WHY NASP Story Series is a collection of individual success stories from WHY NASP. Check back each week for more success stories from NASP Members!
RYAN SUBROSKI – PENNSYLVANIA
In early 2020, Ryan Subroski, was just your typical 13 year old boy attending 9th grade. This was his and his younger brother, Nathan’s, 3rd year participating in the archery program at his school. Ryan had shot a school record breaking score of 294 on February 14, 2020. This was just eleven days before Ryan had a heart attack due to a bowel perforation on February 25, 2020.
Ryan would spend 5 months in Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. His stay included: 1.5 months in the PICU, 2 months on the main floors and 1.5 months in the rehabilitation unit. After 4 major abdominal surgeries, Ryan had to relearn to do everything, including learning how to walk again.
At the beginning of rehab, they asked Ryan what his goals were, he had two: 1. To be able to continue shooting archery, 2. To be able to get on the floor to play with his baby cousin. Ryan and his therapists worked hard to make this happen.
Not only was Ryan able to come back to archery after his hospital stay, he came out shooting 50’s. Ryan has continued to have multiple shorter hospital stays and medical challenges since 2020. However, Ryan has also continued with shooting archery, working on his BSA Eagle rank, and enjoying time with his family. He even shot another school record breaking score of 296 in 2022.
Ryan’s senior year of high school has been very busy with him attending High School and College simultaneously, earning his Life rank in scouts (one more rank to earn his Eagle rank), and ultimately, becoming the Pennsylvania State Championship as the top male overall with a score of 295. Ryan is living proof that if you have the dedication, motivation, and support from your family, you can overcome anything that is thrown at you and come out the other end a better person.
EMILY HOPKINS – TENNESSEE
Emily began her archery career in 5th grade as a part of the inaugural archery team at her school in Christiana, TN. She first picked up a bow in October 2021. Her fall shoots were hard. She often ended up with double-digit scores and struggled to stay on-target.
In January, 2022 she got her own bow. It was a game changing moment for her. She began to practice daily, welcoming and following through with feedback from those around her. Each week, her scores increased, and the number of misses dropped. She began to medal in the local tournaments. Her confidence was soaring. As the State tournament rolled around, she was on a roll. At State, she shot two perfect rounds in Bullseye and placed third not only in Bullseye but also 3D, which she had no way to practice outside of local tournaments.
Simultaneously, she began to experience greater success in the classroom, receiving numerous awards for academic success as well as being recognized for her character.
When she started 6th grade, she changed schools and teams but has continued to show leadership and determination. This year, she has set a Bullseye PR of 275, and her coaches have complimented her leadership. We are incredibly proud of Emily’s accomplishments both on and off the range!
VINCENT CHANDLER – KENTUCKY
Vincent has always been a social and active boy. Before early 2018, he attended all school dances and was practicing as he entered middle school to join the track team like his older brother. His brother and he were both interested in archery, but it wasn’t offered at their school then.
After complications with shunt malfunctions and seizures, Vincent lost most of the strength in his legs and his balance. He was usually able to walk some with a cane and braces, but dances and track were out. He lost contact with people after school. Then Mr. Allen became a teacher at Pineville Independent and with other wonderful staff offered archery.
Vincent’s arms were still strong. Though he had trouble standing, Mr. Allen and other older students would help him maintain his balance, while Vincent took the shots. He was able to participate!
Archery is a sport that does not require the ability to run or jump, but still helps core strength and focus as well as eye hand coordination. His doctors were very encouraging and agreed it was a good fit. It was wonderful to see him back in contact with friends, making new friends and learning a wonderful skill. He went to a competition before the pandemic but had to pause.
Since that time, he has had more procedures that interfered with his ability to practice, but now he is back. He tells me about practice, which arrows hit and which …hum…don’t. He laughs about the one that shattered. He is more stable and doesn’t need the help everyone was so kind to offer. He is regaining his interest in people and doing things outside and in the community and we are so grateful.
See more stories at WHY NASP
WHAT IS NASP®
NASP® is an activity that doesn’t discriminate based on popularity, athletic skill, gender, size, or academic ability.
It’s a different kind of team sport. It’s open to any student. Its biggest supporters are professional educators. Teams come together around one thing: Archery.
The National Archery in the Schools Program is an in-school program aimed at improving educational performance among students in grades 4th – 12th. And through it, students are learning focus, self-control, discipline, patience, and the life lessons required to be successful in the classroom and in life.