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Waldon 8th grader shoots a hole in one (with an arrow)



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January 29, 2014 - By Meg Peters

Review Staff Writer

Waldon Middle School has their own Robin Hood but he doesn't wear tights.

Displayed in a showcase outside the auxiliary gym, this 'robin hood' is the result of 8thgrader Aaron Fryzel, who shot and wedged an aluminum arrow directly into his previously shot arrow, equivalent to a hole-in-one in golf.

"I was pretty pleased," Fryzel said, his second year as an archer, and first year in the Waldon Archery club.

The bow he used is the official bow for the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP), an Original Genesis Bow, with an adjustable draw weight of 10 to 20 pounds. He was standing 10 meters from the target.

"With an old wooden arrow, it would split the arrow, but with these aluminum ones it wedged right in," said Waldon's biology teacher and certified archery director, Jon Gray who witnessed the feat. "He's a bigger student, so we had his bow cranked up to the highest. You have to be perfect in order to do it."

Fryzel's Easton full-length aluminum arrow hit a pin-sized hole in the nock of the other arrow. The nock connects the arrow to the bow string when shooting.

At 20 pounds of draw weight, the Genesis has the kinetic energy of a 35 pound recurve bow, according to the NASP website.

Fryzel is the second student in Waldon's archery program to score a robin hood.

"It's so special because you have to hit it right on that precise point, or else it bounces off," Fryzel said.

Waldon is the only middle school in the Lake Orion district to host the international NASP after-school archery program. It is part of the district's Lake Orion Dragon Guided After School Programs (GAP), a program that provides substance-free activities for students k-12.

It was implemented seven years ago at Waldon, and Gray said graduating 8th graders were so interested in the program that Lake Orion High School developed one too.

The program first started in Kentucky with the original purpose to improve students' motivation in the classroom, focus and micro/macro motor ability. Wildlife conservation groups also jumped on board with the hopes of inspiring young learners to learn the importance of outdoor skills which could lead to future wildlife conservation.

It was co-created by the Kentucky Departments of Fish and Wildlife Resources, the Kentucky Department of Education, and Mathews Archery in 2001. Because of the "neighbor-state" interest, according to the NASP website, the program became a national program within the first year, and has grown to include other countries as well.

Students from fourth through twelfth grade can participate after school and in competitions around the country.

NASP has 501 c3 non-profit education foundation status.

Last year the program went from 25 to 60 kids within Waldon, and this year about 40 kids attend either Monday or Thursday sessions after school. Gray said it was a great way to involve students in non-typical sports because size, age, and strength do not influence a student's precision.

"It gives us a chance to just have fun with other students from Waldon," said John Kleet, another member of the Waldon's archery club.

All the archers were very excited for Fryzel's robin hood.

"It makes a pretty different sound, and when he hit it right away, he just kind of sheepishly said, 'I ruined an arrow," Gray said. "I said, 'ruined an arrow, that's not the big deal. The big deal is doing this!"

Fryzel will take his two-in-one arrow home at the end of the school year.

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