Middle School Archery 2022-2023With the mentorship and guidance of the Ohio County Archery Coordinator, Rick Thomas, an idea and wish grew into a reality.Coaches, Jennifer Hardy and Robert Conant, approached Ms. Petrovich and the Hancock County School Board of Education in February of 2022 to request support for an archery team for the middle school division through the organization called the National Archery in the School Program, NASP. From the start, we have experienced a positive, energetic response from both Ms. Petrovich and the Hancock County Board of Education.  Along with the creation of the middle school division at Oak Glen Middle School, a high school division at Oak Glen High School has also been added and set to compete next school year 2023-24.And so, the beginning of a rich history of “The Archery Way” begins for the Bears. The NASP organization’s motto is “The Archery Way” which teaches children to compete with honesty and integrity. “As archers, we strive to shoot our best while competing with integrity. Honesty is an expectation, sportsmanship and composure, an obligation. We encourage others and understand our responsibility to self-officiate and protect the field with an overall goal of bringing the archery way into everyday life.” NASP Currently, there are over 700 instructors from over 300 schools trained in the Archery in the Schools Program in the State of West Virginia.There are distinct benefits for students participating in sports, but specifically for archery, those benefits are a little bit different. Archery strengthens student resilience by building character, focus, self-discipline, and confidence.  Students feel empowered because they can actively participate in the sport regardless of their socioeconomic status, physical challenges, or ability level. It cultivates an environment to develop a growth-mindset that is needed to be success in life and career. And lastly, the person has learned to participate in a life-long sport and has only themselves from which they find competition.Participation has been overwhelming at Oak Glen Middle School with over 60 students trying out for the OGMS Archery Team. Over the course of two weeks, students participated in educational and safety range sessions followed by a comprehensive test on range and bow safety. Students who passed the test moved onto the range where they shot the remaining portion of the tryouts and then scored their final flight.  Students who shot the top scores from 1-24 in rank made the team.  Our team currently has 24 active archers. It was a difficult decision, as the potential of all the students was tremendous and very competitive.Our season began at the best archery tournament in the state of West Virginia. The 5th Annual “A Shot in the Park” was held at the Highland’s Sports Complex in Wheeling, WV. This was an impressive tournament with 60 targets on the shooting lines and up to 120 students shooting at the same time, a total of 53 schools competing for the Top Shot Award. In the middle school division, Oak Glen Middle School was ranked 6 out of 7 middle schools. Our top boys score was Bentley Shaw with a score of 257 where he ranked 5th out of 56 among other 6th grade boys and ranked 15 out of 134 middle school boys. Our top girls score was Adysen Brown with a score of 219 where she was ranked 21 out of 37 among 8th grade girls and 57 out of 113 middle school girls. Our second tournament met us with our first win at the Cameron High School Tournament where we placed first in the middle school division. A team consists of our 12 best shooters’ combined scores with a minimum of 4 males or females.  Our middle school girls walked away with a 4th place win for Dezierae Stewart who shot a score of 236. On to Central Valley Groundhog Day Tournament in Beaver County, where our team improved their initial team score by 206 points with a score of 2779 points. Our next competition will be the Marshall County Youth Archery Tournament at John Marshall High School on February 25, 2023. Our team has flight times of 5:00 and 6:00 pm. Archers’ scores will be submitted from this tournament to qualify for state competition that will be held the last Saturday in March on the 25th in Charleston, WV.Our team currently has recognized 17 Academic Archers. The Academic Archer is a national award that recognizes student’s work on the range and in the classroom. Students must maintain a GPA of 3.5 during the current school year and be dedicated on the range to be considered. Academic Archers for the 2022-23 school year are: Bryson Adams, Derrick Bowersox, Emily Bowersox, Asa Brewer, Adysen Brown, Anthony Brown, Keira Carter, Trystan Easton, Jessa Fields, Joshua Maher, Gabe Marchese, Jackson O’Rourke, Adyson Parsons, Zoey Showalter, Dezierae Stewart, Kairi Thornburg, and Shawn Ware.We have received a lot of financial support from both private donations and the following organizations to help with the start-up costs. They include the West Virginia Bowhunters Association, NASP, WVDNR, and Whitetails Unlimited.  Wyndot Bowmen’s Club have opened their doors for families wishing to join and have purchased several NASP style targets for student practices. Families have provided snacks, drinks, and even homemade breakfast biscuits for the team before tournament shoots.  Mr. Conant and I are overwhelmed with the support of the Hancock County Central Office staff and board, administrators, teachers, students and community at large.  It is a tremendous experience for me as a coach and teacher to see our students show excitement and love for the sport and to watch their steady improvement with each flight they shoot. It’s fun to watch the students develop deeper bonds with their teammates and build a community connection with their school. I feel overall, our success this year has been a team and community effort and look for continued success of archery for the Oak Glen Golden Bears.Names on picture: Back row from left to right:Coach Jennifer Hardy, Robbie Wooley, Tristan Easton, Adyson Parsons, Shawn Ware, Derrick Bowersox, Kairi Thornburg, Josh Maher, Coach Mr. Robert ConantMiddle row from left to right:Jackson O’Rourke, Adysen Brown, Keira Carter, Dezierae Stewart, Zach Beaver, Anthony Brown, Gabe Marchese, Jessa FieldsFront row from left to right:Olivia Dawson, Bryson Adams, Bentley Shaw, Asa Brewer, Zoey Showalter, Emily Bowersox, Ethan KalksteinMissing from the picture : Zachery Freeman, Savanah Miller