La Plata, MD – November 25, 2019 – Students gathered earlier this month at Milton M. Somers Middle School aiming to come out on top at the Middle School Archery Tournament. 

“Archery kind of relates to life,” said Deshea Mack, father of Matthew Henson Middle School eighth grader, Emmanuel Mack. “You have a goal and you work toward it. Then you hit it.” Mack also appreciates that archery teaches patience and discipline.

For some students, learning new skills are the side benefit of having a good time with a new activity.

“I thought it would be fun,” Grace Dinnea, a sixth grader at Piccowaxen Middle School, said.

“But it’s harder than it looks,” Piccowaxen sixth grader Megan Holcomb, a teammate of Dinnea, said.

“I almost didn’t think I would go through with it, because it was hard,” Dinnea said. “But I got better.”

Another highlight is helping each other achieve goals. “We get to work as a team,” Holcomb said.

Brett Gerhart was a physical education teacher for 14 years. Now a learning resource teacher at Theodore G. Davis Middle School, he still holds the archery tournament in high regard. “This is my favorite day of the school, and that includes the last day of school.”

Gerhart said archery is a performance-based task that calls for the participate to be consistent. “Every single shot, you have to be 100 percent consistent,” he said. “The student has to focus, has to think through it.”

Henson’s team was the overall winner at the tournament with 1,329 total points. Overall boy and girl winners were chosen at each grade level. They are:

• Christopher Chubbs, sixth grade, Davis, 172 points;
• Devin Embrey, sixth grade, Henson, 150 points;
• Adam Bowling, seventh grade, Piccowaxen Middle School, 133 points;
• Jordyn Oliver, seventh grade, Henson, 146 points;
• William Cornette, eighth grade, Henson, 132 points; and
• Lauren Kelly, eighth grade, Somers, 154 points.

Team winners also were chosen at each grade level. The following teams earned first, second or third place:

Sixth-grade boys:
• Davis, first place, 338 points;
• Somers, second place, 318 points; and
• Henson, third place, 242 points.

Sixth-grade girls: 
• Henson, first place, 279 points;
• Somers, second place, 181 points; and
• Piccowaxen, third place, 164 points.

Seventh-grade boys:
• Piccowaxen, first place, 224 points;
• Henson, second place, 193 points; and
• Mattawoman Middle School, third place, 177 points.

Seventh-grade girls:
• Henson, first place, 253 points;
• Somers, second place, 219 points; and
• Piccowaxen, third place, 182 points.

Eighth-grade boys:
• Henson, first place, 253 points;
• Piccowaxen, second place, 238 points; and
• Davis, third place, 183 points.

Eighth-grade girls:
• Somers, first place, 267 points;
• Piccowaxen, second place, 192 points; and
• Davis, third place, 170 points.