Saturday, April 1st, 2023 Church Directory
Archers galore. The shooting line gets very busy at the Becker Meltdown tournament each March. Archers of all ages compete against one another at the tournament, hosted by Becker Archery, the biggest NASP program in the state of Minnesota. (Submitted photo.)

Bulldog archery program continues solid growth

Five years ago, there were 84 archers in Becker’s brand new National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP). This year, the program boasts 238 archers and has become not only Minnesota’s biggest program, but one of the largest in the nation.

“We are very proud of our participation numbers here in Becker,” program director Scott Brake says.  “Archery doesn’t favor the tall or fast or strong like so many other activities or sports - archery really does level the playing field.”

One of the reasons for the growth is that the program offers a great deal of flexibility. Practices are just 55 minutes long and participants usually choose to practice two nights a week.  Several time slots are offered each night and there is no shortage of coaches for the program, as Becker has an impressive 49 active volunteers, 28 of whom are certified instructors.

The program enters nine tournaments per year, with participants again having the choice of which ones to attend. The season culminates with the state tournament, held in Duluth the last weekend in March.

According to Brake, another unique draw of the program is that it is coeducational.

“Boys and girls participate together,” Brake says. “Archery is one of the very few activities in which boys and girls can truly compete side by side, something that educators know helps with socialization.”

Becker’s program will play host to two events this year, the Becker Meltdown tournament held on Saturday, March 4th, as well as the Regional Three tournament on March 18th.

Bolstering the numbers even more will be an anticipated 44 Jr. Bulldog archers (second and third graders) who start in January. Registration for that program will be open the last week in December.

A new component to this year’s program will be the addition of a more realistic option for archers.

“We are adding 3D target competitions and training to the program this season,” Brake says.

“We are also very fortunate to have so many incredible sponsors who help to make this program one of the best in the nation.”

Sponsors for this year’s program include: Platinum Level - Becker Lions, Clear Lake Lions, Current Accessibility Solutions, Bad Axe, Veit/Vonco. Gold Level: Pioneer Storage and Equipment, Nutrient Ag Solutions.  Silver level:  Angell Construction, Travis Williams State Farm, Wruck Sewer and Portable Rental, Hubbard Electric, Majestic Creations, Sherburne State Bank, Liberty paper, Haller Realty, Archery Country, Santiago Lions, Cornerstone Concrete, Lallak’s Delivery, EMR, Dueling Brews, Coldwell Banker Realty - Melissa Koubsky, Binnacle Consulting, Berger Custom Woodworks, Haus Construction.  Community Sponsors: Ess Brothers and Sons, Country Lumber.