‘A shame:’ Harrison Co. Archery team reacts to federal funding plans

‘A shame:’ Harrison Co. Archery team reacts to federal funding plans
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 10:52 PM EDT
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CYNTHIANA, Ky. (WKYT) - The Biden Administration announced plans recently to cut funding from schools that have hunting and archery programs.

On Thursday, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced legislation to push back against the restraints on these programs. It is called the Educating Responsible Future Hunters Act.

At Harrison County Schools, success has become the standard for their archery teams.

“The middle school here has won three straight state NASP titles,” said head archery coach Jeff Fryman. “We’ve won three straight KHSAA high school girls’ championships in a row and this past year, the boys won too, so we had a sweep.”

But second-year head coach Jeff Fryman says it’s not all about the competition.

“You get kids that have never been in sports, period,” Fryman said.

“It’s a really close community between all the archers and it gives some other kids something to do,” said Sara Fryman, an eighth grader on the archery team.

That community has caught on like wildfire in the school, with Fryman expecting around 165 students on this year’s team (as opposed to 80 when he began coaching six years ago). But new plans at the federal level may douse those flames.

“I just don’t think they are thinking this through, but I think that this is one of those things that may backfire on them as it spreads throughout the country,” said Sen. Paul.

The US Department of Education is set to withhold money for schools with a program like these Thoroughbreds have.

“I just think it would be a shame to get rid of something so special, that could alter a kid’s life.”

Fryman says it alters some students’ lives by helping them to further their education.

“There’s so many scholarships involved, and it doesn’t seem like it’d be a big sport, but it’s huge,” said Madeline Williams, a high school freshman on the team.

While others would simply be sad to see their pastime go.

So Jeff Fryman feels that stepping in to stop the move is common sense.

“This program is not going to hurt anybody,” Fryman said. “The thought of defunding this program to further an agenda in Washington is just nonsense.”