PETERSTOWN (WVDN) – Representing your country in anything is a privilege and an honor.
For former James Monroe graduate and current Concord student Sydney Phipps, that honor will be a reality very soon as she has been chosen for Team USA.
Phipps shoots archery and is obviously one of the best in the nation at doing so.
She began shooting when she was nine years old and began competing in the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) in fifth grade at Peterstown Middle School. After that, she stopped shooting in the NASP in her sophomore year of high school so she could focus on a higher level of competitive bare-bow archery.
She won her first International Bowhunting Organization (IBO) championship as a seventh grader and is now a 9-time IBO world champion, a 2-time IBO shooter of the year and a 2-time IBO national triple crown champion.
Even with all the accolades and all the skill, Phipps remains humble and thankful for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“It’s a very humbling experience being able to represent the United States as well as West Virginia. I will be representing the United States 3-D archery team at the 3-D archery world championships in Terni, Italy. The competition takes place Sept. 4-10,” Phipps said.
Although she may seem to have mastered the sport, Phipps understands that being the best at archery takes time and focus
“Archery is a discipline. Each shooting session presents an opportunity to learn more about it. There is always more to learn,” she said.
Phipps majors in molecular biology so finding a good balance of school and shooting can be trying at times, but since the beginning of it all, she finally thinks she has it figured out.
“In the beginning, balancing classes and archery was difficult. It took time for me to adapt to a schedule where I could accomplish all of my requirements for both. The hardest part about balancing archery and being a full-time student has been finding time to shoot when I have classes that run very late in the day. It took time to adapt to that new schedule,” Phipps explained.
It could be easy for the Concord junior to take all the credit for everything she has accomplished, but in reality, that is the absolute last thing she does and instead credits her family for it all.
“My parents are my biggest influences. They have given up many things over the years to be able to travel with me to shoots or support me financially. Without them I would not be where I am today,” she concluded.
Monroe, Greenbrier and other surrounding counties in the state will be paying close attention in early September to see how one of their very own does on a national stage.
The team consists of 24 archers from around the country.