Student story: Archery returns to Freeburg High School

Freeburg High SchoolMarch 4, 2014 

The archery unit for the physical education classes at Freeburg High School have come to a close for the school year, after returning to school for the first time in more than 30 years.

Boys P.E. teacher Drew Gericke has wanted the return of archery for six or seven years.

"I wanted to have an activity that would be appealing to every student as well as a new activity here at the high school," he said. "The decision was to get an activity that is recreational and not team-sport driven."

This was a significant time for Freeburg, as archery was the sport where Freeburg claimed its first state championship. Archery's return was long-anticipated, and this year it started its comeback.

Freeburg High School used the National Archery in the Schools Program as guidelines for implementing the archery unit. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is the partner/coordinator of the National Archery in the Schools Program -- "On Target For Life."

The school used the NASP Genesis Bow, which was easy to shoot for every student. The poundage or weight to pull back a bow was 10-20 pounds, so all students were able to successfully use the bow without a problem.

"The majority of students really enjoyed the activity. Students were nervous that it would be difficult and-or dangerous, but the bows that we purchased are easy to use," said freshmen/sophomore P.E. teacher Heather Scheid.

Archery was first introduced to the girl's P.E. classes in early December and the unit lasted all the way until winter break. The program was then introduced to the boys in early February and lasted for three weeks.

Before being able to shoot, the students had to watch an instructional video on the steps of shooting, and general safety tips. After running through the steps without the bow and arrow, the student were finally able to shoot.

"I loved the anticipation of not knowing whether it was going to hit the center or just outside," sophomore Megan Busch said.

Junior Kathleen Malone said, "I wish the high school would bring this program back into the school as a sport as well as a P.E. unit. I see the banner from when the team won state and it makes me want to be up there, too."

With archery being back into the P.E. program at Freeburg High School, students are learning patience and concentration These qualities are going to help them in the P.E. classroom as well as in life in general. The staff and students have high hopes this program is here to stay for a long time.

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