The Wm. E. Hay Nockbuster archery team had one of their best seasons this year as they placed third in the Drayton Valley provincials on Wednesday, April 26.
Their highest team score was 3280 out of 3600.
There were many archers who shot their personal best, with Stettler’s Jessa Heatherington scoring a 296 out of 300 to end up the top provincial champion; she now holds the highest Canadian NASP (National Archery in Schools Program) score in tournament play and in July of this year, will be attending the World’s in Orlando, Florida.
“This year at Nationals, we ended up fourth, by just 12 points, out of 35 high school teams,” said Head Coach Tanja Heatherington. “Brooke Glasier was our top shooter here, finishing first for Grade 10 girls.”
According to Heatherington, the archers have consistently continued to shoot well throughout the year while attending tournaments in Castor, Ardrossan, and Smoky Lake.
In Smoky Lake, they also had the added opportunity to shoot against schools from Zimbabwe, South Africa and Missouri via Skype, along with 10 other Alberta schools.
“Our team has grown, and just three years ago our high school program didn’t have enough archers to send a whole team to nationals or provincials, which is commendable,” said Heatherington. “Last year we grew to 17 and this year we expanded to have 29 kids join.”
Heatherington said she looks forward to having more kids join the archery program, so they could potentially enter both the middle school and high school divisions.
“Next year they have announced that Nationals will be in Regina, Saskatchewan towards the end of April and what’s more exciting is that in the summer of 2018, the NASP All-Star competition will be held in Calgary,” Heatherington added.
Teams from Canada, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Australia, UK and the USA are scheduled to attend.
According to Heatherington, NASP is growing, and will be in more than 14 different countries now, and every two years each country can take the top 16 from their schools to compete.
“We have been fortunate enough to have three archers from our local area attend this competition in past years,” Heatherington stated. “In 2015, Tayla Van Oers from Castor, Will Roberts and Jessa Heatherington from Stettler attended in Nashville; and in 2016, Jessa Heatherington attended in South Africa as well, and we are hoping to have more attend when Canada hosts.”