Last year Scotts Valley 12-year-old Hollie Amaro performed a Robin Hood. Named after the famed archer of lore, an arrow Hollie shot during competition in Sacramento split an opponent's arrow that had previously struck the bullseye.
That shot was the result of many hours on the archery range practicing her form and the mental skills needed to hone her craft.
“I like archery because you’re not running around like in other sports,” Hollie said last week. “You’re mostly quiet and you focus.”
Now a seventh grader at Scotts Valley Middle School, Hollie enjoys focusing on her form and talking with others about the sport.
She shoots indoors four to five days per week during the winter months. She practices at Predator’s Archery in Gilroy and Santa Cruz Archery Range in DeLaveaga Park or in a makeshift shooting range in her parents' garage. She shoots outdoors during the summer.
Hollie began shooting when a friend introduced her to the sport and after a year practicing, she began shooting competitively.
It turned out she was a natural.
Now, Hollie shoots in competition at least several times each month in the freestyle division for 11-years-old and under. This year, she’ll bump up to the 12 to 14-year-old category.
Hollie uses a compound bow and shoots in events put on by the State Archers of California, California Boar Hunters, USA Archery and the National Field Archery Association.
In January, she will shoot in local and state tournaments, all in preparation for the National Field Archery Association Vegas Shoot that will take place Feb. 7 to 9. The Vegas Shoot is known as the most prestigious indoor archery tournament in the world.
Hollie has been preparing for this year's competition with a second place finish at state outdoor tournament in Redding and a first place finish at a tournament in Sacramento and another first place finish in a January 2013 state competition.
Additionally, she may travel to South Dakota this year to compete in the outdoor nationals.
One day, Hollie said she may even try for the Olympics, if they open up Olympic competition to archers who use compound bows, like she does.
Hollie is supported by her parents Doug and Pam Amaro who travel with her to competitions as she improves her craft.
“I shot in college and then picked it up again when Hollie started,” Doug said. “She beats me all the time in tournaments.”