Three D Archery
S3DA. It’s a groundbreaking youth archery program that’s growing across the country and exploding in popularity in our backyard. In 2018, more than 800 archers aged 8 to 18 from across the country competed in the National Scholastic 3-D Archery Indoor Championships. This past Thursday and Friday, that number ballooned to more than 1,000, including 55 participants from this area. The national office estimates had the competition been held on a Saturday, closer to 2,000 would have participated. The National contest was held in Cincinnati, Ohio and 19 of the local kids finished in the top 10 within their respective classes. Eight of those finished in the top 3.
Sara Harrell, representing Carmi – White County took first in her Female-Pins Division. Haley Lange, from NCOE finished 2nd in Advanced Pins-Female. Jalyn Shoemaker, who travels from Vienna because there’s no Archery Club closer to her took 3rd place honors in Advance Pins-Female. Middle School competitors included Andrew Hubbs of Gallatin County. He took first place in the Male Open Division. Jerzi Sharp from NCOE won her Female Open Division. Youngsters also fared well. Parker Biggs from Edwards County took 3rd place in Female-Pins, while Lacy Sanders of NCOE took 2nd in her Female Open Division. Finally, Myles Barnett from Carmi took the top score in the Elementary Male Open Division.
There are 20 S3DA teams in the state of Illinois. Eight of those clubs are in Region 1, which includes the entirety of the state south of Interstate 64. 97 of the 481 members are from White County alone. Jim Sharp, the Illinois State Coordinator for S3DA has been on a mission to grow the organization, participation, and opportunities in general. Just two years ago, Jim was introduced to the program when S3DA came to NCOE. Sharp has gone from Coach to Regional Coordinator and is now the top brass for the state. He’s currently working to get more schools involved to help grow the organization.
For participants and their families, it’s more than just an activity. Region 1 Coordinator and Coach Mike Westfall says watching kids improve is the ultimate reward. In talking about his goals, he’s quick to point out Archery often opens a door for kids who don’t play football, basketball, and baseball to shine. And the kids unanimously agree, it’s something they’d encourage their peers to explore and participate in.
More than 4 million dollars in scholarships are available and three of the region’s community colleges (Southeastern Illinois College, Wabash Valley College, Rend Lake College) either have or are launching competitive Archery teams. Locally, the White County Archery Club is looking for sponsors to keep the program moving in the right direction. Learn more about Illinois S3DA and the White County Archery Club, reach Jim Sharp directly via email to Illinois@s3da.org. You’re also welcome to reach out to him by phone at 618 – 384 – 9975.