The Student News Site of East Lansing High School


The Student News Site of East Lansing High School


The Student News Site of East Lansing High School


Shot through the heart

Archers discuss what archery means to them
Photo by Matea Smith
In the moments before the competition archery teammates, Matt Rumsey (10), Jack Draper (11), Owen Snook (11), Emma Roberts (11) and Olivia Simmons(10) come together to discuss the game plan on Feb. 26.

When East Lansing’s archery team was founded seven years ago Lilla Wilkinson (11) was a fourth grader at Marble Elementary School. She was one of the founding members of the archery club because her gym teacher, Casey Bain, was the coach. Wilkinson cites the team’s coach as one of the reasons that she keeps going. 

“She creates a very positive environment, which makes it just really fun and I enjoy the sport itself,” Wilkinson said.

However, the positive coaching staff is not the only thing that fostered Wilkinson’s love for the sport. She believes that competing in archery has helped her grow as a person.

“Dedication to one thing has helped me become more consistent with other things in my life,” Wilkonson said.

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Wilkinson’s teammate, Matt Rumsey (10) has also been doing archery for seven years. At first, he did it for fun, but his love for the sport grew over time. When he got to middle school he decided to start shooting competitively. Ever since then, he has held archery close to him.

“[Archery] is something I really enjoy doing and it’s a great thing I can always push myself to get better and better at it,” Rumsey said.

Because Rumsey started archery as a hobby and not a sport, he had to focus on finding a competitive edge

for himself–not just in archery, but in life in general. Given that archery is about individual performance rather than team success, archers have to find the motivation to succeed within themselves. In light of this, finding that competitive edge is a key aspect of becoming a competitive archer.

“[Archery] is a great thing, I can always push myself to get better and better at it,” Rumsey said. “ It really gives me something of a competitive edge in life.”

Even though archery is an individual sport, Rumsey was inspired to stick with the sport because of the community. Rumsey is not the only one who feels this way. Over the years, he has observed countless people become drawn to the sport by the environment.

“I think our community that we built is definitely a really strong reason for coming back to it,” Rumsey said, “People just start doing it for like a one time thing, and then they get drawn back to it and go back to archery more and more.”

Alex Paddock (11) is one of these individuals. He was inspired to try archery in elementary school when his friends joined and he has been competing ever since. Playing a sport is almost always a catalyst for personal growth, and archery is no exception. It takes mental strength and focus. 

“A lot of it’s a mental game and I do think that can be pretty important,” Paddock said.

Despite the challenges posed by archery, Paddock enjoys the sport, especially due to the environment and social interactions.

“And it’s just another form of social interaction, which definitely makes the sport more fun,” Paddock said.

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About the Contributor
Joseph Powers
Joseph Powers, Staff Writer
Joseph Powers is a member of the Class of 2024 and one of the staff writers for Portrait. This is his second year on staff as a senior. Joseph’s favorite thing about journalism is crossword puzzles, he does the Wall Street Journal every day he remembers to. In what free time he has he spends it thinking of public policy and some other stuff.

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