Students head to nationals for the first time after bus fire

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Some archery students from Flower Mound Elementary School and MacArthur High School in Lawton are headed to nationals for the first time this week. This is the second time for some of the students to qualify but never got to compete the first time because of a disaster on the road.

Four years ago, when students from Flower Mound were headed to nationals, the bus they were riding caught fire near Tulsa. The students made it off the bus safely but never made it to the competition and all their equipment burned.

Kenzie Weber is headed to nationals with MacArthur after riding the bus when the flames broke out four years ago.

"I remember him yelling, we're on fire, we need to get off the bus and then after that, it's kinda a big blur. I mean, I don't really remember what all happened, but I remember seeing the bus go up in flames," Weber said.

MacArthur's archery coach who's also the assistant coach for Flower Mound said some of her students at MacArthur who are headed to nationals this week are nervous about the bus ride.

"What we tell them is there's a reason that things happen, and we've got to look fear in the face and try again, and if fear holds you back, you're not going to be able to accomplish anything in life," Mull said.

She said they've reassured students that it was just a one-time thing. This is the first time Tyler Stilwell and Weber will make the bus ride to nationals following the fire. Stilwell said that it's not on his mind.

"It was just an obstacle that we had to overcome," Stilwell said.

Flower Mound student Katelyn Mull is on the first team headed to nationals after the incident and hopes they have no problems.

"It's just so awesome that this year there's probably not going to be a fire, Katelyn said. "Probably."

The team leaves on Wednesday and will compete on Thursday. They'll be traveling to Kentucky together.

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