The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources sponsors the Archery in the Schools Program for all fourth through 12th graders in West Virginia.
WVAIS is part of the National Archery in the Schools Program, which teaches students "target archery" skills.
Three years ago, Pickens School started the program under the direction of coach John Parsons and has had great success.
Members of the Pickens Archery Team are front row, fron left, Jacob Rice, Haley Parsons, Danny Bond and Chad Tiffner; second row, Shania Cogar, Ceirra Kelley, Clarrysa Kelley, Hannah Parsons and Caroline Chandler; and back row, Dylan Booth, Tyler McCartney, Morgan Rice and Lara Lehmann.
Each year, Pickens has had archers qualify at the state tournament to participate in the National NASP Archery Tournament held in Louisville, Ky.
The 2013-2014 school year has been no exception.
The Pickens Archery Team attended the ninth annual State Archery in the Schools Tournament at the Charleston Civic Center on March 29. All 13 archers, ranging from fourth through 12th grade, were able to shoot at the event due to qualifying as a high school team in the state virtual
Qualifying teams must have 12 to 24 members (with four of the opposite gender) in each division. The divisions are elementary ( fourth and fifth graders), middle school (sixth through eight grade), and high school (ninth through 12th grade).
If a school does not have 12 to 24 archers in a specific division, they are allowed to group students together from each division, but archer must "shoot up" to the highest grade of the archers.
Before this year, Pickens School has had less than 12 archers on the team. But for the 2013-2014 school year, the team had 13 members with four elementary, five middle school and four high school archers.
To qualify for the state tournament, each school in West Virginia must participate in a virtual tournament. During the second annual 2014 WV Virtual Archery Tournament, Pickens School qualified fifth in the state as a high school team and was able to have all 13 members shoot at the state tournament.
As in past years, the Pickens Archery Team qualified at the State Archery Tournament to shoot at the National Tournament to be held May 9-11 at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville.
This year's winners were, Chad Tiffner, placing first in the elementary boys division; Danielle Bond, placing second in the elementary girls division; Haley Parsons, placing 10th in the elementary girls division; Ceirra Kelley, placing eighth in the middle school girls division, and Clarrysa Kelley, placing eighth in the high school girls division.
The Pickens Archery Team will be heading to the National Tournament with their sights set on the World Competition held this year in Madison, Wis., in July.
The team added their thanks to all the archery parents and other supporters.