There’s only one way to describe the Eastside archery program: on target.
In just its second year of competition, the Eastside Middle School archery team will take part in the NASP World Archery Tournament in Madison, Wis. The Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs qualified for the world tournament in July when the team met a minimum score while competing in the national tournament in Louisville last month.
All season, Eastside has been able to excel and outlast its opponents at tournaments. The Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs had standout performances in local tournaments held in Sparta, Dibrell and Mufreesboro before taking the state tournament by storm.
At the state tournament held in Murfreesboro, Eastside was able to perform well enough to advance to the NASP national tournament in Louisville – an event that also saw local students from Warren County Middle School, Dibrell and Hickory Creek attend.
In the national tournament, Eastside arrived knowing its team would have to score over 2,999 points to move on to Madison. With all 24 members of the Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs finding their marks, the team’s top 12 archers combined to score 3,061 points.
Coach Jammie Lowery was with her team every step of the way and saw the group grow together to perform at its peak in Louisville.
“They have grown as a team and as individuals because of their team outlook. They know that without each other, they wouldn’t have gone to state, nationals or qualified for the world tournament,” said Lowery. “At practice, they are quick to help each other and even challenge each other so that they meet and exceed their goals. They are a very respectful group that sincerely wants each of their teammates to succeed.”
Over the year, Eastside has had several archers come out with great individual performances to lift their team to high finishes in competition. Justin Disbro came the closest of any team member in achieving a perfect score (300 points) when he shot 284 at Dibrell to claim the top individual prize. Disbro followed it up with a second place finish in Murfreesboro when he shot 281. Austin Evans was right behind Disbro at Dibrell and took home third place in the White County tournament.
Disbro and Evans have been top performers all year, but coach Lowery is quick to point out how their team focuses on doing well individually in an attempt to strength the team.
“If you have a good day, you will be awarded as an individual as well as being a benefit to your team,” said Lowery. “The students love to pursue their goal, whether it be a number of 10 shots or beating their own personal score.”
Along with guiding her Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs in practice, coach Lowery has also held the team to a high standard in the classroom. The students are taught the 11 steps to archery success and each archer signs a contract stipulating they maintain good grades and good behavior to remain active on the team.
Coach Lowery has seen kids flock to the program in the last two years at Eastside and expects it to keep growing.
“The students now understand what it means to be part of team. This sport has taken off like a wildfire because they’re all on a level playing field. Everybody uses the same equipment,” said Lowery. “This year our team has grown by leaps and bounds. It’s amazing to think of how far these kids will go in this sport knowing this is only their second year being exposed to the sport.”
Before coach Lowery and her team start looking too far in the future, Eastside is trying to raise money to make the Madison trip more manageable. The team is currently selling Krispy Kreme doughnuts and Village car wash coupons for $6 each. Dr Pepper, Tennessee Metal Fabrication, Ben Lomand, Nurse One, Mickey Prater and Lester Evans have pitched in as sponsors.
To buy doughnuts, car wash coupons or sponsor the team, contact coach Lowery at email@example.com or call the school at 686-2392.
Coach Lowery is hopeful her team will bring back some hardware when they represent the community next month.
“I wish them the best at the world tournament. No matter the outcome, I could not be more proud of them and the young ladies and gentlemen that they have become,” said Lowery. “We’d love to bring back a trophy to Bulldog country. We will have these memories forever.”
The middle school team features Disbro, Evans, Gabby McCormick, Sheridan Brock, Autumn Summers, Olivia Snyder, Livia Brewer, Madison Parsley, Kaitlyn Brock, Emily Cripps, Hunter Brock, Briley Bolding, Whitney Caldwell, Kaeden Powers, Dylan Walker, Crystal Wood, Grace Ann Sparks, Gabe Farless, Dillon Hale, Jolene Adams, Dallas Burnett, J.J. Lopez, Hunter Hillis, Jonathan Snider, Brayden Carter, Tyler Fields, Madisin McBride, Neal Kennedy, Adrien Barrett, Tori Whitman, Wyatt Johnson and Dawson Smith.