Aiming toward a brighter future

Summer 2011 Red Cloud Country

Middle school students at Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School in Porcupine spend every school day aiming high toward a bright future. Now, they’re also aiming arrows toward a bull’s-eye thanks to a new after-school program started by Wilbur Ferguson, athletic director. Ferguson says the students—and even some of their parents—have taken a real interest in archery, respecting the equipment and listening to and following the safety guidelines necessary for such a sport. And beyond the leadership lessons learned, the students are actually winning a number of archery tournaments, he says.

“Parents started entering their children into archery contests around the region, and not only were they winning the competitions, they were having a great time no matter what the results,” says Ferguson.

After appearances at the Lakota Nation Invitational and a number of regional competitions last winter, eight students competed in the South Dakota State Archery Tournament this spring. Students brought home third and fifth place team trophies, and seventh grader Justin Mesteth ‘16 won the seventh and eighth grade individual championship, earning him a spot at the National Archery Tournament in Yankton, South Dakota.

“The kids really love it,” says Ferguson. “For me, it’s not about winning. It’s about seeing the kids smiling, glowing and exchanging high-fives as they shoot.”