Hitting the bullseye once again

Archery team returns from hiatus


Christy Thomas

Senior Casey Ivanoff aims a bow. At the Texas-NASP Virtual State Competition in 2020, the overall girls’ rank at Hebron was 214 out of 1,453 schools. “My biggest goal is to make it to state this year, especially since it’s my last year on the team,” Ivanoff said.

The archery team will resume this year after being put on hold due to COVID-19. They are set to practice in the fieldhouse this week.  

“We had to pause [archery club] last year because in-person meetings were just not an option,” club sponsor Dakota Moncrief said. “I hope we can change that this year. Within the next week, I hope we can get together, shoot on campus and assess where people are at.” 

Although the club currently has 46 members, they are still accepting new ones. Members can use the bows available at the freshman campus, or they can buy their own through genesisbow.com. To join, interested students must meet Moncrief in room 1645 or sign-up through a Google form. After that, there are few more basic steps.

“You have to pass a safety quiz and  [show Moncrief] that you have the strength to draw a bow without dry firing,” archery club president senior Casey Ivanoff said. “The safety quiz consists of him lecturing us about basic bow safety. He will also give tips on how to draw and shoot it. He then gave us an actual quiz that we have to pass in order to be a member.” 

The archery team last competed in the National Archery in the Schools Program’s (NASP) virtual state tournament, but after that, competitions were put on pause for a year. Ivanoff said he has taken initiative in restarting the club. 

“The one-year gap has caused a lot of problems for us,” Ivanoff said. “As president, I am pretty much building this club back from its roots. I, along with Moncrief, have to figure out meeting times, practice schedules, NASP qualifications and other logistical hurdles. It takes a lot of work, but I truly believe that we will have a great year.”

The archery club traces its roots back to 2018 due to Arbor Creek Middle School (ACMS) outdoor education instructor Dan Mannering. Although he was a teacher at ACMS, he spread his passion to high school through sponsoring Hebron’s team. Once he retired, Moncrief stepped up and took his place. 

“In 2017, the archery team at ACMS took home the state title at the Texas State Scholarship Archery Championship,” Ivanoff said. “Because of that, many of the Arbor Creek students coming to Hebron wanted to continue archery. Mannering had a huge hand in this, and he was our mentor throughout the whole process.” 

For many members, Mannering served as an inspiration. Senior Lucas Wittrup said he hopes that he can get back into the archery range to continue his passion. 

“I joined the archery club at Arbor Creek because of Mannering,” Wittrup said. “He got me into the sport, and I have enjoyed archery ever since. In high school, we started the club in my freshman year, and that was the first year the club ever existed. Then, [COVID-19] happened and we were set back. We are trying to get started again this year, and hopefully, we can make the school proud.”

The archery club plans to have an official team before winter break. From there, they will start with local competitions and they hope to reach the state level. Moncrief said he has high hopes for this year’s team and believes that they will only grow in the coming years. 

“I know that many of our middle schools are currently running amazing archery programs with the help of both coaches and outdoor ed instructors,” Moncrief said. “My goal here at Hebron is to keep that tradition alive by providing a time and place for our archers to continue developing their skill.”