Area archer receives honor
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It may have taken Daniel Gonzales some time to get the hang of a bow and arrow, but since he's gotten into of competitive archery, there's no stopping him.
"When I first started to shoot, it was really complicated learning all the technique, but now it's easy," said the 11-year-old Industrial Junior High student.
Gonzales, of Edna, was named the Texas State Archery Association's 2011 Male Recurve Bowman Archer of the Year.
Gonzales won first place at the 2011 District 11 4-H Archery Tournament in the Male Recurve Bowman division and also finished first in the same division at the 2012 J.O.A.D. U.S. National Indoor Championships.
In six years of participating in archery, Gonzales has built an impressive trophy collection, but for him, winning is just a part of the overall experience.
"It's kind of cool to have all those memories of getting all those trophies with my friends," Gonzales said. "The fun part was competing with my friends."
Gonzales practices at both an outdoor range at his home and the Straight Arrow Archery Complex in east Victoria.
He credits Straight Arrow coach Tom Barker with helping him to develop a new approach to archery.
Among many coaching tips, Barker told him not to worry about other competitors.
"He's not strict. He's fun to work with," Gonzales said. "He teaches you in a fun way."
Recently, three Straight Arrow archers qualified for the World Archery Field Championships, and Barker said Gonzales is on his way to doing so.
The coach said he has big plans for Gonzales, given the fact that he's been successful competing at the state level.
"Within the next year or so, he'll be competitive nationally and internationally," Barker said.