On Target

Archery is coming to NHS next year, and brings the promise of competition between area schools


Archery is coming to Nixa High School as an elective credit next year. Though the class is an elective credit, the curriculum will be similar to physical education. The class is replacing JROTC’s rifle class, but will be available to any student. The class will be able to compete across Southwest Missouri.
“It was initially something that was set up for JROTC as our headquarters sent us our equipment, but we are actually doing this for all the students,” JROTC and future archery instructor Sgt. Robert Hodapp said.
Archery class will cover all the basics from safety procedures to shooting 10-meter targets with compound bows.
“We expect [students] to learn that skill and develop a lot of additional skills from it, like mental toughness,” Hodapp said. “There’s a lot of upper body physical endurance and stamina that will be required in order to be accurate — to be able to shoot properly — but in building those skills students will be able to develop a sense of accomplishment. They’ll be able to have some self confidence in themselves in order to do some things that they normally weren’t able to do.”
Freshman Brycen Osborne is in JROTC now and will be taking the class next year.
“I enjoy archery because it is something I’ve never done before,” Osborne said. “I went into it not knowing what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised by it.”
Sophomore Samantha Cannell will take the class next year. She started learning archery back in June of 2020 from her dad.
“My dad took me to Bass Pro because he was looking for some stuff, and I asked him like, ‘Hey can we go to the archery section?’ and he was like, ‘Sure let’s go,’” Cannell said. “So we went and we talked to a guy there, and he got the bow all set up. All the little gadgets and gizmos on the bow were so fascinating and he was going through all the jargons that came with archery.”
The guidelines and requirements for archery are created and enforced by the Missouri State High School Activities Association.
“This sport is what they call an emerging sport,” Hodapp said. “Which will eventually some day be a full-fledged MSHSAA activity or sport that will follow those same guidelines for competitive purposes.”
MSHSAA has been overseeing archery for more than 10 years and it has never had any reportable safety accident. There are steps students have to follow to make sure everyone is safe.
“When they knock the arrow, when they go to retrieve an arrow, when they pull the arrow back,” Hodapp said. “As long as they follow all of these rules there shouldn’t be any reason why an arrow would accidentally shoot in the wrong direction or come off the bow improperly which may cause someone to get injured from it.”
For the time being, the school has only provided archery in Hodapp’s classroom, so there will only be enough room for five 10-meter targets.
“Once they complete the extra space up in the third floor area, there might be what they call a flex room, and they might provide us an opportunity to use that during our class hour,” Hodapp said. “But that’s going to be a year or so down the road so we’ll make do with what we have now.”
“There is lots of potential for the class, and I’m excited to see where it goes,” Osborne said. “I can see it going far because the JROTC instructors will figure out the best way to teach it.”
Cannell has planned to take archery in college and is optimistic about the class next year.
“I’m looking forward to basic technique, because without basic technique you can’t really do much,” Cannell said. “I’m also looking forward to meeting other kids who have a common interest in archery.”