The Modern Day Robin Hood

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The Modern Day Robin Hood

Emma Padelford

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Five years ago, Aidan French received a Groupon for an archery lesson. Little did he know, this discounted lesson would lead to something huge that would considerably shape his future.

“We call it ‘Groupon the Greatness’…it basically exploded into some huge thing, to where now it’s almost an everyday aspect of what I do,” stated French.

French, a senior here at Mountain Ridge, has become a world ranked archer over the past 5 years. He has competed in many different local, state, regional, and national events within his division. He competes in the Cadet Compound Division against other archers between the ages of 15 and 17. French stated that the Compound Division is based on the style of archery that these high schoolers shoot and the equipment they use.

“It’s definitely been relatively new to me, just being only in it for five years. I feel like I’ve come a super long way from where I started,” said French.

French has won a few state championship titles, as well as the 2018 Grand National Champion title. Back in November, he broke the Cadet Men’s World Record. The original record score was set at 596 points. The score is calculated by the accuracy of 60 fired arrows, each worth 10 points. The last world record holder was able to shoot 56 perfect shots out of the given 60. French however shot a score of 597 at the event, claiming the title of a world record holder.

“So I was able to beat the record by one point, which is pretty exciting,” stated French. “It’s just something that you can definitely put on your resume because there aren’t a lot of people out there that can say that’s something that happened.”

Obtaining all of this success has come with a lot of hard work and dedication. French has a good schedule to help him become a better archer, as well as stay a good student. He tries to plan ahead at school, and tries to finish as much homework he can before he leaves. If he can’t get it completed before then, he finishes it after his training is over. He typically spends his training time at a gym shooting, or working at an archery range either volunteering to help coach youth teams or working on customer’s equipment. He practices shooting for about 2 to 4 hours a day, and shoots a few hundred arrows daily, which he states is a heavy amount of practice for most archers.

“I feel like when you are actually training that often, that’s something that kind of keeps you in the zone, and keeps you on top of your game,” said French.

French states that he got where he is today through lots of practice, interacting with good coaches, building connections, and determination. He is very excited about being a world ranked archer.

“It’s a super big confidence boost,” French states. “I definitely enjoy the sport, and I’ve worked hard, and now it’s showing that it’s going to pay off, and it just motivates you that much more to work that much harder.”

After high school, French will be attending the University of Arizona, and will start to shoot archery professionally. French has gotten a few merit awards from his education and some scholarships from archery. He plans to work at Precision Shooting Equipment, which is a big archery company near the school. This summer, he is hoping to win a spot to compete in a world event.

The World Trials Event will take place in June in Chula Vista, California. French stated that if he could make top 3 in that event, then he would be placed on the team for the world event. The world event takes place later this year in Spain. French feels both nervous and excited for this opportunity, and hopes that his archery career will go very far.