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FEATURED ATHLETE: Cypher Ross aims high in national archery rankings

Nationally ranked archer talks archery and character development.
HITTING+THE+MARK%E2%80%A2+PHOTO%3A+USA+ARCHERY%2C+PROVIDED+BY+CYPHER+ROSS
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HITTING THE MARK• PHOTO: USA ARCHERY, PROVIDED BY CYPHER ROSS

Junior Cypher Ross is a nationally ranked archer, who has been competing for almost a decade.

He is an Indoor and Outdoor Archery PA State Champion, multi-time national qualifier, and is part of the Regional Elite Development Archery Team, an honor only given to archers ranked top 25 in their region.

But he didn’t start there.

“I started archery with my friend, who brought me to a ‘Bring Your Friend Day.’ And I’ve been shooting ever since— that was about nine or ten years ago,” Ross said.

Ross has competed at nationals in Arizona and hopes to return to Chula Vista, California for the 2024 Nationals, hosted by USA Archery. He explained how the different types of competitions work.

“[At indoor tournaments] there are different spots you can go to shoot because it’s the same environment. Outdoors, it’s a lot different because the environment can change, like wind and all that stuff,” Ross said.

Archery has been Ross’s life for years, and he shows true dedication to his craft.

“I practice a lot. I’m shooting almost every day. If I’m not shooting, I’m usually coaching or sleeping. I’m always tired,” he said.

This dedication has paid off, with Ross competing at indoor nationals in Virginia when he was only in sixth grade.

“Me and my good friend went to indoor nationals and competed with 18 other people in that age category. And I won that location,” he said. “During that year, that was really fun. It was really memorable for me.”

Even with accolades like this, Ross still cites difficult parts of the sport. Like most other sports, archery is a mental game as much as it is a physical one.

“I get in my head a lot,” he said. “I have to remind myself that, almost, I’m not allowed to try. Because if I try too hard, then it doesn’t go well. But if I don’t try enough, it also doesn’t go well. So the mental strain and the mental aspect of it is really important.”

Despite the challenges, Ross has found character development and emotional strength from archery.

“[Archery has taught me] social interaction. I coached, so that has really helped me open up to people. And I have learned to be more myself around people and not be a turtle and close up as soon as someone that I don’t know comes near me,” he said.

Next in his archery journey, Ross hopes to attend the USA Archery Nationals in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and continue his competition and coaching experience.

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About the Contributor
Jillian Thomas ’24, Sports Editor
Jillian is a senior and this is her third year on Panther Press! She is the Sports Editor, and outside of Panther Press, she is a Silks captain, does Speech and Debate, and listens to music!!
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