PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - "Today (Saturday) is our second Annual UPIKE, Pikeville Regional Warm Up," said Scott Hopkins, Pikeville's Archery coach. "We co-host this with UPIKE so that we can bring kids to the college campus so we aren't always just shooting in our high school gym."
Nearly 450 athletes had their sights set on UPIKE Saturday. Pikeville High School's tournament featured grades 4-12 with teams from four states.
"Getting to shoot with three whole other states is a completely different atmosphere because you have all of these different archery backgrounds and all these different people that you never thought you would see," said Pikeville senior Britney Hopkins.
The athletes also got to practice their skills with UPIKE's archery team.
"As far as I know this is the largest archery tournament that has ever been put on in Eastern Kentucky," said UPIKE Archery head coach Shane Hurt. "So it is a great opportunity for us to show off our facility and show off our archery team."
"It lets them see there are opportunities at the college level for archery. You want to let them continue on when they get out of grade school," said John Way, a coach in attendance for the tournament.
"You can learn a lot from them and they can give you advice on how to improve on your shooting and if you want to get up to their level," said Ruthie Masengale, a freshman archer.
The sport of archery is gaining popularity at all levels thanks tournaments such as UPIKE's. In just the second year, the tournament's attendance nearly doubled.
"Archery is growing greatly," said Hopkins. "Another part of the state it's already there. We just need the other schools who are able to come up and everyone come on board and we can start building schedules and start growing the program as well."