Dylon Cruz will compete as an archer at the BC Winter Games in February. (Matthew Allen / The Northern View)

Dylon Cruz will compete as an archer at the BC Winter Games in February. (Matthew Allen / The Northern View)

MVP Of The Week: Dylon Cruz, a dead shot

Prince Rupert’s Dylon Cruz is taking his passion for archery to the BC Winter Games 2018

At the Eagle Eye Archers club in Prince Rupert, 16-year-old Dylon Cruz goes through his archery routine.

Standing at a marker 18 metres away from his target, he selects an arrow and knocks it in his bow. Keeping his head level and elbow high, he sights his target down the length of the arrows shaft. Barely breathing, he releases the arrow, launching it straight and true. He hits his target dead centre, as has become the norm for Cruz these days.

READ MORE: Eagle Eye set out new archery course for Kasiks shoot

Archery has been Cruz’s passion since moving to Prince Rupert from Belize in 2016. He said his dad, Omar, was always an archer and introduced him to the sport when he arrived in his new home. Now, nearly a year-and-a-half later, Cruz will be competing as an archer in the upcoming BC Winter Games. It’s an opportunity he relishes.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said. “I love archery, I love to shoot and I can’t wait.”

The new recruit has been eager, willing to learn something new. He quickly latched onto the sport and excelled. Cruz said it was the welcoming environment of the club that kept him coming back.

“Everybody was really nice to me,” he said. “They gave me tips about what I was doing well and what I was doing wrong.

“If I made a mistake, they showed me how to do it in a nice way.”

Cruz’s two coaches, Fred Hutchings and Andy Vandermeer said Cruz has always had a good eye for the sport, but it is his poise under pressure that allows him to do well at tougher competitions.

“He seems solid, and he doesn’t seem to be getting fazed,” said Hutchings. “I’ve seen some of our local kids fall apart because of the stress of the games, and I’ve seen some of them excel. I think Dylon is one that is going to be OK.”

Vandermeer gives Cruz special instruction for the specific type of compound bow he shoots. He met Cruz for the first time when he still lived in Belize and was there when he took his first few shots. He said Cruz clearly enjoys himself while competing, and particularly enjoys trying to beat his father.

“He’s a bit of a smack talker, but he doesn’t get fazed very much,” Vandermeer said. “He doesn’t get freaked out very easily.”

Vandermeer took Cruz under his wing when the young archer decided to go for the BC Winter Games’ team in September, and said the two have worked to improve his consistency to achieve maximum precision with his shots. That work includes two sessions a week of target practice where Cruz practices shooting at competition targets before completing other drills to improve his aim. They have also worked together on Cruz’s routine to make sure he goes through the same steps each and every time he moves up to the line.

READ MORE: MVP of the Week – Jerry Kurka keeps it official

“Consistency, that’s the biggest thing,” said Vandermeer. “That’s pretty much what archery is all about, doing the same thing repeatedly.”

Vandermeer added that Cruz has become stronger in the time they’ve worked together, which means he can fire with more power and accuracy.

“He can hold his bow at full draw for longer, which makes you hit the target quicker and leave less loft on the arrow when you fire,” he said.

For Cruz, participating in the winter games is about having fun competing in the sport that has become his passion. He said he plans to continue shooting long after the games are done, and even wants to instruct young archers in the future one day.

“My future is to become a good archer and go out there and show kids how to do it,” he said. “So if kids don’t have a lot to do on the street, they can still have fun.”



matthew.allen@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

MVP of the Week

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Flights are to resume to Prince Rupert and Sandspit airports under an Air Canada and federal government $5.9 billion agreement that was reached on April 12. A plane is seen through the window on the tarmac of Vancouver International Airport as the waiting room is empty Tuesday, June 9, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
$5.879 billion agreement between Air Canada and Fed’s will assist YPR in re-opening

Prince Rupert Regional Airport to reopen flights by June 1st, if not earlier

BC Housing townhouses on Kootenay Ave. were demolished during March to make way for new affordable residential units by Prince Rupert Indigenous Housing Society. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Despite a recent reduction in units project will still be able to house many

Prince Rupert Indigenous Housing Society says 60 units is still the plan

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Prince Rupert City Council approved the purchase of computer chipped recycling bins on April 12. A Penticton garbage truck lifts a new bin. (Western News photo)
Big Brother to help with the garbage – computer chipped recycling bins report your bylaw infractions

They report, but will they sort — recycle bins to cost Prince Rupert $564,850

Pembina Prince Rupert Terminal celebrated the opening of operations on April 12 in a virtual online ceremony with President and CEO Mick Dilger and Manager of Communications and Media Affair Tasha Cadotte commemorating the ribbon-cutting. (Photo: Supplied)
Pembina celebrates opening of operations in Prince Rupert

A virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony commemorates LPG export facility on Watson Island

(AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, FIle)
VIDEO: Rare blood clots ‘may be linked’ to AstraZeneca vaccines, Health Canada says

One case of the adverse effect has been reported in Canada

Two men walk past a sign on Main Street in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calls for government transparency in COVID data continue as B.C.’s 3rd wave wears on

Social media, where both information and misinformation can spread like wildfire, has not helped

The music video for “Green and Blue” featured a Willington Care Centre in Burnaby as well as some of the volunteers and employees. (Screenshot/Todd Richard)
‘Green and Blue’: B.C. country musician releases tribute song for front-line workers

Richard’s new single has been viewed more than 3,000 times on his YouTube channel

An unidentified B.C. man said, in a human rights complaint, that he was refused a contract job after refusing to wear a mask when asked to by an on-site manager. (Unsplash)
Religious B.C. man lodges human rights complaint after fired for refusing to wear a mask

Worker’s claim that ‘to cover up our face infringes on our God-given ability to breathe’ dismissed by B.C. Human Rights Tribunal

This 2013 Dodge Ram 1500 was stolen from Black Creek Motors at approximately 2 a.m. Sunday, April 11. Photos via blackcreekmotors.com
VIDEO: B.C. car dealer posts clip of thieves towing a truck right off his lot

Video shows one white truck towing another off Vancouver Island lot

FILE – People hold signs during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver on Saturday, August 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. to request federal exemption for simple drug possession

Announcement comes on 5-year anniversary of B.C.’s first public health emergency

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

Two men were seen removing red dresses alongside the Island Highway in Oyster Bay. (Submitted photo)
Observers ‘gutted’ as pair filmed removing red dresses hung along B.C. highway

Activists hung the dresses to raise awareness for Indigenous Murdered/Missing Women & Girls

A grey whale off the coast of Vancouver Island is being monitored by Canadian and U.S. researchers, as it has developed lesions after being tagged last year. To try and prevent systemic infection from developing, the team administered antibiotics to the whale on March 31 and April 1. (Photo from the NOAA Fisheries website)
Tagged grey whale off Vancouver Island given treatment after developing lesions

Canadian and U.S. whale experts administered antibiotics to the animal on March 31, April 1

Most Read