Bows and arrows up on the Skyline hill


Antonio Franco

Archery students prep for their next target at Skyline College on April 25.

When driving into Skyline, most people tend to look towards the buildings all congregated in the middle of the school. However, next time you drive in, you should instead look in the northeast corner of Skyline’s property. Past a relatively empty parking lot, there stands some hay bales and a storage container.

In that quiet little corner away from almost all the noise that Skyline can muster is where the archery class resides. It is up on a hill where old targets stay waiting, and just behind that lies a field of flowers. A calm and serene environment remains unbothered by the large group standing idly by waiting for their turn to draw their bows. The class itself is run by Christopher Watters, stepping in for instructor Fitzgerald as they recover from surgery.

“This is my first semester teaching archery,” Watters said. “It was an interesting challenge.”

Watters normally teaches basketball and tennis classes, which usually rely on the value of teamwork and cooperation. However, Watters has found that although you are alone when performing the sport of archery, that doesn’t mean you are performing by yourself.

“I’ve been really impressed by, even though it’s an individual scoring sport, the amount of team-
work and camaraderie that comes with pairs or lines or groupings,” Watters said.

Even as we were talking, the class seemed to be at its most relaxed. Conversations took place about getting a better shot at their mark, or just asking each other how they were. Christian Bebing, who is majoring in communications and is in their second semester of archery, expressed how this class was a good stress reliever for him.

“Since this is my last class for the day, it helps me out with all the other stress I have to deal with in my other classes,” Bebing said. “It’s nice to shoot and teach other people how to do archery as well.”

The wind in the air and soft spoken words of fellow students really add a nice touch to the class. Whether to be competitive or just curious about the class itself, everyone seems to be willing to have anyone come and join. Geraldine Alfaro, whose major is undecided, joined the archery class in January along with almost 50 other people wanting to sign up for this class.

“I love the environment,” Alfaro said. “I always wanted to try it out.”

This class presents a go-at-your-own-pace kind of vibe, allowing students to destress, or if they’re feeling a bit more competitive, they can try for a high score. If you are thinking that this course sounds interesting to you but you do not own a bow and/or any arrows, worry not.

“We provide all the equipment,” Watters said. “There is no cost to the student. We are able to supply everything for them, plus the instruction.”

Most sports require you to shoulder some kind of stress or responsibility, but it would seem that archery is the first sport here at Skyline that services the students’ needs. So if you’re looking for some stress relief and want to take a fitness class that isn’t as demanding as other classes, maybe give archery a try. It might just make those stress filled classes a bit more bearable.