Cody Gardner holds his fourth place award at the state archery tournament March 16 in Muncie. Standing with him are his parents, Norine and Russell Gardner. â€” Photo contributed
COLUMBIA CITY â€” After Whitkoâ€™s archery team competed at the state level March 16, the team came came back with a Team Spirit Award, as well as having a student, Cody Gardner, place fourth in his division. The tournament was held at the Verizon Center in Muncie.
â€śItâ€™s the second time theyâ€™ve won the Spirit Award for the school in the state, theyâ€™ve got a lot of school spirit with these kids,â€ť said Coach Bill Green.
The state tournament included 24 students from the team, shooting against 16 other middle schools and coming in ninth place. While the archery team generally places in the middle, Green said the competition was tough.
Green said five individual shooters qualified, other than as a team.
â€śI think Codyâ€™s score was probably the highest that a Whitko student has ever scored in the tournament,â€ť said Green.
Green said Codyâ€™s score, a 280, was lower than what he shot days earlier practicing in the gym at the school.
â€śHe shot a 291 just two days earlier,â€ť said Green. â€śThatâ€™s pretty good.â€ť
Codyâ€™s parents, Russell and Norine Gardner, traveled down to the state competition with their son.
â€śThey were really proud,â€ť said Cody. â€śIt was pretty exciting.â€ť
Gardner has been in archery since the sixth grade, steadily shooting better at each tournament. Last year, he shot a 270 in the tournament.
The team has the opportunity to go to nationals, held in Kentucky in May, if they are able to do so.