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Hernandez takes aim, shoots for victory

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(COURTESY/AUBREE HERNANDEZ)

(COURTESY/AUBREE HERNANDEZ)

(COURTESY/AUBREE HERNANDEZ)

VICTORIA BARR

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Roseville High School freshman Aubree Hernandez takes her place on the archery range, arms poised to shoot her next arrow. Within three years, Hernandez rose to the number one rank in the state for Cub Female Compound archery.

“I started archery around three years ago,” Hernandez said. “I was playing competitive soccer for basically my whole life and I needed something to get away from that.”

Hernandez notes the process of achieving state rank took time and dedication, but believes it was well worth accomplishing her goals within the sport. Hernandez was ranked last year and competed in three different tournaments that took approximately one year to complete.

“It’s a long process and it takes all year to get state ranked but it just it felt really good because I was working really hard and that was one of my goals that I accomplished from the beginning of archery, so it just felt great,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez participates in events that include shooting six rounds of six arrows at a distance of 50 meters, 40 meters, and 20 meters.

In Hernandez’s league, there are two different types of tournaments. In one, competitors shoot foam animals with orange centers for a target. Hernandez herself usually participates in the standard archery with the traditional yellow, red, and blue targets. Hernandez reflects that archery has given her an outlet to participate in a much more independent sport, and as a result has brought out a sense of self confidence within her.

“Archery has impacted me a lot. I get really excited when I get to go to these events and I think it’s healthy because it has brought this confidence out of me,whereas with soccer it was a team effort,” Hernandez said. “But with archery it’s all on me so if I perform well it makes me feel good.”

Hernandez plans to continue with archery in the future, and finds the sport to be almost therapeutic.

“It’s kind of relaxing because you get to get away from all your school work and sometimes if you have problems at home you can just go to the range and just your take time,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez credits her father, Len Hernandez, as one of her biggest supporters. Len supports Aubree by traveling to each and every one of her tournaments.

Len was initially surprised to find his daughter wanted to quit soccer, but wanted also to support her in whatever sport she wanted to play. Since the transition Len has supported Aubree through her journey in archery in rooting for her from the sidelines and even helping out with coaching.

“I’m very proud of her for what she has achieved up to this point and I really encourage her to continue to strive and move forward,” Len said. “I hope that she continues to fulfill her dreams within archery.”

Hernandez’s ability to achieve such a high rank took time and dedication, not only on her part, but by her coach as well. Robert Moore has been coaching Hernandez for two years, and is proud of how far she’s come. Moore believes Hernandez’s dedication shows through the amount of time she spends on the range.

“Aubree reaches scoring plateaus on her path to a perfect score, each higher plateau takes twice as much dedication and effort as the last,” Moore said. “If she continues with determination and focus within a solid mental game she could do very well.”

Through her path of archery Hernandez has gained friends outside her area code, one of which she met two years ago at 3D Nationals located in Redding, California. Hannah Mathison, a fellow archer and newfound friend of Hernandez, continues to show her support for Hernandez by staying in touch through social media and phone calls. Hernandez and Mathison’s long distance friendship has only grown stronger through their mutual interest in archery.

“I always make an effort to watch her compete,” Mathison said. “Watching her makes me happy to see how far she’s come and I’m incredibly proud of her.”

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