Sports

Archers modify to new apply locations, instances – Pittsburg Morning Solar

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PRATT — Pratt High School Archery team members, like many other high school athletes, have had to adjust, adapt and change expectations this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But enthusiasm for archery has not diminished as head coach Michelle Popovich said more than 30 Greenbacks were participating in the sport this year.

“There are many new students in the club, and some returning archers as well, including Abigail Kendall (a junior), who is our team captain,” Popovich said. “With all this interest, the hard part has been finding time and place to practice.”

In the past, Pratt archery practices happened during lunch in the PHS mezzanine area. However, this year, that space is full of tables with students eating their lunch, due to efforts to socially distance during lunchtime.

When it became apparent that finding practice space was going to be a problem, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism headquarters, located a few miles east of Pratt, stepped forward to allow the archery team to conduct practices there.

“Aaron Austin, the education section chief for KDWPT went out of his way to help us out and we greatly appreciate it,” Popovich said.

Fitting practice times into already packed high school schedules was also a problem this year, so Popovich created two separate time slots for students to work on their bow and arrow targeting skills.

“Some of our students are also involved in other sports and activities, so we have a first practice right after school and then a second practice in the evening after most sports practices have concluded,” Popovich said.

Practices have been held once a week, for an hour, with team members wearing masks when they are not able to socially distance.

Currently, no schools have scheduled any archery tournaments for this fall. But Popovich said her archers continued to show enthusiasm at practice, with hope that tournaments may tentatively begin sometime in 2021.

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