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Best in the world? West Fork archery team advancing to world championship

The team, which has only been around for two years, will be competing in Pennsylvania in August for a world title.

Posted: May 14, 2021 12:30 AM
Updated: May 14, 2021 6:21 AM

ROCKWELL, Iowa - While football, basketball and baseball are fairly common youth sports, some students are taking up a growing sport - archery.

The West Fork Archery Club officially began last year, with this year's team consists of 56 students ranging from 4th to 12th grades. Fourth-grader Jameson O'Connor became interested upon recommendations from friends, and ended up going to state, which was held at Garner-Hayfield-Ventura High School.

"I was feeling confident. Whenever I go to new places, I shoot good, and it was a whole place - we never shot there."

5th grader James Dannen has been a part of the team since the very beginning, and became interested in part due to his interest in deer hunting, and felt that archery can help him train and practice for it.

"I knew it would be difficult for me to be able to go out for doing the shooting and all the tournaments. After I started shooting for a while, I got used to it."

As someone that's played in other sports, 5th grader Remingtyn Petersen tried out archery. This year, she placed second in nationals, something she didn't expect.

"In-state, I was terrified for some reason. For nationals, I wasn't even that bad for nationals. I was scared for state for some reason."

Though many meets are typically held indoors, the world championship will look different in Pennsylvania in August, as it will be outdoors and only utilizing 3D targets as opposed to using bullseyes.

"I am very excited. It is outside, but I know it's going to be fun."

Coach Aaron Petersen leads the team.

"This is a sport that no matter how old you are, how young you are, if you're disabled mentally or physically, you can still shoot archery. You can do it from when you're a tiny little kid all the way up to 80, 90, 100 years old."

He notes how those that may not have the skill sets initially can master the bow and arrow.

"When she first started, she couldn't get her bow back. We had to turn it all the way down and couldn't hit her target. By the end of the year, she was shooting at state."

Around 15,000 kids on 132 teams shoot at nationals, which were held virtually this year, with West Fork getting 2nd in bullseye. To have this much success in just a short amount of time, Petersen credits the team members for working hard and adjusting accordingly.

"My goal was to get one kid qualified for state. We ended up with 14 kids for state last year, 7 of them medaled at state."

For those that may feel archery is a bit intimidating, Remingtyn is encouraging others to give it a shot.

"During tournaments, don't be scared. Be confident."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 7605
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Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 370583

Reported Deaths: 6041
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58186638
Linn21181339
Scott20287246
Black Hawk16065312
Woodbury15227230
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Story1070848
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Tama211671
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Page194522
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Floyd163042
Cherokee159338
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Hancock150134
Iowa149824
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