The Duke Energy Center in Cincinnati was recently buzzing with nearly 500 young archers from all over the country, all competing in the 2017 Scholastic 3-D Archery (S3DA) Indoor National Championship. Inside the competition hall, more than 150 targets lined the long walls with several well-known archery vendors located in the center of the hall. Also in attendance were head coach Chris Strebeck of the University of the Cumberlands and head coach Cody Kirby of Union College, who were there to hand out scholarships and talk to archers with an interest in attending college.
During an interview, S3DA executive director Jennie Richardson explained how S3DA got started and about the organization’s mission.
“We have partnered with ASA [Archery Shooters Association], NFAA [National Field Archery Association] and collegiate programs to bridge the gap,” Richardson said. “Our goal was to create a natural progression for young archers to provide them with a next step program and provide them with opportunities to attend college. With this program, archers are free to choose a venue and their own equipment. So far it has worked beautifully.”
There are now S3DA archery teams from elementary, middle and high schools all over the country, as well as many from private clubs that are sponsored by archery shops and other outdoor organizations.
Centerville High School had 17 athletes compete in the S3DA Indoor National Championship. While none of the Centerville archers made the podium individually, the overall Team Score (top five individual scores combined) earned the CHS Archery Team fourth place in the nation! Kentucky schools swept the top three places with Davies County, Boyd County and Apollo High School placing first through third, respectively. The top five Centerville archers contributing to that fourth place team score were Jake Steiner, Alex Umbreit, Jacob Valentini, Brooke Greenlee and Seth Barnthouse.
The CHS Archery Club came about as a brainstorm in 2013 by teacher Penny Manfredi. Her son, who was an eighth grader at the time, had just purchased his first compound bow, and she thought archery would be a great way to get high school students off the couch. Each year, with the help of the Centerville-Washington Park District, as well as local accomplished archers, they hold beginner clinics for students who are new to archery or need a refresher course. Students who wish to continue in the sport start practicing with the rest of the Archery Club each week at Oak Grove Park. The club has grown in popularity, and students have improved with each competition.
“I am ecstatic to see so many kids getting outside and doing something active,” Manfredi said. “Archery is a great sport because anyone can be successful at it and there are opportunities to continue competing throughout your whole life, not just in high school and college.”