This semi-new club has caught the attention of new and old students at Stacey Middle School. Archery takes place every Monday and Tuesday from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Northwest field. Fellow teacher Mr. Dandridge, along with Coach Mike, has trained Stacey students to shoot with precision.
“I think it’s awesome ‘cause I get to learn about archery and how to have correct form.” said eighth grader, Kevin Doan. Kevin is not the only one that enjoys archery. The students and coaches are often seen cracking jokes and smiling.
Before the students can shoot, they need to prepare by setting up all the equipment such as targets, bow stands, bows and arrows. Once this is done, the coaches and McKenzie Duignan string the bows to get them ready for shooting. Like all sports, the archers must warm up using stretch bands to go over the form and aiming at the target.
After practicing without the bows, the archers and coaches must get into their safety gear, which include armbands that prevent the strings from hitting the archer’s arms. Another piece that keeps the students and coaches safe are finger tabs. Finger tabs make sure that the archer’s fingers don’t get too sore after pulling back the sting of the bow over and over.
Not only is gear needed to keep students safe, but rules are established as well. The students follow various whistles to know when to shoot and when to get arrows. Students and adults watching also must stay a safe distance away when people are ready and aiming at the target.
Then is the time for the students to get their bows and arrows. Each person has a coordinating quiver and bow number. For example, archer Valerie Nguyen has bow and quiver number 14.
When given instructions, the archer’s line up at the targets in their chosen groups.
They first load their arrows and then pursue the form in this order : Set, Set up, Draw, Load, Anchor, Expand.
On occasion, the coaches have something fun planned for the archers to shoot at. Recently, Coach Mike brought in a fake deer and another 3D target to shoot at.
Various teachers had also come down to test their skills at shooting.
Last year, when the club started, the coaches made the targets look like a bingo game or tic-tac-toe. Students shot at fruit on the last day. The coaches also have days for the students to score. They learn to mark their arrows and add up their total score.
All in all, this club, while still fairly new, is sure to stay a little while longer at Stacey.