When it comes to expert marksmanship in archery, the path to success is pretty straightforward.
“Practice,” said Harper Lopiccolo, 9. “I practice the way I put the bow. It’s not just shooting it for fun.”
The fourth-grader joined about 20 other Fritsch Elementary School students Tuesday night in competing in the National Archery in the Schools program’s state tournament. While the tournament will be in Las Vegas on Feb. 6, Fritsch Elementary students joined about 100 others competing virtually. They will send in their score cards to be tallied among the 511 overall participants.
“It takes it a step further than just doing it in class,” said physical education teacher Laura Valley. “I like to give them the opportunity to do something different.”
The students begin learning archery in P.E. class in fourth grade. This is the first year they’ve competed in the tournament, open to students in grades 4-12.
“I think it’s fun to shoot,” said Veronica Burson, 10. “I think it’s very fun that we’re doing it in school.”
And, she said, girls are as welcome in the sport as boys.
“Bows and arrows are no gender thing,” she said.
Students documented their scores, a 10 for a bull’s-eye and down from there.
Cash Farnworth got one bullseye, then a range of hits from six to nine.
“That’s pretty good,” he said. “For me, at least.”
For Chloe Vasquez, 10, archery provides a kind of calm.
“I like how everything is quiet, then you just hear a big bang when it hits the target,” she said.
Emily Marschall-Niswonger, 10, sees more tangible benefits.
“It’s a good experience,” she said. “It’ll help me in the future; maybe I’ll even get scholarships.”