Sports

Dunn hits home run with Hometown Hero award

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Playing ball at Carter Park is a rite of passage for many Bowling Green children. It’s where they learn to run for first base, not third after hitting the ball. It’s where their families fill the bleachers to root them on. It’s where they grab a handful of gummy worms and a slush after hot nights on the field. So Modern Woodmen recently honored the man who has devoted 41 years to the BG Youth Baseball program as a “Hometown Hero.” Tim Dunn was recognized at the Carter Park diamonds last month, and the fans seemed to appreciate the honor, since Modern Woodmen paid for hot dogs and drinks for anyone interested. “About 400 people took them up on it,” Dunn said. Many of the young ball players may be unfamiliar with Dunn and this enduring role with the youth baseball program. He started in 1976 by taking care of the grounds as a kid. He went on to umpire in high school, became Pee Wee League commissioner, then president of the BG Youth Baseball and BG Pee Wee League. Dunn has held that position since 1982. He coached teams for years, but now focuses on more administrative items like the scoreboards, sponsorship contracts, and organizing eight tournaments a year. Dunn still enjoys watching games from the stands, but now he usually has a pen and pad, so he can take notes on issues that need fixed. He knows a lot of people are counting on him and the program. This year there are nearly 400 children in the youth baseball program. Some years, the number reaches 500. It is a summertime staple for many Bowling Green kids, ages 4 to 15. Dunn knows it’s programs like this that start lifetime loves of the sport. He watches as kids start pretty raw in April and polish some skills by July. “They learn putting the gloves on their right hand, while they are digging in the grass,” he said. “The light really does come on over time.” Then there’s the lifelong lesson about sportsmanship. “They are one piece of the puzzle to make the team go.” The ballpark not only brings joy to kids, but also to their families who pack the bleachers. “You see friends and families,” Dunn said. “A lot of lifelong friendships occur out there. A lot of people tell…


BG Schools hears good financial news, hires new athletic director

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The Bowling Green Board of Education was rich with good news Tuesday evening. The board members learned the district’s finances have taken a turn for the better. They voted to hire the varsity football coach as the athletic director. And they handed out awards for everything from art and math to clean kitchens. Adam Dirk Conner, high school math teacher and varsity football coach, was hired as the athletic director with a salary of $72,500. Conner said after the meeting that he plans to continue coaching football.  His goals as athletic director include supporting the coaches and athletes, plus work toward improving the athletic facilities. Conner said he also supports drug testing of athletes, which the board has discussed. “I’m all in favor of it,” he said. District Treasurer Rhonda Melchi presented the district’s five-year forecast – with some good news. “We’re more confident our state funding will be more stable,” Melchi said. Meanwhile, the district saw its expenditures drop as new people were hired at lower rates than retiring teachers, fewer employees were on family insurance, and the worker’s compensation expenses were lower than expected. Melchi said she is still projecting a deficit in 2020, “but it’s not near as big,” she said. “We’ve done a good job managing taxpayers’ dollars,” Scruci said after the meeting. “We’re happy where we are,” though nothing is certain until after the state budget is done. Melchi also presented numbers to the board about the loss seen when students living in the district go to school elsewhere. The statistics showed $283,677 leaving the district for students with special needs, $258,000 for students with autism, $464,594 for community school transfers, and $590,160 for students lost to other districts through open enrollment. While losing $1.6 million, the district does get to keep $498,946 through the state’s formula. That leaves local taxpayers footing the bill for the lost funding. “We plan so we can cover our expenses,” Melchi said. In other business, Scruci recognized local businesses that support the schools. “Good schools can’t exist without the community and business partners,” he said. Honored were Grounds for Thought, Copy Shop, Biggby Coffee, and Mike Marsh. “If you don’t have good schools, my dad always said, you don’t have a town,” Marsh said. Members of Leadership BG attended the meeting, since the annual community project chosen by the group was…


BG Schools athletic director resigns after 9 months

The athletic director hired by Bowling Green City Schools last June has resigned after getting an opportunity he couldn’t refuse. As the district begins its search for a new athletic director to replace Jonas Smith, former athletic director Mike Vannett has agreed to fill the position on an interim basis. “He was offered a position that he couldn’t pass up,” Superintendent Francis Scruci said Friday afternoon about Smith. Smith did not reveal what the position was, but said there would be a press conference Saturday announcing his new job. Scruci said he is pleased with the job Smith did in his brief stay at Bowling Green. Smith, whose annual salary was $90,000, believed in putting academics ahead of athletics and believed in being accessible to parents. Prior to coming to Bowling Green, Smith served as athletic director for Dayton Public Schools, where he oversaw seven high schools and a $3.6 million renovation of the district’s Welcome Stadium. Scruci said he was attracted to Smith’s 20 years of experience overseeing a large program, his reputation in the state, his winning record at Dayton, and his success securing corporate sponsorships for the renovated stadium. When hired last summer to replace retiring Scott Seeliger, Smith said he was attracted to the “very welcoming” community, the good schools, and the potential to build relationships in Bowling Green.


Pro soccer player Robbie Rogers finds emotional release playing out of the closet

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Soccer star Robbie Rogers should have been happy. At 24 he had achieved so much of what he’d been dreaming about and working for since he was 7. He’d won a national collegiate championship in his freshman year at the University of Maryland. Played on the US National team. Played in the Olympics. Won a professional championship with the Columbus Crew. And now was supporting himself as a soccer player on an English team. Yet time and again he found himself after a victory alone in his room, feeing hollow. “Why am I not happy?” he found himself wondering. “Why am I not out celebrating with my friends?” While he was showing the world what kind of soccer player he was, Rogers was not showing even those closest to him who he really was beneath the surface, a gay man. “Football was my escape, my purpose, my identity” he told an audience at Bowling Green State University. “It hid my secret and gave me more joy than I could imagine.” Rogers visited BGSU at the invitation of We Are One Team, a student organization that promotes diversity and inclusion through sports, as part of its Our Voices series. A breaking point came in 2012. As he peddling on a stationary bike in England, he overheard two teammates’ casual, homophobic banter. It was the kind of talk he’d heard often, and he realized something had to change. He thought to himself: “There’s no possible way I can come out in this world. … I made the decision at that point I would retire and come out. … It was time to discover myself away from football.” He told his parents, conservative Catholics, that he was gay. Then he came out publically. He was accepted into the London College of Fashion. “Honesty is a bitch,” he said. “But honesty makes so simple and clear.” On a visit back to California to visit his parents, his agent asked if he’d travel to a Nike event in Portland, Oregon, to speak to high schools students involved in their schools’ GSAs. Rogers didn’t know that a GSA was a Gay Straight Alliance. When he was in high school, such a thing would have been unthinkable. He spoke to the high school students, and afterward the admiring teens lined up to get their photos taken with him. He thought they…


BGSU closing Forrest Creason golf course at end of season (Update)

Bowling Green State University University announced this morning that it will close its Forrest Creason golf course at the end of the 2017 season. The University determined that the course cannot reverse more than a decade of declining revenues and a mounting operating deficit given the northwest Ohio golf market and national trends. “This is not a decision we took lightly,” said University spokesman Dave Kielmeyer in this mornings statement. “We hired a consultant, developed a study and closely reviewed our options. Even with significant investment to make the course more competitive, it is unlikely that Forrest Creason could be a break-even operation. In today’s higher education environment, we simply can’t ask our students to continue to subsidize the golf course.” Kielmeyer later in an interview said the university lost $120,000 on the golf course in the past year, an expense that has been steadily climbing for the past decade. Usage is also down significantly. With the golf industry taking a hit nationally, it no longer “made any sense” for BGSU to operate a course. The university does not have any firm plans about how the land the course sits on will be used. “We want to get the community involved in the discussion,” Kielmeyer said. That discussion will likely begin in fall. The statement issued by the Office of Marketing & Communications continued: The University study identified the need for significant capital investments to address shortcomings at the course to make it more marketable. Challenges identified include an inadequate clubhouse, no outdoor shelter facilities, no banquet facility or food service, and the need for a new irrigation system. BGSU undertook the study as part of its response to Governor John Kasich’s Ohio Task Force on Affordability and Efficiency in higher education and House Bill 64, which requires public universities to assess non-core assets to find efficiencies and identify opportunities to lower costs for students. Kent State University also opted to close its golf course in 2016. There are currently three golf courses in the city of Bowling Green and four more within 10 miles. The study points out that golf’s popularity is declining nationally, particularly among college-age millennials. BGSU’s varsity golf teams practice at Forrest Creason but do not compete there because of the course’s length, slope and rating. Forrest Creason will remain open for play through December of 2017. The course’s four full-time employees will join BGSU campus operations…


BGSU’s We Are One Team to host Robbie Rogers, March 15

From WE ARE ONE TEAM We Are One Team (WA1T), an award-winning initiative to promote social justice through sport at Bowling Green State University (BGSU), will present soccer star Robbie Rogers, who has made history by becoming the first openly gay male athlete to compete in one of the five major North American Sports Leagues, as its 2017 spring speaker for the WA1T: Our Voices educational series. On Wednesday, March 15, at 6 p.m. in Olscamp 101, Rogers will be visiting BGSU to share his powerful story about how coming out has affected his soccer career and life. The event, titled “We Are One Team (WA1T) Presents: Robbie Rogers – Coming Out to Play,” is open to the public. “I couldn’t be more excited to visit BGSU in March. I’m extremely inspired by We Are One Team (WA1T) and look forward to sharing my experiences as an openly gay athlete as well as to meet the students who in many ways have motivated me to continue to live my life with purpose and passion,” Rogers says. Rogers has made a name for himself in the soccer world and beyond. He was first introduced to the game when he was four years old, and ever since then he has continued to train and follow his passion. He has played for the Columbus Crew, Leeds United, Stevenage and was a former member of the U.S. Men’s National Soccer team. Currently, he plays for the Major League Soccer Club L.A. Galaxy, representing number 14 on the field as a defender. Rogers is not only an inspirational athlete on the field, but also uses his platform as an athlete to promote social justice off the field. He has shared his unique story with others through his book”Coming Out to Play. “The book focuses on his journey from keeping his sexuality secret to stepping forward and becoming a trailblazing, out and proud professional athlete. Rogers is a role model for those who may not have found their voices and who may be hindered to go after their dreams.


Ice arena gets new name as part of golden anniversary celebration

  From BGSU Bowling Green State University will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the ice arena with a weekend full of activities. That includes: The ceremony officially changing the Ice Arena’s name to the Slater Family Ice Arena. Appearances by some of BGSU’s greatest hockey players and Olympian Scott Hamilton ’94 (Hon.) Mike “Doc” Emrick ’76 doing the play-by-play for the BGSU Hockey game. A free figure skating show featuring Hamilton and two-time U.S. national champion Alissa Czisny ’09. EVENTS Friday, Feb. 10 BGHS/Bobcat Hockey vs. Findlay, 7 p.m. Skate with the Bobcats, 8:30 – 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11 Pre-game Party and Coaches Chalk Talk, 3:30 – 5 p.m. BGSU vs. Mercyhurst, 5:05 p.m. Ice Arena 50th Anniversary Celebration (emceed by “Doc” Emrick), 7:30 – 10 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12 Figure Skating Show, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Community Open Skate, 3:30 – 5:20 p.m. To register: https://emsregics.bgsu.edu/IceArena50th


BG foundation gives grants to community groups

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Community organizations were given grants earlier this week to bring music, sports, reading and more to Bowling Green. The grants, from the Bowling Green Community Foundation, are intended to help the very young to the very old, and everyone in between. The annual grant program began after the 1993 BG Leadership class started the foundation in order to help local groups serve the community, explained Cal Bowers, president of the foundation. “What you’re doing speaks to the vibrancy of our community. You’re at the core of it,” said Bowling Green Mayor Dick Edwards. This year’s grants total $29,000 for 14 different projects. “That’s an impact to this community,” Bowers said. Following is a list of all the projects awarded grants. BG Area Community Bands – $2,250 for a community band festival. “This is our 10th year as a community band. We feel we have become a staple in the community,” said Ardy Gonyer. “We’re very grateful for the support of Bowling Green.” Thom Headley explained the grant will help the band put on a concert with a guest conductor on May 6. BG City Schools – $1,000 for One Book BG literacy program. Two third grade teachers, Jeni Niekamp and Jonelle Semancik explained the grant will help the schools purchase books for every pre-kindergarten through fifth grade student. The reading program unites families and the community around one common book. “It’s created to promote a love of learning,” Semancik said. BG Parks and Recreation Department – $5,000 for the natural obstacle course. Ivan Kovacevic, of the parks and rec department, said the outdoor obstacle course behind the community center has already been the site of the Zombie Mud Run last fall. BG Parks and Recreation Department – $5,000 for waterpark splashpad creature. The splashpad additions help complete the area for the youngest pool users. “They are both really true community projects,” Kovacevic said of the pool and obstacle course. BG Youth Hockey Association – $1,100 for rink system upgrade. The hockey program involves 315 kids, ages 5 to 15, said Jennifer Bowers. “It’s a really big asset for the community,” she said. “It’s a team of people volunteering a lot of hours. The problem is we don’t have enough equipment.” The grant will help replace orange cones and upside-down buckets with real hockey goals. Bobcat Advocates – $1,310 for downtown banners. The…


NCAA honors We Are One Team at BGSU for promoting diversity and inclusion

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The NCAA thinks there’s something special about the We Are One Team, a student-driven project that uses sports to promote diversity, acceptance and inclusion at Bowling Green State University. The NCAA thinks the project is so special that it is giving WA1T its Award for Diversity and Inclusion. President Mary Ellen Mazey along with founder Yannick Kluch will travel to Nashville in January to accept the honor. “BGSU has long history of this,’ Mazey said. “This is really what we’re all about and have been for many years.” Support for diversity is written into the Falcon Creed, which also originated with students. That’s evident, she said, in the president’s office where an African American president served for 16 years followed by two female presidents as well as in the student body which is about 23 percent people of color and international. It’s demonstrated, she said, in Not In Our Town and It’s on Us, all projects with which WA1T collaborates. Kluch said that the project grew from his own experience as an international student. He came here in 2012 to study as a graduate student in Popular Culture from his native Hamburg, Germany. He admits he had some reservations about coming from a metropolitan city to “small town Ohio.” But he found his place, in part thanks to sports. Early on he attended a football game, American football, not the soccer he played back home. He didn’t know anything about the game, he just cheered when everyone else did. That’s where made his first Bowling Green friends. Now studying for a doctorate in Media and Communication, his interest in diversity led him to think about how “the emotional power of sports” could be harnessed to bring people together. Last January he and two other graduate students in Media and Communication, Chelsea Kannert and Christian Thompson, started discussions about how to do that. WA1T was launched in September. “It has definitely been a crazy ride,” Kluch said. “In our short amount of time we’ve definitely had an impact. The NCAA award is definitely a sign we’re doing good things on campus.” They’ve sponsored an event that brought in representatives from the Muhammad Ali center. They sponsored a talk by BGSU transgender athlete Brent Durah. After the packed event Durah said he never thought so many people would be interested in his story. While the program…


BGSU trustees to vote on naming ice arena for Slater family

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COOMMUNICATIONS The Bowling Green State University Board of Trustees will be asked to approve the naming of the “Slater Family Ice Arena” at its Dec. 9 board meeting. The naming is in recognition of a gift from the Scott Slater family. Slater ’73 enrolled at BGSU in the fall of 1969 and first attended Falcon hockey games with his future in-laws, who had season tickets. Nearly 50 years later, Slater still has those same seats in the upper level of the Ice Arena, and in the decades since, he has done much more than just cheer for the Falcons. Slater and his family were major contributors to the “Bring Back the Glory” campaign that secured the BGSU hockey program. Now, the family is making a $2 million transformational gift to advance the future of the facility that means so much to them. “The Slaters are a true Falcon Family,” said Mary Ellen Mazey, Ph.D., president of Bowling Green State University. “Through the years, they have made the University central to their lives with support of BGSU Hockey and many community programs such as high school hockey and figure skating. It is fitting, and inspirational, that their dedication become a permanent part of the University with the naming of the Slater Family Ice Arena.” Over many years, Scott Slater’s six children were involved in youth and high school hockey and figure skating programs at the Ice Arena. His four sons have each been part of the highly successful Bowling Green High School hockey program and been on teams that won state championships or finished as state runners-up, while his two daughters participated in figure skating. Now his grandchildren are “rink rats” on the ice at BGSU, and Slater and his family have made another generous gift to secure the future of the facility that is so close to their hearts, and will now carry their name. “It is a BGSU-owned asset, but my family has always viewed it as more a community asset,” he said. “The thing I like is that, more than anything else in town, the Ice Arena is a place where the University and the community really merge together. That’s been a wonderful thing for a lot of people, for a very long time.” Mike Natyshak, a member of the 1984 BGSU national championship team, was a freshman hockey player from Belle…


Dave Horger goes for knockout against cancer

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   It seems fitting that Dave Horger envisioned his cancer as a heavyweight boxer beating him to a pulp in the first round. The name of his opponent in the ring – multiple myeloma. It’s also fitting that Horger, the radio voice of local news and sports for decades here in Bowling Green, would pull a rope-a-dope on his opponent and then come out swinging. Horger, with WFOB radio for 27 years then the 88.1 morning show for another five years, had become the beloved voice of Bowling Green. He was the voice of local news in the mornings and play-by-play sports at night. He grew up in East Liverpool, on the other side of Ohio, listening to Bob Prince broadcast the Pittsburgh Pirates. Because of the time zone differences, once the Pirates were done playing, he and his dad could sometimes catch the last couple innings of Harry Caray announcing the St. Louis Cardinals. “I remember thinking, I could do this,” Horger said of doing play-by-play on the radio. “I never felt it was a talent as much as it was a knack.” It was a knack that Horger soon proved he had. In 1971, he started hanging out at the East Liverpool radio station. He would grab news off the Associated Press machine, get some sports copy and some records and give it a whirl. “They were kind enough in the evenings to let me go in and use their production room. I’d do my little show that nobody was hearing but me,” he said. He would then play it back, reel to reel, “so I could hear how bad I was.” One night, he was playing around, introducing the Carpenters’ song, “Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down,” – which by the way, he was not a big fan of. But one of the radio executives liked his voice and his style. “That’s just what we want for a disc jockey at night,” he said. To this day, Horger is sure the radio station just wanted to avoid the hassle of interviewing for the job. From there, Horger went on to combine his two loves of sports and radio. He covered BGSU football and basketball from coast to coast. “Just to be a part of game day, it was fun,” he said. He remembers well the personalities he covered…


BG lease of city land for golf course questioned

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The golf course in the center of Bowling Green has long been a source of community pride and more recently a source of complaints of privileged use of public property. The city’s lease of the 60 acres to Bowling Green Country Club expires in 2025. The terms of the lease allow the city to terminate the lease anytime after 2015, with two year’s prior notice required. City officials recently received a detailed letter on the golf course lease, suggesting that the city view its options before the 2025 deadline. The request came from Bowling Green citizen Lynn Ackerson, who previously asked questions about the site at a park and recreation board meeting. “Raising the topic of the BG Country Club lease of 80 percent of City Park sometimes causes voices to raise and strong emotions to emerge,” Ackerson wrote to city officials. The nine-hole country club course is one of three golf courses in the city. “The BG Country Club Golf Course is apparently an important part of BG’s history,” she continued. “The semi-private BG Country Club is also perhaps one of BG’s best kept secrets and frankly a mystery to those that are newly aware of this gem and its relationship to our wonderful network of parks.” Bowling Green Mayor Dick Edwards responded with a history of the site, explaining that City Park was the original Wood County Fairgrounds. “The current arrangement indeed goes back that far,” Edwards wrote. The Wood County Agricultural Society sold the land to the city in 1928, with some records indicating that the lease arrangement predates the sale, the mayor said. The country club owns the roughly 1.5 acres where the pro shop and restaurant sit on the north end of the golf course. “This nearly 100-year private-public partnership has worked well for Bowling Green residents,” Edwards wrote. “They have benefited from a golf course for recreational purposes at reasonable rates without city dollars being used for the maintenance and upkeep associated with the property.” In the current lease, signed by the city and country club officials in 2001, the country club agrees to pay $3,000 a year to the city, and to cooperate with Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Department in making the golf course available at no charge for instruction of people in parks and rec programs. The general public is allowed to play…


Administration stands by high school soccer players’ right to take a knee

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN and DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News   Bowling Green School District has chosen to stand up for the right of its students who refuse to stand for the National Anthem. Three members of the girls varsity soccer team recently chose to kneel rather than stand before a game when the anthem was played. “They have a right to peaceful protest,” Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci said. “Currently our nation is experiencing one of the most trying times in its history,” Scruci said during Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting. “We have a presidential race that is challenging political parties, genders, ethnicities and the very freedoms that the Constitution protects.” Scruci referred to football player Colin Kaepernick, of the San Francisco 49ers, who peacefully protests by taking a knee during the National Anthem. “We have unrest in our communities with violence and people and police officers being shot on a regular basis,” the superintendent said. “We have professional athletes using their popularity to take political and societal stands and using their stage to make those statements in front of the world.” In a video posted by her mother on Facebook, one of the players Caroline Sayer explained why she “took a knee.” One of her fellow players, who is African American, was supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and was “getting a lot of negative feedback.” That prompted the player to say she would take a knee, Sayer said. Other students said they would come to witness her doing it “to get her in trouble.” The player took the knee at the next game, which Sayer was not playing in. “I felt that was so courageous of her, and I respected her so much for it,” Sayer said. She had her own concerns about the deaths of people of color at the hands of police, so she decided to join her teammate in the protest. She said she does not see this as disrespectful to the flag or the military or veterans, who fought so she had the right to protest. Nor does she feel police are bad. “The only thing taking a knee is meant to do is to bring attention to something that’s been hidden,” she said Scruci said that he personally disagrees with the approach, but added that he respects the rights of those who choose to kneel. The district will neither condone nor deny…


Kids with special needs benefit from challenge of sports through Rally Cap

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The turf room in Field House at Bowling Green State University is full of voices on Sunday afternoon. Lower voices of parents murmur from the bleachers along the wall near the door. Spread across the green before them are the encouraging, sometimes cheering, voices of college students. Rising above it all are the high, happy chatter of children at play. All this is punctuated the sounds of balls bouncing and being kicked. Welcome to a new season of Rally Cap Sports. The program, now in its fourth year, offers individual sports experiences in a non-competitive environment to children with a range of special needs, said Melissa Wilson, a BGSU senior who directs the program. Sunday’s kickoff marked the start of the program’s fourth year on campus. A few dozen kids are spread out around the turf room, each working with two or three college students. This kickoff, Wilson said, serves as an introduction for new participants, and a welcome back for participants from previous years. After Sunday there will be a basketball league this fall as well as a couple dances. For information contact: www.rcsbgsu.org. The program serves children with a wide range of needs, she said. Some are non-verbal, while others have mild learning disabilities. About 70 have participated to date. For all of them, sports in another setting is not a possibility. Jodi Clifford said her children are unable to play sports either at school or in private programs because of a variety of disabilities including bilateral coordination issues. “But coming here they enjoy it. They look forward to it. They don’t feel left out. They feel part of the team.” Cicely Watkins said her sons “tried traditional sports and they were very discouraged. They hated sports.” One has cerebral palsy and all have sensory processing issues. Now they will gladly talk about all the sports they play at Rally Cap, and how good they are at them. Shelley Davis said her daughter who participates has fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, with symptoms similar to autism, and low IQ. Her daughter proudly displays all her Rally Cap trophies. “They’re discounted at school, but not here,” Davis said. That the program is run by students makes it all the more appealing the mothers said. “You can tell the students love it, and it makes my child feel special,” Watkins said. “They look up to…


Park district takes aim at creating archery range

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Briana Witte is aiming for a bullseye with one of the newest programs to be offered by the Wood County Park District. Witte, a woodland specialist with the park district, is heading up the archery program which will include a new range for archers on Linwood Road, near Bowling Green. The archery program came about as a result of town hall meetings held across Wood County, asking local residents about park programs they would like to see. Two of the top requests were kayaking, canoeing and archery. The kayaking and canoeing are now in place, and the archery is on target to be ready soon. Archery, unlike so many other sports can be enjoyed by people of varied ages and skill levels, Witte said. “You don’t have to be in really good shape. You don’t have to be strong. You don’t have to be fast. You just have to be patient,” Witte said. People will be able to use their own bows and arrows at the archery range, or they can use the compound bows purchased by the Friends of the Parks. “These are really nice because an 8-year-old can use it and with a few adjustments, a 50-year-old can use it,” Witte said of the compound bows. Adaptive bows will also be available for people who use wheelchairs or have other particular needs. Crossbows, which are typically used for hunting, will not be permitted at the archery range. Once completed, the archery range will be open from dawn to dusk. It will not be staffed unless there is a class or special event planned. Classes are planned for children and adults. “This is the only archery range in the county,” said Jamie Sands, communications specialist and volunteer coordinator. “The free, open access to being able to practice is wonderful.” Mobile archery ranges have been offered at parks throughout the county, but the permanent range on Linwood Road will be much more convenient. The site will have room for 10 archer lanes and targets, ranging from 5 to 70 meters. There will be a shelter house with benches for the archers, spectator seating, a storage room and a parking lot for 20 cars. The stands are being constructed as part of an Eagle Scout project by Bryce Ruddock. The archery site has been cleared, and work will begin on the range and…