The 11-step process through NASP stresses safety, and the students learn the whistle commands for steps such as getting bows and retrieving arrows.
“Dave is very good. He can teach anybody,” said Jessica Custer, who teaches physical education with Flowers and helps with the administrative side of the team.
“The kids we selected for the tournament are very excited. They’re successful at this. It’s confidence-boosting,” Custer said.
Most of the students on the Clear Spring teams are experienced archers, having hunted with bows and arrows or done target practice before.
“I can’t emphasize how much it doesn’t matter age, gender, size or ability. It’s incentive for the kids, too,” Flowers said.
Eighth-grader Catherine Kinman was selected for the team in January and said she has “improved a lot” since then.
“It’s really fun. I like counting my score,” Catherine said.
“I think that boys normally dominate in sports. Archery doesn’t matter about gender. Some of our top shooters are girls,” Catherine said.
Catherine’s father, Matt Kinman, is the physical education teacher at Clear Spring High School. His team of 20 was selected from the 130 students who were taking physical education at the time.
The Clear Spring Middle School teams started tournament practice last week and practice once a week after school. On tournament day, there will be four flights for shooting in the morning.
Archers will shoot three rounds from two distances from the target — 10 meters and 15 meters — with two minutes to shoot five arrows. The highest possible score is 300 points.
“I feel like our teams are going to do pretty good. We have some good archers in our school,” Jared said.