Profile of Trenton Cowles

By Coach Roy Villasor


Like most beginners, 12 year old Trenton Cowles’ first exposure to archery was watching the London Olympics on television. Unlike most archers, Trenton Cowles started out by constructing his own bow and arrows and has access to all sorts of tools and materials that his father Matt, a general contractor, stores in his garage.

 Matt spoke of their family’s Halloween tradition where his 5 children dress in costume and come complete with a vehicle to ride on as they go down the neighborhood to trick or treat.  In the past, these vehicles have included a free rolling X-Wing Fighter or the Space Shuttle.  Trenton being the eldest of the brood regularly assists his father in constructing the new ride.

For his personal project and under close supervision, Trenton built a bow out of plywood and arrows made from wooden dowels.  During a trip to Yellowstone National Park, he fashioned a bow from a large branch and arrows from twigs with nothing but a souvenir knife. This time he used a bungee cord as a string. Trenton was disappointed to learn that it was not powerful enough to drive the arrows more than a few feet in front of him. 

Curious as to the proper materials needed to launch an arrow, Trenton sought the advice of a manufacturing engineer who was on the team that developed the Mars Rover at NASA’s Jet Propulsion lab in Pasadena, CA.  Engineer Antonio Fonseca, was just too happy to answer the questions of his grandson

Antonio has a gift of teaching concepts in physics so anyone can understand. The young boy learned how the limbs store energy using the string to transfer that energy to propel the arrow.  Mystery solved!  Trenton was now ready to learn the proper technique to maximize the science of archery.  Since that day, archery has provided a bonding between grandparents and grandchild. At this year’s National Indoor Championship, Grandpa Antonio accompanied Trenton to Tulare, CA so that Trenton could compete in his second tournament.

His Mom, Sarah, supports activities that keep her children’s minds and bodies active rather than sitting in front of the TV. The family also rides ATVs and motorcycles to maintain an active lifestyle. Encouraging the new interest of her son, Sarah initiated a search and found the Easton Foundations Archery Center in Van Nuys and enrolled her first born. Trenton took to shooting like a fish to water.  Displaying a flair not seen since Errol Flynn, the young boy expressed his interest to shoot with a select team at the California State Indoor Championship, his first ever tournament. When asked if he felt intimidated by that level of competition, Trenton’s answer was “Why should I”?

Indeed why should he – repeated Easton Van Nuys Head Coach Rene Paguia, who was quick to point out that at this time:  “Trenton is not concerned about score. He is mindful about attaining a good form which translates to a good score”. At the 2013 National Indoor Championship he improved on the scores he set at State. He has set his goal to reach the Olympics Games. Under the watchful eye of Don Rabska, himself a National Champion and former Olympic Coach to the 2008 Beijing Games, that dream can become reality. In the meantime, Trenton is having fun at an age of discovering the magic of Archery.