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Champaign’s Michael and Abigail Combs have had an interesting summer — and it’s hardly halfway over! Michael, 14, was a member of the Jefferson Middle School archery team that recently placed 11th at the National Archery in Schools Program World Tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C. (Jefferson won the state title for the fourth year in a row.) Michael and his sister Abigail, 11, were also able to present the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. (You can view a video of the ceremony here.)
See why we think Michael — who will be a freshman at Central High School next month — and Abigail, who will enter sixth grade at Jefferson, are Chambana Kids to Know!
Q: How did you get to present the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier?
Abigail: Our mom (Mary) planned it. She had to do it months ahead of time, in January, because everybody wants to do it.
Michael: It reminds me so much of how patient you have to be with people, and how much it means to serve your country. I just wish those soldiers had been identified so we would know who they are.
Q: When did you start with archery?
Michael: I was 11 and started it in sixth grade. I learned so much. It taught me how to keep my grades up, it gave me a reason to. I just had so many wonderful memories after the season was over each year. I’m going to miss not being on the team next year. But she gets to take my place.
Abigail: I actually started in fifth grade. Not for a team with my school, because we don’t have an archery team, but my dad (Erik) started helping me, and Michael would help me as well. But they were getting me prepped for the archery team.
Q: Why did it appeal to you?
Abigail: The fact that you get to pull a bow and arrow and watch it release is so satisfying. You can’t even imagine how satisfying it can be until you shoot a bow and arrow.
Michael: The idea of archery somehow motivated me to go try it. I just thought it was a really cool thing to do, from all the TV shows like Robin Hood.
Q: How did you do at Worlds?
Michael: It’s pretty nerve-wracking, but I felt good about it.
Abigail: It was my first time in the tournament, so I knew I wasn’t going to shoot the best, but I still tried really hard. I did shoot OK.
Q: Your favorite subject in school?
Michael: Science. I want to help find cures for diseases when I’m older.
Abigail: Animal science. I want to be a vet. I’ve always had a love of animals.
Q: Your favorite musical artist?
Michael: Dizzy Gillespie.
Abigail: Imagine Dragons.
Q: Your favorite movie?
Michael: The new Ghostbusters movie.
Abilgail: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Do you know a Chambana kid who should be featured? If so, it’s easy to nominate him or her! Drop us a note at email@example.com and tell us why.