Taking Aim with Archery; New Club Prepares for State Championships

November 26, 2013

The Zoetics

Photos by The Catalyst Archery Club members meet early mornings to practive their aim.

Photos by The Catalyst
Archery Club members meet early mornings to practive their aim.

IMG_5176

By Charis Mote

It’s early in the morning; there is still frost on the windows of The ASK Academy. Dr. Osmond blows his whistle and a group of eight kids line up, draw their arrows and anchor it to their bow. With so many arrows whizzing through the air, it’s difficult to keep track of whose arrow hit which target.

Every Monday and Tuesday, members of the Archery Club meet in the mesa on the hill below campus at 7:15 a.m. Project Manager David Osmond started the club in October, and thus far, 18 scholars have signed up to learn the  art of archery. “I enjoy it, and I thought scholars at ASK would enjoy it as well. Plus, we need more sports here,” Osmond said. “This is a great way to compete athletically against other schools.”

Archery is a very competitive sport, he said. “But it is low impact, so anyone can participate; no previous experience needed.”

The club is open to all scholars who want to learn the ins and outs of archery. The club is a mix of both high school and middle school students.  Most recently, scholars have been learning about safety and the different parts of the bow and arrow.

Arming students with weapons requires a lot of discipline and awareness, which is why Osmond has a strict set of rules scholars must adhere to. Two whistle blows signal to students that they may retrieve their bows, three is the retrieval of arrows, and one whistle blow is permission to shoot. Scholars are not allowed to cross the line of cones after the whistle has been blown, even if they drop their arrows. Horseplay, such as pointing the arrow at other scholars will result in a referral for assault and an immediate dismissal from the club.

These rules come from the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP), where Osmond was trained and licensed to become an instructor. These rules have kept people safe for years, he said.

Beginning next week, the club will begin training for the 2014 New Mexico State Championship NASP Tournament. It will be held at the Santa Ana Star Center on the weekend of March 8. The cost is $8 per scholar. The ASK Team will move on to the National tournament if they make it past State.  Nationals will be held in Louisville, Kentucky in May.

Freshman Sydney Berzi learned to shoot at a young age, so joining the club was an easy decision. “I like it because you get to shoot and have friendly competitions with your friends,” she said. Despite having previous experience, she is still picking up new shooting techniques. “I learned I was shooting wrong. I was taught that it was two fingers on bottom and one on top because it is easier to pull. But Dr. Osmond told me it was three fingers on bottom.”

Sophomore Ashley Burke said she would like to see the club moved indoors. “We don’t want to risk losing arrows or hitting other people,” she said, and the cold mornings also make it difficult.

As a first-time shooter, Burke is excited to share the experience with her friends and have something to fill her mornings. “I joined because I wanted to experience a different medieval weapon. I did fencing over the summer, and I wanted to try a another long-range weapon,” she said. “I never knew how to shoot before now, and it’s less complicated than it looks.”

Sophomore Shane Coe had some expectations for the club before it began. “I want people to walk away with a good understanding of archery, and know that it’s not just what it looks like in the movies.”

Plenty of people use archery as a form of relaxation, which is one reason Osmond loves the sport so much. “I am able to focus on the target and clear my mind,” he said.

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