Barren County High archery team headed to national competition

The students have practiced most of the school year at least three to four times each week.
Published: May. 8, 2023 at 8:34 PM CDT
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GLASGOW, Ky. (WBKO) – A seasoned group of high school students in Barren County is headed to Louisville later this week to compete in a national archery competition.

The students making up the archery team at Barren County High School practiced aiming and shooting after school on Monday. Some of the students were hitting consecutive bullseye shots and others were close.

The team is set to leave on Thursday for the National Archery in the Schools National Competition. The event will be held in Louisville at the Kentucky Exposition Center with teams east of the Mississippi River competing.

“Nationals is coming Thursday, guys,” said Chris Devore, head coach. “I’m excited for them. Every one of these students has worked really, really hard.”

The students have practiced most of the school year at least three to four times each week.

Sophomore Gracie Devore said the team is more like a family than anything.

“We cut up, we laugh, we get mad at each other sometimes,” she said. “We’re always pushing each other to do our best, but at the end of the day we’re all friends again.”

One member of the team has defied the odds placed against him.

Dylan Black transferred to Barren County from Warren East High School. He started perfecting his archery skills in fourth grade to everyone’s surprise.

Black was born without arms, but his physical challenge proved to be an inspiration for him to try harder rather than settle without having ever done something he always wanted to do.

“I’ve always had the mindset of just because you’re born differently doesn’t mean there is something you can’t do,” he said.

Coaches at Warren East made Black’s wish to pursue archery come true. They first built a structure made of PVC pipe. That later morphed into the current apparatus made of metal.

It employs a pretty straightforward concept: Black places an arrow in the stationed bow, pulls the arrow back with his mouth, and launches it toward a target.

Coach Devore said he hopes to retain Black for the next couple of years as a team member. He added seeing the others perform well and get better make his time as a coach all worthwhile.

“They’re constantly going, ‘Come look what I did!’” Devore said. “I’m excited to see them grow and watch them excel.”