It’s 7:00 a.m. and Physical Education Teacher Scott Christenson has a gym full of teenage archers up early for practice. He brought archery as a sport to Cadott High School after learning about the National Archery in the Schools Program.
A block away, there’s another teenage archer practicing in his basement. Kaden fell in love with archery, even as a homeschooler. In this small town, big accomplishments spread quickly. The high school gym is covered with banners signaling years of archery success.
There is a connection between Scott the archery coach and Kaden the archer. Even though he is homeschooled, Scott is Kaden’s coach and his father. Scott would say the coaching Kaden came easy, “He’s a perfectionist. He’s persistent. He’s not happy and he’s not satisfied until he gets that perfect round.”
Kaden’s archery career almost ended before it ever started with a freak accident. Kaden’s bow got wet when he was practicing outside. So, he hung it on a nail by the fireplace to dry out. A few days later when he went to retrieve it, the bow string got stuck on the nail and actually fired the nail into Kaden’s chest. For several weeks, he didn’t have the strength to even pull back the bow. And at the same time, it gave him added motivation.
In 2018, Kaden rode that motivation all the way to the National Shootout round. On the line, thousands of dollars in scholarships and just one chance to shoot the arrow. He shot well enough to take home $10,000. In 2019, he managed to capture another $10,000 scholarship.
When Christenson started the archery program at Cadott, he never imagined so much success, and to have his son be the first to participate in the National Shootout – not once but twice is beyond his wildest dreams.
As for Kaden, he’s not done yet. His dream is to compete in the Olympics.