It was an early morning for our Clemente Archers last weekend at the Illinois State Archery Championship. This season has been rigorous, as the cadets have been competing every weekend since mid-January. This year’s team is very new and has seen highs and lows in their performance as they have been working to establish the right team dynamic. But despite adjusting to a new rhythm, they have remained solid; and though they were a bit nervous, they headed into the championship tournament with optimism. Amidst the excitement of competition, the team was also looking forward to seeing many of the friends they have met from different cities throughout the season. Not only have they competed against many archers this year, they have also developed long-lasting friendships.
Though they exchanged pleasantries with their comrades in competition, our archers arrived at the state fairgrounds focused and prepared and ended the day having scored the highest overall team score of any tournament in which they have competed this season. While the team may not have placed in the top three this year, they accomplished great feats; most notably, qualifying to compete in the National Tournament in Louisville Kentucky in May, and sophomore Nya Cheek-Butler placing as one the top 7 high school female archers in Illinois. With a new motivation to place at the national tournament, the team is refocused and ready to show everyone they are competing for a title.
The archers are setting their sights hard, as a good show at nationals in Kentucky could advance the team to the World Competition for a second consecutive year. Last year, the Clemente archery team competed at Worlds in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Our current archers hope to be traveling to the sunshine state in June, as this year’s World Competition will be held in Orlando, Florida. So when you see a Clemente Archer, wish them good luck and tell them “Listen and apply” and “Go Wildcat Archers!”