Shooting Straight: A Father’s Archery Legacy for Future Generations

By Brittany Stewart

by Danielle Dolin

Archery, an ancient sport and art, has roots that can be traced throughout history, including references in the Bible. Characters like Ishmael, Jonathan, and King Saul’s son were known archers in ancient times, employing the skill for both warfare and hunting. Today, archery remains a cherished practice among hunters and sport enthusiasts.

In the Southern Arizona Desert, a Christian archery league has emerged as a testament to one man’s mission to inspire future generations. Founded in 2020 as part of his wife’s homeschooling co-op, Homeschool Underground Arizona (HUGAZ) stands on the values of Faith, Freedom, and Fellowship. James Stewart Jr., spurred by a desire to counter the declining participation of local youth in 3-D archery, established the HUG Archery League in late 2023. Recognizing the crucial role of youth involvement in sustaining the sport, he remarked, “there is no tomorrow for 3-D archery without them.”

James Stewart’s affinity for archery dates back to his childhood. Growing up with a father passionate about archery hunting, Jimmy harvested his first deer with a bow at the age of 12. Archery remained a constant in his life, accompanying him through his baseball career in the minor leagues and into adulthood, where he competed in local and state 3-D circuits. Today, he holds the Pope and Young world record for Archery Velvet Coues Deer, a testament to his prowess in the field. Despite his accomplishments, Jimmy remains grounded, prioritizing family and community over personal accolades.

His humility is mirrored in his reluctance to be interviewed for this article, a trait he hopes to instill in his students. Driven by a deep sense of purpose and a desire to preserve the Biblical roots of archery, Jimmy ultimately agreed to share his story. The HUG archery league, catering to students from Kindergarten to adults, started with just 17 participants and quickly doubled in size.

Reflecting on his love for archery, Jimmy describes it as a spiritual experience, an ancient practice imbued with wonder and magic. He sees archery as more than just hitting targets; it’s about building resilience and enduring life’s challenges. Through archery, he aims to impart valuable life lessons, fostering camaraderie and perseverance among homeschoolers as they compete in local tournaments.

Jimmy’s passion for archery shines through his coaching and league organization. He hopes to inspire others with his love for the sport, fostering a sense of community and giving back to his family and homeschooling community. As the HUG Archery League gears up for its Spring semester and participation in the Arizona 3-D Championship Series, Jimmy’s vision of spreading a message of love and unity through archery remains steadfast.

In a world filled with negativity and division, stories like Jimmy’s offer a beacon of hope. Through his dedication and commitment, he hopes to inspire other parents to share in his vision, creating ripples of positivity that reverberate throughout the community.

A ripple makes a wave.

Brittany Stewart, an accomplished writer and educator, draws inspiration from her 23-year marriage and upbringing near Lake Tahoe in Verdi, Nevada, now residing in Tucson, Arizona. With her Bachelor’s degree in Education, emphasizing Native American Literature and Journalism, Brittany is a multifaceted professional who is also a Licensed Massage Therapist. She is deeply involved in Tucson’s homeschooling community, leading a homeschool group, teaching dance, and offering art classes. She and her family have a homestead in Southern Arizona, where her husband hunts and she tends to the garden, emphasizing the importance of God and family in her life while continually seeking adventure through her travels.

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