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Magoffin’s First World Champ

Photo from hwms archery Boys’ Middle School World Champion in Archery, Luke Montgomery, an eighth-grader from Herald Whitaker Middle School, stands with his coach, Johnnie King. Luke is the first person from Magoffin County Schools to be named “world champion” in any category.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Magoffin County Schools now has a world champion, with Luke Montgomery named the Boys Middle School World Champion in archery on June 8 at Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Magoffin County Schools Archery Coach Johnnie King told the Independent the Herald Whitaker Middle School eighth grader, Luke Montgomery, won his division in the 2024 NASP Championship IBO 3-D Challenge, shooting a 295 (300 is perfect), coming in second place overall to an 11th grader who has been shooting since he was in third grade and has won both Nationals and Worlds in both Division Bullseye and 3D several times. Luke only has only been shooting competitively for two years.

“That gives him something to dig for next year,” King said. “If he shot at nationals the way he did at state and Worlds, he would have won overall this year, but first in the middle school division and second overall is still very impressive.”

King also explained that it takes a lot of skill to place at all at that level, noting that if there are 1,500 archers shooting in a tournament, and someone scores in 150th place, that person is still in the top 10%.

In the Bullseye Division, Luke also scored fourth in the state, third in World (with two boys tying for first and Luke and another boy tying for the next slot).

When asked what it feels like to be the first person from Magoffin County to be a world champion, Luke Montgomery said “it feels good,” noting he only got started in shooting competitively because of club day.

“I had a friend at the middle school and every other Friday we had to go to clubs, and he came back from one of those sessions, telling me I just had to try it, so I did and I was pretty decent at it,” Montgomery said. “I’d never shot competitively, just for hunting, and this is only my second year bow hunting, but I just practiced a bunch and wanted to win and that’s what happened.”
Luke said it’s really difficult competing at that level.

“You have to fight for every point you get, so losing a couple points can hurt big time,” Montgomery said.

While he said he practiced as much as possible before the competition, but he doesn’t really have a routine before pulling back the bow.

“I prayed before every tournament,” Montgomery said. “Then I just go up there and shoot.”

He already has his eyes set on winning the overall World title next year, planning to keep shooting and practicing, watching the slow motion playbacks of his shooting to find where he can improve, but also encouraging any other students to try archery just because it’s fun.
Luke also thanked his coach, Johnnie King, noting “he’s the one that got me here.”

“It is crazy to hear your name called as a world champion,” Montgomery laughed. “My dresser is full, so I’m going to have to get something else to put trophies on!”
While he’s going into his freshman year of high school, he plans to compete for archery scholarship money to go to the Kentucky Welding Institute in Flemingsburg.
Luke is the son of James Lee Montgomery and Lisa Marie Montgomery.

More on Worlds and Archery
“Landon wasn’t no slouch, either,” King said about Landon Collinsworth, a 2024 graduate of Magoffin County High School, who scored sixth place at Worlds. “He scored a 293 in 3D, his highest score, and he’s the #1 high school boy in Kentucky.”

King also noted that while 3D is harder and fewer schools compete in that division since the targets are more expensive, they’ve been very blessed to have donations from UNITE and other sources to help them purchase those targets since that’s where they’re the most competitive.

“In Bullseye, you have to have a team of 12, with at least four of the opposite gender,” King said. “We’re a smaller school and it’s not like the KHSAA where you can have middle schoolers playing on the high school team, but in 3D you only have to have your top six – three and three – so that makes us more competitive. My top six are as good as any team in the world.”

While Magoffin County has only had an archery team for the past six years, King said he believes the COVID-19 pandemic leveled the playing field, with all teams having to build back at the same time, so everyone had the same chance, instead of starting a new program with all other teams around already established. With such a strong middle school boys team this year, he expects the high school team to be solid next year.

“Our boys high school team are back to back region champs and the girls won last year and were runner up this year in Region 11,” King said.

The SI can’t wait to see what these young archers do next year!

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