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COFFEEVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) — It’s the fastest growing sport in the nation. We’re not talking about football. It’s archery.

Teachers believe it’s a way to improve educational performances, kids are finding the sport offers them another chance to succeed.

No matter your size, age or physical ability, archery is allowing students to put their skills to the test.

“Students from all athletic backgrounds can participate. You don’t have to necessarily be the fastest or the strongest athlete to excel in archery,” says Lacey Kuhn.

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks partners with schools to gauge student interest. Junior, Justice Mallett, known for his tackles on the football field, uses his bow and arrow for a different type athletic outlet.

“I have fun. Football and Archery is different in that way because football has its serious moments but archery it’s just a fun thing to do,” says Justice Mallett.

Even though archery is for fun, Justice still has a ritual to get prepared.

“I try to eat candy just because it calms me down I guess. And just control your breathing and don’t sit there for too long but then don’t rush,” says Mallett.

Some students see archery as another sport, while movies, like “The Hunger Games,” brings others up to the line to shoot.

“I’ve always really loved archery like watching movies and stuff with people with bows and arrows and just think it’s so cool and stuff. And then when I heard that Regions was getting archery team I just really wanted to do it so I signed up,” says Destiny Jones.

Eighth grader, Destiny Jones says archery has brought some of her greatest accomplishments.

“I remember when I first got like right on the “X” and I was jumping around. I took a picture of it and I was just like , Oh mommy look what I did. I was really excited,” says Jones.

With 40,000 Mississippi students and rising, archery continues to offer students a fun way to challenge themselves through an often forgot about sport.

Students who win this competition will participate in Nationals in Jackson.

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