14-year-old is focused under pressure as he follows in his brother’s footsteps
He stands roughly six-foot tall, which for 14 years of age is quite sufficient.
His father is 6’8 ”, his mother is near 5’9”, so odds are good that Aaron Ubben, an eighth grader at Ebenezer Christian School in Lynden, will continue to grow vertically.
That Aaron would like to play college basketball, and wouldn’t mind if he played in the pros, should be no surprise.
But Aaron is actually something of an archer, as is his brother.
Three years ago, his brother Jason competed in the US Western National Tournament in Utah. The tournament is a function of the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP).
On April 29-30, Aaron will compete in that same national tournament. He said recently that he likes the challenge of staying focused under pressure.
“My strengths in archery would be that I am good at staying focused under pressure and I can shake off my nervousness by having fun,” Aaron said. “I do start to get nervous, but depending on what I shoot the first round, I am either nervous or confident about the rest, but then remember that my parents tell me to just do my best and do not worry about what happens, and then it’s just fun. ”
In an email to the Lynden TribuneAaron’s parents, Tim and Kim Ubben, wrote that he has “always been very competitive by nature.”
“When he was 6, his flag football coach predicted that he would be in the paper someday due to his athletic ability,” they wrote. “We laugh about that.”
Although Tim and Kim Ubben have “never pressured (Aaron) to be the best,” they have “always encouraged him as well as each of our children to humbly do their very best with the abilities with which God has gifted them.”
“We are excited for Aaron to be competing in Nationals and look forward to how he continues to grow as an individual and as an athlete,” they wrote. “We are grateful for all of the teachers and coaches in his life who have encouraged him to work hard.”
‘Determined and focused’
Before archery season, Aaron played soccer and basketball this year for the Eagles of Ebenezer Christian, and is currently doing track and field at Lynden Middle School.
Ebenezer Athletic Director Amy Schouten said Aaron was “great at archery from the start and is very determined and focused, which is not the case for all teenagers.”
“I have had the privilege of teaching archery as a PE unit to Aaron since fifth grade, ”Schouten said. “From that PE unit, kids receive invites to be on the team for archery season. He is a great kid and definitely a natural in archery. ”
Aaron is one of three Ebenezer Christian students who will compete at nationals. He and Oliver Petree will shoot in the bullseye competition, which is the traditional target. Ben Dykstra will compete in the 3D competition.
“Our team missed placing at state by just a few points, although we had four archers qualify to shoot at nationals,” said Jim Buss, principal of Ebenezer School. “Our team qualified for nationals in the 3D category, (which is) shooting 3D full-size animal targets, and one student qualified for nationals on his own merits.”
Aaron said that he is trying to get better at his accuracy in the 3D competition.
‘Solid student… great young man’
As principal of Ebenezer Christian, Jim Buss explained that the school started its archery program in the 2007-08 school year. At that t time, the school chose the motto On target for Christ.
“With the help of a former teacher and Coach Bill Stinson, we were able to join the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) and began teaching our fifth-to-eighth grade archery in our PE program,” Buss said.
With about 75 children participating in the school’s archery PE unit, about 16 compete on the school’s archery team. Buss said that Aaron scored this year at the top of Ebenezer Christian’s all-time scoring student list.
“Aaron is a solid student in all areas, including academics and in sports,” Buss said. “Beyond that, he’s just a great young man.”