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Marion County High School senior Tanner Barker became the first-ever MCHS student to sign on to compete in archery at the collegiate level when he signed with the University of the Cumberlands Tuesday, November 26 at Marion County High School.

“It feels really good,” Barker said of his signing. “Plus, I think I can help others who don’t play the main sports, like basketball and football, and show them that you don’t have to play one of those main sports to go to college and compete in athletics.”

Barker said he has participated in archery since he was seven years old, but when he reached the high school-level competitions he realized that scholarships were available.

“When I got to the high school age group, that’s really when I opened my eyes to the possibility of getting a scholarship,” he said. “To know that I get to go to college for free for [archery] is absolutely amazing.”

Barker said he chose the University of the Cumberlands both because of the archery program and its academic reputation.

“The campus was absolutely amazing and I got along really well with the team members,” Barker said. “I want to go into elementary education -- they have one of the best education programs in the state.”

In attendance during the signing were Barker’s family members along with University of the Cumberlands head archery coach Kris Strebeck and assistant coach Caleb Kirby.


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