VOLCANO - Two dozen Parkersburg South High School students visited the Red Arrow Archery Range at Mountwood Park Wednesday for a special after-school outing.
The field trip gave high school students the opportunity to shoot on a 3D course.
"I think archery as a school sport is somewhat overlooked in this area," said Jessica Butta, physical education teacher at PSHS. "It's an activity a lot of students can get into. It's competitive, but also an individual sport."
Parkersburg South High School student Ryan Harris, 17, prepares to take a shot at a 3D animal target at Mountwood Park’s Red Arrow Archery Range. (Photo by Natalee Seely)
The Archery in the Schools program is part of the physical education curriculum at PSHS and requires trained and certified instructors. Last year, the PSHS archery team made it to the state tournament.
"The program teaches freestyle shooting with bull's-eye targets, and the program holds regional and state competitions every year," said Butta. "Some of these students are experienced, but many of them don't have much experience with 3D targets. A lot of these guys are first-timers on the 3D course."
This year, the school began a 3D archery club.
"Most of the kids in the archery club have joined the 3D club also," she said. "It takes the sport to another level."
Opened in October 2010, the Red Arrow Archery Range contains 20 Rinehart 3D animal targets, ranging from moose and skunks to deer and turkeys. The course is a short walk from the Stiles Administration Building.
Roger Petit, former host of Eastern Outdoors Television, was instrumental in bringing the course to Mountwood Park.
"The students are used to Olympic-style shooting, with a flat target inside a gymnasium," said Petit. "These are life-sized, animal targets. It's a great opportunity for them."
Petit said he wants to reach out to more schools.
"This is a competitive sport, it's fun, and what better place to practice than in the great outdoors," he said.