It's been hard to ignore the rising number of Minnesota high schools participating in trap shooting, but did you know archery is another outdoor sport finding its mark?
According to the Star Tribune, the first state tournament had 57 participants. This year's tournament, the 11th annually, was greater than 20 times that size with 1,313 archers (grades four through 12).
In 2016, the state tournament will relocate from Champlin Park High School to Bemidji State University to better accommodate aspiring Robin Hoods.
According to Minnesota's Archery in the Schools Program, which functions with support from the Department of Natural Resources, more than 300 schools across the state participate in archery through in-school or after-school programs. And there are more than 200,000 teacher-reported students participating in Minnesota archery programs, the DNR says.
In comparison, there were 268 trap shooting teams this year with more than 8,600 participants. According to the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League, trap shooting is the fastest growing high school sport in Minnesota.
A benefit to archery is that being great at it doesn't require physical attributes that are usually necessary to star in the mainstream sports like football, basketball, baseball and hockey. And the playing field is balanced because all students, from elementary to high school, use the same one-size-fits-all bow.
Genesis Archery says its "Genesis Original" bow is the official bow of the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) and is used by more than 2 million students and 13,000 schools nationwide.