Maya Gulick made a passion out of archery


Sophomore Maya Gulick reached down and picked up her bow, mentally preparing herself for her next shot. As she pulled the strings back, her equanimity is visible, and the arrow flawlessly released.

Practicing archery since she was in 5th grade, what started as a hobby grew into a passion for Maya. Her skills have grown tremendously, and the so-called “hobby” has become more and more prominent in her life as she has aged.

As Maya’s skills in archery flourished, she began competing all over the state. Whether they were big or small tournaments, Maya has achieved many accomplishments over the years, including first place at Meijer State games in Michigan.

“It was one of the tournaments where I shot my best but I didn’t think I won,” Maya said. “When they called me up [because] I won, I was super surprised; I couldn’t stop smiling all day.”

With most major tournaments occurring in the spring, Maya fills her time during the fall with the FHC Swim team.

“During swim, I’m a part of a team; it’s a team effort to win,” Maya said. “But with archery, when it comes to going to tournaments and winning tournaments, you’re kind of by yourself.”

Archery doesn’t completely disappear in the fall, however. On Saturday’s, Maya practices with the MSU JOAD (Junior Olympic Archery Development) team. Not to mention, outside of swim season, she tries to go to Rockford and shoot 2-3 times a week.

All of this practice is being put towards an ultimate goal: shooting in college.

“I would love to shoot in college,” Maya said. “I hope to attend MSU and shoot, but I am also looking at Texas A&M and James Madison University because those are some of the top schools.”

Ultimately, this “hobby” has given Maya a passion and allowed her to reach unfathomable heights and successes.

“It makes me feel relaxed,” Maya said. “I know I can walk in there and just shoot the bow [and] not worry about any drama. It’s just me, the bow, and the target.”