Straight as an arrow

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Staff report

SHALIMAR — Each hit on a target gave off a loud pop, and soon the Meigs Middle School gym sounded like a bag of popcorn bursting as budding archers from eight schools competed Saturday in the Okaloosa County Invitational Archery Tournament.

The day-long NASP (National Archery in Schools Program) event was hosted by Meigs and Shalimar Elementary School.

“We’ve got over 325 archers participating from fourth grade all the way through high school,” said Keith Oliver, Shalimar Elementary’s archery coach. “And what’s so nice about the NASP program is that fourth-graders can stand next to a high-schooler and shoot at the same target (with the same bow, arrows and distances) and be successful.”

Scores can be used to place archers in the state tournament without the need for long travel beforehand. Liza Jackson Prepartory School, which had a sizeable archery team and support group Saturday, will host a tournament the first week in February at the Ron Crawford Recreation Center in Fort Walton Beach.

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