In just its second year of existence, the Mescalero Apache Bowbenders archery team has won a state title.
Mescalero earned its first state team championship of any kind at the National Archery in the Schools state meet at Rio Rancho Feb. 28, placing six kids in the top 10 and earning enough points to travel to Louisville, Ky. for the national competition.
“They’re still talking on the bus about this,” said coach Godfrey Cordova, moments after the team had been awarded the trophy. “I’m allowing them to savor it. It doesn’t happen that often.”
To get to nationals, Mescalero needed to score 3,050 team points, getting that and more to earn the trophy. They also needed at least four female shooters in the top 20.
Five boys – Nelson Kaydahzinne. Desi Cervantes, Alex Kazhe-Kirgan, Brendan Smith, and Dalton Hamilton – placed in the top 10, with Hamilton taking second overall.
Alisa Kanseah also placed in the top 10 for girls.
“They all did well and I’m real pleased,” Cordova said. “I knew we had the possibility of shooting well. I didn’t want them to freeze up at state.”
Now comes the trip to nationals, to be held at the Kentucky Exposition Center May 7-9. It’s not as easy as loading up a bus and driving east.
“Now we’ll have to start fundraising and soliciting to get them to Louisville,” Cordova said. “We just have to talk to the right people, get the school and tribe together to get these kids there.”