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Sat, Feb. 22

Hitting the bull's-eye at Heritage MS

Archery is a popular sport at Chino Valley’s Heritage Middle School. (Courtesy photo)

Archery is a popular sport at Chino Valley’s Heritage Middle School. (Courtesy photo)

The after school archery program has been a huge hit at Heritage Middle School (HMS). While it was available to fourth- and fifth-graders in the District previously, it has exploded at the fifth- through eighth-grade level! The program is based on the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) officially sponsored by Arizona Game and Fish.

For the past two years, HMS has had more than 70 students attend the information meeting and tryouts. They currently support a fifth/sixth-grade team as well as a seventh/eighth-grade team. The club trains students for target-style archery using compound bows and regulated aluminum arrows. All of the gear is made specifically for the NASP programs and is used at practices nationwide as well as the tournaments. We often have students wanting to bring their own gear, which shows that this sport it a great fit for our community.

The sport of archery helps students hone in on individual discipline, self-control and focus while also promoting team goals - students compete individually as well as a school. We strive to help students improve micro and macro motor abilities such as listening and observation skills, as well as promoting healthy relationships with teammates and coaches.

Archery in the schools can be a year-round program, but as of now, the HMS archery team shares the field with fall and spring sports, making our program a winter sport. Thankfully Arizona weather allows for most practices to be held November through February!

Arizona Game and Fish sets up many tournaments around the state for students to participate in. So far, HMS has only attended fun shoots in the Phoenix area at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility. This spring we are attending the State Tournament, March 19, which, pending a qualifying score, could send students to the National Tournament in Kentucky, the founding state of NASP.

The NASP was developed to collaborate educational and conservational goals. It was an idea to keep kids interested in the outdoors. Since 2001, the program continues to grow across the nation and even internationally!

Teachers, parents and community members are encouraged to be trained as a Basic Archery Instructor (BAI) through the free classes at Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix. Currently the HMS archery team is supported by two head coaches and teachers, Marcia Valenzuela and Randi Diskin. We are grateful for the assistant coaches, Brian James, Hillary Palmer and Javier Valenzuela. The community support and involvement has grown over the years, thank you!

This program is a benefit to the students in Chino Valley. If you are interested in donating your tax credit to this program, please stop by the Heritage Middle School office or mail it to 1076 N Rd 1 West, Chino Valley, 86323.

More information about NASP can be found at

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