Lafayette Christian archers have big season
LAGRANGE – Lafayette Christian School’s archery program has come a long way.
A program that began just five years ago is coming off a phenomenal season that included a first ever appearance in the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) world tournament.
The team competed in the Georgia Independent Christian Athletic Association state competition on March 12, and it then participated in the national tournament in May before heading to the world tournament last month in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Lafayette Christian competed in the high-school division throughout the season, even though more than half of the team members are in middle school or elementary school.
“I am so proud of what they have accomplished for such a young team,” Lafayette Christian coach Kelly VanLaarhoven said. “We have been competing against teams that are all high-school athletes. The ability of the archers to handle the high-pressure moments when on the line to shoot at a world tournament is tremendous and all of the archers did a great job in keeping with our goal which is to do your personal best to glorify God in everything you do and leave the rest up to God.”
One of the team’s top competitors, Sierra Cofield, signed an archery scholarship with Emmanuel College, providing another example of how far the program has come.
Cofield, a senior, said “it’s nice to watch (the program) get bigger, and just watch the kids grow.”
Here are some team highlights as provided by VanLaarhoven:
Sierra Cofield: Ranked 31st among 12th-grade girls in the world; had career-high score of 282 this season; signed archery scholarship with Emmanuel College
Kari VanLaarhoven: Shot 15 percent of all ninth-grade girls in country; had career-high score of 286, which was the highest score on team
Nathan Shelnutt: Seventh-place among ninth-grade boys at NASP state tournament
Taylor Earnhart: Shot career-best 280 at world tournament; ranked 28th among ninth-grade girls in the world
Eli Deavers: 48th among ninth-grade boys in IBO World rankings; 12th in state rankings
Katie Lueken: 17th among ninth-grade girls at NASP state tournament
Danny Yarbrough: First-place in the middle-school boys GICAA state tournament; seventh-place among eight-grade boys at IBO 3D world tournament; fourth-place among eighth-graders at Georgia state tournament
Taylor Dollar – Ninth in Georgia state tournament; 60th among eighth-graders at IBO 3D world tournament
Rebekah VanLaarhoven – First place in middle-school girls GICAA state tournament; shot 20 pecent of all eighth-grader archers in the world
Bethany VanLaarhoven – seventh-ranked archer among sixth-grade girls in state; personal-best score of 268
Ty Kelly – Fifth-ranked archer among eighth-grade boys in state; competed in NASP IBO Georgia 3D
DeJaylyn Battle: Shot 29 percent of all fifth-grade archers in the world; shot his personal-best score at the world tournament
Banneker Johnson – Shot 21 percent of all fifth-grade archers in the world; shot personal-best score at the world tournament
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports