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July 14, 2014

Caudill, Central win world archery titles

RICHMOND — Winning a world title three times in a row may seem like a long shot, but B. Michael Caudill’s archery team took gold again Sunday at the National Archery in the Schools Program’s World Tournament.

The Caudill team outshot 51 other middle school teams from the United States, Canada and South Africa at the tournament in Madison, Wis.

Cole Baker of Caudill had the best score of the tournament’s 206 eighth-grade boys, scoring 292 of a possible 300 points. He hit 23 bull’s eyes, worth 10 points each.

Madison Central won gold in the high school tournament, its first world title, finishing ahead of 43 other schools.

Caudill and Central were among eight Madison County schools, from elementary to high school, to compete.

Team members were chosen based on their performance in earlier competitions.

About 1,500 students in Madison County Schools participate in archery programs, with schools allowed 12 to 24 members on their tournament teams. Each team must include at least four females.

“People don’t realize how big (archery) is in our county,” said Joy Campbell, B. Michael Caudill’s coach, who retired after Sunday’s competition. “We have more students practicing archery than kids on the football and basketball teams.”

Archery has a long season, beginning in October and ending with the world tournament in July. Archery team members are encouraged to do well in school, she said, and must have good grades as well as good attendance and behavior records before they may compete.

“Some of these kids have made a turnaround in their lives like you wouldn’t believe,” Campbell said.

“The beauty of the sport is that it’s more mental than anything,” said Winston Long, Madison Central’s archery coach. “Students with autism or in a wheelchair or kids with anger issues, they can all do archery and focus on something good for them.”

The world tournament trip included some recreational time for the students. The Caudill team spent the weekend at the Kalahari Resort, which has a water park, paid for with funds raised throughout the year. Madison Central’s team enjoyed a visit to the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison.

High scoring individuals from Madison County included:

• Cole Baker of Caudill, 292, 23 tens (bull’s eyes); ranked first of 206 eighth-grade boys

• Nathan Carroll of Caudill, 288; 19 tens; ranked sixth of 206 eighth-grade boys.

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