For Locust Grove senior Matt Monroe, fate stepped in his eighth-grade year when he decided to take archery, which may have altered his life forever.
"In the second semester of my eighth-grade year, they made me drop a class and I had to pick up another one," Archer Matt Monroe said. "The only one available was archery. I wasn't really feeling it when I first started, but then I just love in love."
Tucked away inside the Locust Grove High School old wrestling building on a sweltering summer afternoon, Matt and his head coach Ladney Keener are tinkering away before Matt heads off to Canada to compete in the NASP World All-Star Championships.
"My coach got an email saying that I was being invited to the US All-Star team and then it just went from there," Matt said. "I'm in the room here for maybe 2-3 days a week for a couple hours at a time."
Well on his way of making a mark in the archery world, Matt is one of only 16 teenagers competing with the US All-Star team.
"In Canada, he will be competing for the bull's eye tournament, which is a standard 10-ring bullseye target," Keener said. "He will be shooting around three rounds which is about 90 arrows, They'll rank them and the next day they'll go back and shoot again."
For mom Tammy, watching her town of Locust Grove rally around her son has made her extremely proud of not only where she's from but the man her son has grown into.
"Everybody has pitched in and when they find out about it, they go, 'oh I can bring this or I can bring that' and they all donate," Tammy Monroe said. "The stores have donated. They are all rallying around him.
With the help and support from the community, who hosted a fundraiser dinner in Matt's honor - Matt was able to raise $800 before leaving for Canada on Saturday.
"Anything we do or anything we are involved in, the community is always there as a group to help us and inspire us," Matt said.
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