Archery club brings students together


Brandon Donner

Brandon Castaneda (left) lines up with other ECHS students.

Brandon Donner, Managing Editor

Brandon Castaneda, an Early College High School student, focuses on the target. He nocks the arrow, pulls, inhales and releases watching as his arrow takes its path downrange toward the target. The archery club meets 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Mondays at the Dallas College Brookhaven Campus archery range.

ECHS students do not need equipment or experience to join. Equipment was purchased by Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District. At the archery range, located along the jogging trail north of the tennis courts, students are led by coach Frank Lightfoot and Peggy Busby, who co-sponsor the club.

Archery is known to help participants with focus, patience and understanding the importance of safety, according to the National Field Archery Association USA. Lightfoot said he thinks archery helps those who participate. “The club gives the students a chance to be in an environment where they can belong to a social group and spend some time outdoors,” he said.

Vincent Dinh, an ECHS student, said he talked to Lightfoot about starting an archery club. “I’ve always enjoyed archery as a form of relief and self-discipline,” Dinh said. “The satisfaction of watching the arrow hit its mark is purely amazing. I wanted to spread this feeling to other archers and potential archers.”

Eugene Medlock, an ECHS student, said he was happy to join the club, having done archery before, he enjoys his time with classmates while waiting for his turn to take his shot at the target. “I like to stay after school and have something fun to do, because I don’t do much at home,” Medlock said.

Brookhaven Campus last had an archery class five years ago which was taught by coach Gregorio Hernandez. Since then, archery class has not been offered at the Brookhaven Campus.

Students take to the field after meeting in Room P135. Once on the archery lanes, students get their footing right, nock the arrow, and with their eyes down range, release the arrow hoping to hit the bull’s-eye.

Learning form, technique and safety plays a huge role in the club. Lightfoot wants to make sure everyone knows proper safety when participating in archery. “We follow the safety protocols from the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP),” Lightfoot said. “It includes an 11-step teaching tool on how to have archery success. How to set up the lanes, how to inspect the equipment, where to set up the waiting lane for all archers not shooting and commands to follow when shooting and or waiting their turn.” 

Lightfoot said those participating in the club make sure no one is downrange before releasing the arrow, looking behind when retrieving arrows from the target and having a good time.