Local archery enthusiasts will soon have a new place to hone their skills while staying out of the weather. Southeastern Illinois College in Harrisburg, Illinois, will soon be home to a new 12-lane indoor archery center.
According to head archery coach, Alli Armstrong, “The success of our archery program in outdoor recreation and the incredible rise of students shooting indoor archery pointed to creating an indoor facility on campus to serve those needs.” And it has already made an impact on recruiting for the falcons.
SIC Falcon Archer, Tristan Whalen of Boonville, Indiana, is excited about the new facility, as the closest indoor range is currently in Ava, Illinois.
“I'm pretty stoked for our new on-campus indoor archery facility. It'll be huge for our program here at SIC and the region as a whole since there's nothing like it close by,” said Whalen. “Not many of our competitors have a privilege like this so it really gives our squad a step up, and we'll be very well prepared for the upcoming indoor season.” However, this indoor facility is not just for the archery students. The Archery Center, which opens Oct. 10, will be available for use by all ages, and includes two handicapped accessible lanes. College credit can also be earned.
The cost is $5 per half hour or $8 per hour. Children 13 and under pay only half price, as do veterans and seniors. Package deals and family memberships will also be available, and those who like some competition will have an opportunity to join a league starting after the first of the year for men, women and high school students.
Archers should bring their own bows and arrows with field tips only. Targets will be provided. The facility is located on the east end of the campus in the Chuck Hearn Outdoor Educational Complex with entry directly from the main campus or from just past Falcon Field. Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 6-8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Sunday 1–5 p.m., and some opportunities for instruction will also be available.
Armstrong anticipates the new facility will draw even more top high school archery competitors to SIC’s team, which already boasts 11 divisional national championships and two HOA (high overall average) national championships, 20 All-Americans and four Academic All- Americans.
Whalen, an experienced scholastic 3D archery indoor shooter, validates that theory.
“When I took my visit to SIC, I just knew this was the place for me from the get-go. Our men's compound team is pretty stacked and there's no shortage of competition. Our facilities are some of the best and if we ever have an issue, our coaches are always right there to assist, and ultimately that made the difference when making my final decision.” SIC is the only college with an indoor archery range on campus amongst Division I US Collegiate Archery Association (USCAA) teams, and is also the only college with an outdoor 3D archery range on campus.
“Our indoor archery range means new opportunities for our college, our students, and our community,” said Armstrong, who is from Elizabethtown, Illinois. She is an avid hunter, former Falcon Archer Champion, outdoor writer, hunting TV show host, and CEO of Grace, Camo and Lace, an outdoor film and product company.
“Our community is full of passionate archers and hunters – we needed this facility, which will be an excellent addition to our currently successful 3D team here at the college,” said Armstrong. “The momentum we have will only continue to grow both teams. We have so much potential for indoor success and the range will create a powerhouse for improvement among all ages of shooters.
“To have an indoor range this close to home is an archer’s dream come true. Whether you’re a pro, just getting started in archery, or warming up for hunting season – this is where you’ll want to be,” said Armstrong. This is the inaugural year for SIC’s indoor archery team. The team will compete at the Division I level against varsity squads from major colleges and universities across the US. In addition to pre-season intercollegiate scrimmages, Southeastern will compete in the USCAA South Regional Indoor Archery Tournament Jan. 19-21 in Madisonville, Kentucky. Winners will advance to the USCAA Indoor Archery National Championships Feb. 9-11 in Las Vegas.
For more information about the center, visit www.sic.edu/archery or contact Ben Ross at (618) 252-5400, ext. 2248 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Those interested in leagues, teams or center sponsorships can contact Alli Armstrong at (618) 252-5400 ext. 2104 or email@example.com.