Sports News

Young archer set to compete at NASP Open Tournament in Daytona Beach


Fifth-grader Micayla Strickland from Harvest Community School (HCS) is preparing to showcase her archery skills at the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) Open Tournament on Saturday, June 8th, in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Micayla, along with other members of her school’s archery team, has trained diligently throughout the school year under the guidance of coaches Kristie Anderson and Tina Profit. The archery team at HCS, which started nine years ago with minimal resources, has flourished thanks to the dedication and hard work of the coaches and archers alike.

Coach Anderson founded the team with a strong commitment to fostering a love for the sport, despite the school’s initial lack of resources. Tina Profit joined shortly thereafter, and together, the two coaches have dedicated significant time and effort to support the team’s growth. Their passion has inspired their young archers to strive for excellence, resulting in notable improvements and achievements this season.

Micayla began her archery journey in third grade when she chose to pursue the sport over other extracurricular activities like cheerleading. Although she couldn’t compete until fourth grade, she practiced diligently and has since emerged as one of the school’s top archers. Now in fifth grade, she is set to compete on a national stage, a testament to her dedication and love for the sport.

Her practicing routine has varied, often balancing schoolwork and other commitments. “I’ve been practicing mostly on my own,” Micayla said. “Sometimes I [miss] a practice, but I try to make up for it whenever I can.” Despite her informal practice schedule, her natural talent and commitment have propelled her to great heights in a short time.

The Harvest Community School archery team has participated in various competitions this year, including those featuring both bullseye and 3D targets. Their hard work culminated in a strong performance at the state tournament, where several archers earned spots at the national level. Among these top-performing archers are Micayla Strickland, Lailee Strickland, Thomas Hamilton, Sera McCoon, Christopher Buck, and Blake Profit.

Micayla expressed mixed feelings about the upcoming open competition. “I was really stressed about nationals,” she said, looking back at her win in the US Eastern Tournament in Kentucky. “But whenever I shot, it just felt like a regular tournament. I eased into it after the initial nerves.”

Her parents, Thomas and Tracey Strickland, along with extended family members, will be in Florida to support her. “She’s super happy and super excited,” said her mother, Tracey. “She’s already achieved so much with her seven trophies and several first-place wins throughout the year,” Thomas continued.

Micayla’s accolades include a notable achievement in South Carolina’s Department of Natural Resources 50 Club, where she earned a special coin for hitting five consecutive bullseyes on a turkey target.

The Harvest Community School archery team and their supporters are looking forward to the NASP Open Tournament this weekend, hoping for a strong performance from Micayla. HCS and Clarendon County are wishing her the best of luck as she represents her school and hometown on a national stage.