Cullman City Schools ramping up Archery program

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Cullman City Schools has one of the most successful archery programs in the nation, and officials are working to make sure that doesn’t change.

Longtime Cullman City Schools archery coach Branch Whitlock stepped down from the position this summer, after leading Cullman’s archery team for several years and leading students to consistent success at the state and national level, growing Cullman into one of the top archery programs in the country. Whitlock spent the past two years as coordinator for all the archery programs in the city school system, in addition to coaching archery at East Elementary.

“We appreciate Branch Whitlock and what he has done for archers at East Elementary and our school system, and respect his decision to step down from his archery commitments,” Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff said. “We are committed to archery and fully intend to keep our program thriving and competitive at the county, state and national level.”

Building on the program’s success in recent years, school officials have worked to make archery a higher priority. This year the Cullman City Schools board has increased its investment in support of the archery program, spending more than $15,000 across four roles (including a coordinator and three additional coaches) to grow and sustain the program. That investment is up from just $1,000 and one employee just three years ago. A start-up archery program has also been implemented at West Elementary, joining the already successful, long-running archery team at East Elementary.