Meigs County's Brandon Lett Reflects National Archery In The Schools Program A Success

Monday, June 4, 2018

Brandon Lett has been a member of the Meigs County Middle School archery team for just one season and yet he’s had great success. Success however, doesn’t always come from winning. Yes, Brandon is a winner. Brandon was the state champion in bullseye at the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) competition in McMinnville this past March. Although he’s very proud of his accomplishments, being part of the archery team and holding the state title are expressions of something more personal.

Brandon, as with many people nearing 14 years old, struggles with focus and can be hotheaded. When he steps to the line with his bow and arrows however, he shows wisdom beyond his years. He’s able to calm himself and live in the moment. “I’m not thinking of the future or past. I draw back slowly and relax my breathing. There’s nothing else but the tip of the arrow and the target,” he said. This calm place is something Brandon has depended upon in a way he didn’t anticipate.

He has always felt shy and bit out of place in social settings. “I always want to make friends with people, but it was hard for me to even walk into a grocery store,” he said. NASP, his coaches and teammates have changed this.  “I’m part of a great team and they’ve become family to me. I’m close to my teammates and many of their parents. I didn’t expect this from NASP”.

Brandon learned just how much his teammates, coaches and the sport meant to him not by winning the state tournament, but through the loss of his father just three weeks before the state competition. Cassandra Lett, Brandon’s mother said, “To see these kids surround and lift my child up is deeply touching. This team is supportive, close and caring. They win as a team and lose as a team.”

Brandon said, “I wanted to win the state competition for my dad.” However his coach Cheryl Roberts said, “I didn’t want to see that pressure on him. His father, family and friends would be proud regardless of his performance in the competition.” Ms. Roberts has been involved with NASP for 14 years. Not only is she a teacher at the middle school, she’s coached many students through the program and recognizes what NASP means in their lives. She said, “Brandon has been through a lot this year, but he’s overcome and been supported by his friends. This program is about more than just bows and arrows.”

NASP and leaders such as Ms. Roberts that oversee the school program recognize the role these programs can play. The Meigs County Middle School program was one of the first 12 pilot schools in Tennessee in 2004. The 14-year old program continues to grow and touch students and Brandon Lett won’t forget his time at the middle school.

Brandon is now practicing for the world competition to be held in Louisville this coming Thursday. His team will be shooting in the 3-D competition. Lett has been practicing with a new custom bow, gifted to him by a teammate’s family, the Skinner family, after his state win. The only time Lett practiced prior to the state tournament was with school equipment on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during school practice.  The gift was presented to him after a practice. “I couldn’t talk; I was so surprised. I have the best friends ever,” Brandon said.

The National Archery in the Schools Program is an in-school program aimed at improving educational performance among students in grades four through twelve. Students learn focus, self-control, discipline, patience and the life lessons required to be successful in the classroom and in life. Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is proud to be a NASP partner. Officials said, "We wish Brandon, his coaches and his team success at the world competition and in life."

Learn more about NASP at tnwilfe.org. 



Pair Of New Boating Regulations Effective July 1

Two new laws concerning recreational boating will become effective July 1 that are hoped to help increase safety on Tennessee waters. As of July 1, a requirement similar to the “Move Over” law on land will go into effect. As written, the new law will require boaters to slow to no wake speed within 100 feet of a law enforcement vessel that is displaying flashing blue lights. ... (click for more)

Location Changed For Green Thumb Garden Club Of Ooltewah June 25 Meeting

The Green Thumb Garden Club of Ooltewah is featuring Roland and Casandra Cansler MD, consulting rosarians and members of the TriState Rose Society and American Rose Society. They will speak on growing beautiful roses.  The meeting will be held Monday, June 25, 7 p.m. at the Morning Pointe Assisted Living of Collegedale, 9450 Leyland Dr. Following the presentation ... (click for more)

Funeral Service For John P. Franklin Will Be Friday; Public Memorial Service Is Thursday Night

Funeral services will be Friday for John P. Franklin, Chattanooga's first elected black official in the post Jim Crow era. Mr. Franklin died Thursday at the age of 96. He will lie in state in the chapel of John P. Franklin Funeral Home from noon until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday,. Public viewing will resume at 11 a.m. on Thursday at Olivet Baptist Church, and a ... (click for more)

Woman, 20, Killed While Trying To Cross Highway 153 Early Sunday Morning

A woman, 20, was killed early Sunday morning while trying to cross Highway 153. The victim was identified as Ansleigh Kaylyn Harrison. At approximately 1:28 a.m. , Chattanooga Police officers responded to a pedestrian struck at 5256 Highway 153. A Toyota Sequoia driven by 31-year-old Asher Powers was traveling north on Highway 153 in the inside lane. The pedestrian ... (click for more)

John Porter Franklin, Sr.: A Community Gem

In 2016, It was   my honor to have been chosen to recognize African American History Month at the February HCDE board meeting.   Throughout my life, I’ve been taught and exposed to African American history both nationally and locally. In reflecting on what to share, I thought about all that was going on in our community and more importantly in our educational community ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What’s 28% Of 2,500?

There is a strong likelihood, this based on new data obtained from the Hamilton County Department of Education, that only 700 of this year’s approximately 2,500 high school graduates can tell you what 28 percent of 2,500 is. The 2018 test scores, used to determine what percentage of students in public schools are “scoring on track,” averaged 28.4 percent in our 32 middle and high ... (click for more)