It’s been a busy month for archers in Southern Illinois. The first ever Illinois S3DA State Tournament was held June 11th and 12th at the SI Archery Club with 47 participants. Over $100,000 worth of scholarships were available at the shoot. Kids came from as far as Edelstein in Peoria County to as far south as Hardin County.
Pictured L to R: Union College Varsity Archery Coach Cody Kirby; Karissa McIntire, Sydney Jones, Carly McClelland, David Johnson, Jr., Kenny Raigner, Jr., Isaiah Conkle and University of the Cumberlands Varsity Archery Coach Kris Strebeck. Bradford Sauls wasn’t present because he was preparing for the National High School Open Shootdown.
Ricky Sauls, event organizer thanks Roark Trucking, Rick’s Construction, First Bank, Campbell Funeral Home, and Benthall Brothers, Inc. for sponsoring the event.
A week later, more than 400 kids from 3rd – 12th grade descended on Mermet Lake State Park to compete in the S3DA National competition. That’s quite a bit of growth. Last year, there were just over 100 kids involved. At that event, Bradford Sauls finished 3rd in the nation for his High School Open Division. Kenny Raigner finished 7th in the High School Fixed Pin Division. Adrianna Armstrong of Hardin County took 4th in the Middle School Fixed Pin Division.
Just days later, June 21st and 23rd, the Sauls’ headed to Metropolis for the Superman Classic. 18 year old Bradford shot well enough for a 2nd place finish in his division while his younger brother Hayden Sauls took 2nd in the Jr Eagle division for kids 8 years of age and under.
The S3DA is experiencing impressive growth with its mission of fostering, educating and guiding youth while providing a basic understanding and respect for natural resources, environment and nature. More than $300,000 in scholarships were given out at the National competition. Ricky Sauls is hoping to make it easier for young people in the area to get involved. An upcoming Si Archery Club Shoot is coming up on July 17th and will offer an excellent opportunity for kids and their parents to learn more about the sport. In the meantime, you can like the Archery Club’s facebook page to learn more and contact them. The page is at https://www.facebook.com/southernillinoisarcheryclub/.