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Archers subject at Lions Club

Champion EJHS archery team head speaks to members
In just three years, the Outdoor Education Program has a state championship trophy for team competition to its credit, a first-and second place archer in individual shooting at the state level, and is now ranked 20th in the nation.
Ennis Junior High School’s Outdoor Education Teacher Kyle Brietz visited the Ennis Noon Lions Club Wednesday to talk about the group’s successful season and its plans for the future.
The Outdoor Education Curriculum is a one-semester course that enrolls between 120-125 students, Brietz explained.
“This is something they can enjoy when they are adults,” Brietz said. “It’s a lifetime activity.”
Brietz added he doesn’t use the term sport when talking about the program’s activities, but instead calls it a discipline. Brietz said the students don’t have to be athletic to achieve success in archery. Brietz also said the class provides him and other instructors an opportunity to talk about ethical behavior.
“There are not many chances to talk about right and wrong,” Brietz said. “Archery is the perfect avenue to achieve self esteem.”
A part of the Dallas Safari Club, along with 30 other area schools, the Outdoor Education Program received assistance from the Safari Club with furnishing equipment and providing training and instructor certification.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to the Dallas Safari Club and Dallas Ecological Foundation,” Brietz said.
Since the launch of the program three years ago more than 400 kids have earned outdoor certification and even more have learned the basics of firearm safety.
“It’s not all what you see in the movies,” Brietz said.
The archery students competed in Temple, Texas, at the State Competition. The group won a championship for team competition, Chelsey Raburn won first place in individual shooting and Brooke Watson placed second in individual shooting. In the team competition, the students outscored the other schools by more than 100 points.
At the national level in Louisville, Ky., Brietz said he was very proud of the kids after more than 3,000 students were present for the largest tournament held in the United States and Ennis was ranked 20th in the country.
“Not bad for a three-year-old program,” Brietz said. “They shot toe-to-toe with last year’s national champions.”
Brietz said the format for the national tournament was a bit of a change from what Ennis students were used to.
The students had to move back farther than they had ever done before, which makes their ranking even more impressive.
“The Kentucky kids have been doing that format since first grade,” Brietz said. “Our kids have been doing it for two weeks.”
Regarding the program’s future, Brietz said more awareness means the curriculum would be more meaningful to the community. To get awareness out there Brietz wants to add an Outdoor Education Program at the intermediate school and high school.
“We want to keep these kids involved with an avenue at the high school,” Brietz said.
Brietz also wants to add an advanced course for students to learn such things as crafting rods and making decoys. He is also trying to establish a skeet shooting team at the junior high.
“Our potential is limited only by the vision and courage of those who are heading it up,” Brietz said.
Accompanying Brietz at the Lions Club meeting were four of his competitors.
They were Jarel McDaniel, 13, Victoria Santos, 14, Ashleigh McAnally, 14, and Ricky Otaibi, 13.
The Ennis Noon Lions Club meets Wednesday at noon at the Ennis Country Club.
Matt Cook is a staff writer and the web editor for the Ennis Daily News. He can be reached at matt@ennisdailynews.com

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Posted by on May 22 2008. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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