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Archery spreads from cadets to Bob Jones’ student population

MADISON – Initially, only Air Force JROTC cadets could enroll in archery at Bob Jones High School. Archery provided an additional extra-curriculum outlet to enjoy.

However, CMSgt. Ellis Q. Clark, Aerospace Science Instructor, received several requests from students who weren’t in AFJROTC to coach an archery club.

“I’ve been providing (archery) to my cadets for several years. I’m the only qualified Basic Archery Instructor or BAI at Bob Jones,” Clark said. Many students advancing from Discovery Middle School had enjoyed archery there and wanted to continue at Bob Jones.

“Many students preferred not to enroll in JROTC; thus, archery somewhat died on the vine for them,” Clark said. As a resolution, Clark organized the Bob Jones Archery Club.

Clark’s decision led to Bob Jones Archery Team, which participated in Alabama State Archery Championship in Montgomery on April 7. “Although the team missed qualifying for the national competition in Louisville, Ky., many team members achieved their personal best scores,” Clark said.

“All of our competitions this season, with the exception of the competition at James Clemens, required travel to (schools at) Buckhorn, Cullman, Guntersville and Montgomery. When the team travels, I double as the team coach and bus driver,” Clark said.

In action, students aim for the target that Morrell manufactures. Target dimensions are 31 inches high, 29 inches across and 14 inches deep with a pattern of concentric circles numbered 1 through 10. “Students do their best to hit the ’10’ circle in the middle from distances of 10 and 15 meters,” Clark said.

As instructor, Clark believes the most important shot is the next shot. “I try to instill with each archer that they should reflect after each shot so that they can make the necessary corrections to get a better shot with each successive arrow,” Clark said. “While some archers take that to heart, a few shoot as quickly as possible and do not achieve the goal they envision.”

Some of Clark’s newer archers performed extremely well at the championship. “I’m always proud of their accomplishments, especially when I know they’ve done their best,” he said.

To qualify for the archery program, students “need the desire to learn, the discipline to be patient as they improve . . . but most of all, they must be coachable. When a student lacks any of these things, they not only affect their effectiveness, they also affect the team,” Clark said.

At Alabama State Archery Championship, Jordan Parker, a freshman, was Bob Jones’ top archer, scoring 282 and ranking third out of 79 girls.

The following Bob Jones archers rated these scores at the championship:

* Zachary Calinsky — Scored 266; ranked 28 of 86 boys; sophomore.

* Eli Newsome — 263, 26 of 78 girls; sophomore.

* Evie Waddell — 263, 24 of 79 girls; freshman.

* Andrew Park — 263, 40 of 86 boys; sophomore.

* Hayden Chance — 260, 26 of 73 boys; freshman.

* Nadda Khezewi — 256, 36 of 78 girls; sophomore.

* Jasmine Zhang — 249, 42 of 78 girls; sophomore.

* Faith Williams — 239, 52 of 78 girls; sophomore.

* David Peterson — 237, 54 of 73 boys; freshman.

* Micah Hendricks — 238, 56 of 73 boys; freshman.

* Brandon Smith — 237, 39 of 48 boys; freshman.

* Joshua Johnson — 235, 40 of 48 boys; freshman.

* Jenna Khewzai — 231, 61 of 78 girls; sophomore.

* Gwendolyn Sexton — 229, 62 of 78 girls; sophomore.

* Pranaav Satheesh — 229, 72 of 86 boys; sophomore.

* Benjamin Rayburn — 222, 69 of 73 boys; freshman.

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