Photo: Alexa Namphy with her new Genesis bow, has been named one of the top 10 Academic Archers in the U.S. by the NASP. – Photo courtesy ADCNR.
Despite the global challenge of virtual classrooms during the Covid 19 virus, an all-time high of 31,961 students were registered in the National Archery in the Schools (NASP) Academic Archer program at the close of the 2019-20 school year.
That’s an astounding number of students recognized for maintaining high academic achievement while participating in the archery program. Since its inception in 2002, NASP has proved to be a strong motivational force for millions of students who have succeeded academically while enjoying the sport of archery.
As the largest of all youth archery programs, more than 14,000 schools and more than 2.4 million students participate in NASP. Students nominated as academic archers by their coaches are from 45 U.S. states, four Canadian provinces and several schools from the British Virgin Islands.
The top 10 Academic Archers are selected by a random computerized drawing from among all registered students by the NASP and Easton Technical Products. Each student named received a new Genesis bow in the color of their choice and custom Easton Academic Archer 1820 arrows.
The 2020 academic achievers selected include Alexa Namphy, Clark-Shaw Magnet School, Alabama; Charlie Knox, Valley High School, Iowa; Lauren Cravens, Centennial High School, Illinois; Haven Hanna, Jennings County High School, Indiana; Josiah Tucker, North Todd Elementary School, Kentucky; Shayla Hicks, St. Joseph Cathedral School, Missouri; Grace Porter, Wren Middle School, South Carolina; Maddox Henderson, Kemp Junior High, Texas; Gavin Doherty, West De Pere Middle School, Wisconsin; and Austin Reed, Buckhannon Upshur High School, West Virginia.
A generous, unnamed sponsor purchased the Mathews bows, and Easton Archery donated the arrows.
“Easton is proud to sponsor a program that is so beneficial in acknowledging the hard work that the NASP students put forth in their education while enjoying the great sport of Archery. Congratulations the 2020 Academic Archers!” said Carri Garrett of Easton Archery.
“We congratulate these academically responsible archers and are grateful to their teachers and coaches who took the time to register their students during the 2019-2020 school and archery season,” said Roy Grimes, NASP president.
2020 On Target for Life Awards winners recognized
The On Target for Life Awards program honors individuals involved with NASP in-school archery and how they positively impact the lives the program’s 1.4 million student archers.
Jamie Tench of Harborside Academy, Kenosha, Wis., won the Bullseye Award as student who made notable positive strides in academic performance and behavior through involvement with the program. The award includes a $500 Scholarship.
Edward Forslof of Washington State NASP, is the Superhero Award winner. The honor recognizes an unpaid volunteer who makes an outstanding positive impact on their NASP program or team. The award includes a $500 equipment grant.
Alyssa Walczak of Harborside Academy, Kenosha, Wis., received the Courage Award, and was recognized as student who has overcome a major life event or disability yet continues to inspire others through participation in NASP. The award includes a $500 Scholarship.
Ballyshannon Middle School, Union, Ky., was recognized with the Community Service Award for outstanding service to a community by a NASP team or class. The award includes a $500 equipment grant.
Jonathan Bukva of Reagan Middle School, Haymarket, Va., garnered the Coach of the Year Award for his proven history of making an overwhelming positive difference in the lives of participating NASP students. The award includes a $500 equipment grant.
Like many other school events across the nation, NASP tournaments and the national competition were cancelled. Nominations for the 2021 Academic Archers and On Target For Life open September 1, 2020.
Since the program began, more than 4 million students at 8,500 schools in 47 states and five countries have participated in the NASP program.
Alexa Namphy, an 8th grader at Clark-Shaw Magnet School in Mobile, Ala., has been a Clark-Shaw archery team member for three years. Advanced 7th grade math instructor and her coach, Keith Mattern, said he “was excited to hear that she was selected for the award. She is the kind of student who always does her best, always seems to have a positive attitude, and is always a good classmate to her peers.”
Her mom, Heidi Hall, was also excited to learn Alexa had been selected. “She told me she won a spot to go to the state tournament this school year. But, after COVID-19, the tournament was canceled. It was refreshing to have some good news.”
Alexa’s mother highly recommends archery to parents interested in getting their children involved with a sport. “It challenges students to concentrate and focus. Since being involved with archery, Alexa’s confidence and ability to focus on tasks has increased. She has also been able to socialize with other students at her school and students from other schools during tournaments.”
Resources: National Archery in the Schools Program, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.