No longer the underdogs
With a little bit of practice and a lot of dedication, anything can be accomplished. Just ask the Greenville Hurricanes Archery team. In just two years this homeschooled underdog has been able to form a high school and middle school team, hone their skills and qualify teams in state, national and world archery tournaments.
After a strong finish at the 2015 National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP®) World Tournament, the teams have been buzzing to start the 2015-2016 season.
The Greenville Homeschool Hurricanes is comprised of teams that make up the athletic program of the Upstate Homeschool Co-op (UHC). The GHSH is available to homeschooled students grades 6-12, and gives them the same athletic opportunities as their public-school counterparts.
Colleen Pusateri, the Hurricanes’ program manager, has been one of the biggest advocates for bringing archery to homeschooled students. “Our kids were looking for a NASP program here in the Greenville, South Carolina area and there was not one available, so we started this program two years ago with the hopes of having enough to formulate teams,” says Pusateri.
Hitting their target
For having started the archery program in 2013, it has seen an explosion of interest and a heaping amount of support from the community. “Most of the kids that joined our program had never picked up a bow before…a small percentage had previous experience,” says Pusateri.
Because the program doesn’t receive any grants or funding from the state, it is up to team members to provide their own equipment and to secure facilities for practices and tournaments. “For the last two years we have been blessed to have full use of the Eastside Worship Center for practices and in-house tournaments.”
The program welcomed more than 96 student-athletes to its roster this season, and hopes to continue to see archery as an upward trend. “Our first night of registration, we had families camped out in the parking lot in hopes of securing a position in our NASP program, with about 120 archers interested,” remarks Pusateri.
Pusateri’s husband, Patrick, is the current head coach, and Jason Bergeron serves as assistant coach. Her oldest son and former Hurricanes archer, Cole, will join the team this season as a BAI-certified assistant coach.
One of the team’s biggest accomplishments was taking out the 9-year running state champion with a first place win at the 2015 SC NASP State Tournament.
Pusateri and her admin, Kristin Shevick, were also instrumental in NASP’s establishment of National Archery Day, a day that will be observed annually on the second Saturday in May. The observance is meant to “celebrate the millions of student archer graduates and current and future participants in its in-school archery program,” according to a statement release by NASP.
For more updates about Hurricanes Archery, find them on Facebook.