Today’s phys ed made fun

By ANNE KAZMIERCZAK
Register Reporter

Register/Anne Kazmierczak
Junior Kayla Callahan is happily surprised when her arrow hits the target during an archery lesson as part of Iola High School’s Lifetime Wellness class. The class teaches recreational skills that students can take with them when they leave school. The archery lessons took place on the southwest corner of IHS grounds.

In her second-ever try at archery, Iola High School senior Cierra Mock made a bull’s eye. Though she made it look easy, the swoosh of arrows missing targets around her proved otherwise.
“The aiming is hard,” said junior Emily Clark.
“Not smacking your arm with the string is the hardest thing,” countered senior Mercedes Jones.
Indeed, in his instructions to the class, coach Steve Taylor warns the students to watch out for “string slap,” a painful sting that can occur when the string recoils after an arrow has been let fly.
This is Taylor’s first year teaching Lifetime Wellness at IHS, his second year at the school, where he also coaches boys basketball.
Before that, “I was two years at Circle High School and 13 at Hartford High School, a 1A school between Emporia and Burlington,” Taylor said.
Like Mock, most of the students in Lifetime Wellness had never shot an arrow before.
Behind her, cries of “Oh my God, I hit it!” and “I’m getting better at this!” rang out.
The class fulfills a physical education requirement for the high schoolers in a most enjoyable way. Even those whose arrows flew far from the target “seem to be enjoying it,” Taylor said.
“We’re learning a lot of games,” said junior Travail Pulley. “We are training to be ninjas,” he joked.
The mixed-grade class has already played volleyball and speedball, a variant of basketball.
Other activities planned include Frisbee, flag football and bowling. Come spring, Taylor will set up a nine-hole disc golf course, probably on the school’s nearby practice fields.
“We have a set of goals for nine holes,” he said. The holes are really giant hoops that the discs must fly through.
For Lifetime Wellness, Taylor said, “they told me to do things (the students) could do after high school and later in life.”
So he developed a list of physical activities that don’t require age-specific skills. On tap are also lawn golf and floor hockey and team handball when the weather forces activities indoors.
“It’s a semester-long class, but most students sign up for the full year,” Taylor noted.
Sophomore Chris Bolle plans to put his new skills to use, he said.
“I’m hoping when I get older to earn enough money to buy a cross bow,” he said.
So taken is he by his new talents, Bolle added, “If I’d known it was this much fun I would have signed up before.”