S3DA Hosts Tenth Annual 3D National Championship

The Scholastic Archery Association (S3DA) held their 10th Annual S3DA 3D National Championship in collaboration with the Rend Lake Area Tourism Council, the Rend Lake Project Office & Visitor Center, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the North Marcum Multiple Resource Area in Rend Lake, Illinois. Rend Lake is a premier location for fishing, hiking, wildlife watching and a host of other activities. S3DA archers and their families were amazed at the abundance of wildlife viewing opportunities available on-site, up-close, and personal. Nearly 700 youth archers from across the nation participated for their chance to be crowned a “National Champion” in their division and class.

Holly Helton, S3DA Executive Director stated, “With the worldwide chaos of the coronavirus pandemic, we had to put on hold the decision to host the 3D National Championship at Rend Lake, due mainly to local restrictions, opting instead to duplicate hosting locations from ASA Pro/Am’s. We are genuinely excited to finally be able to come to Rend Lake and introduce our S3DA families to the recreation, conservation, and tournament experience this site has to offer. S3DA 3D events have historically been held at locations that were already established tournament sites. Rend Lake Staff did an amazing job putting in the groundwork of making this event a huge success and we look forward to working with them for future events!”

The event also featured the Delta McKenzie North American Big Game Bowhunting Challenge as well as the Heath McDonald Long Shot Challenge both of which Delta McKenzie Targets sponsors. The North American Big Game Bowhunting Challenge features adult/child teams who both shoot various 3D big game targets such as grizzly, elk, and caribou. Once both team members have completed the course, their scores are tallied and compared against other archers in the student’s division and class. This brings family involvement together as well as tying into the conservation aspect of the S3DA program.

S3DA sponsoring organizations Lancaster Archery Supply, Bohning, Mantis, Mark’s 3D Targets, Hoyt Archery, and a host of other vendors were on-site to market products to archers and their families. In fact, Lancaster Archery Supply and Hoyt Archery teamed up to help S3DA archer, Danika Stillwagon from Team On-Point S3DA in Georgia when she experienced an equipment failure at the start of the event. With a twelve-hour drive and two targets in, Danika’s father was in desperate need to purchase a bow for Danika to be able to finish the competition. Check out the complete story from Danika here!

Collegiate archery programs (University of the Cumberland’s, Union College, Lindsey Wilson, Southern Illinois College, Campbellsville University, Kentucky Christian, etc.) were on hand to offer high school archers with significant scholarship opportunities during the event. Collegiate coaches, range officials, and volunteers facilitated the Young Adult and Youth division shoot-downs for awarding of the final podium finishes which was enjoyed by everyone in attendance.

S3DA would like to thank Mike Tyrell and the Archery Shooters Association (ASA) for all their support in making this event possible for the past 10 years and hopefully many more to come! A successful event such as this would not be possible without dedicated parents, coaches, and Regional/State Coordinators who volunteer their time selflessly to make sure that these archers are not only focused and safe, but most of all are having fun and developing a passion for the outdoors. Many thanks to the sponsors, vendors, and volunteers who come to help our youth archers have a truly wonderful and satisfying experience. Thank you to the parents and coaches of S3DA student archers for taking the time off work and coordinating your busy schedules to make the S3DA 3D National Championship a one-of-a-kind youth sports experience.

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Hosts Dual Tennessee S3DA and ASA Qualifier

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s (TWRA) Buffalo Ridge Wildlife Refuge in Waverly, TN recently hosted a dual archery event with the TN S3DA’s 3D State Championship and the TN ASA Federation’s State 3D Qualifier. The event marked the first time that TN S3DA had hosted an ASA event at the Refuge. TN S3DA’s partnership with TWRA has allowed venues such as Buffalo Ridge to be utilized for target archery events and furthered the mission of S3DA to impart conservation and hunting knowledge to youth archers across the state. Through education and outreach efforts such as these, a new generation of hunters and conservationists will glean a passion for the outdoors!

The Buffalo Ridge – TN S3DA event brought over 150 youth archers from 17 Tennessee S3DA Teams across the state to compete for the title of TN State Champion as well as more than 400 spectators to the venue. Nearly 50 of those youth archers also chose to compete in the TN ASA event to be qualified for the TN ASA State Championship. TN S3DA State Coordinator, Robert Carter said, “I can hardly find words to express my feelings about the success of this event. Our partnership with TWRA and their willingness to not only allow us use of this property but their work to prep the ranges is an invaluable asset, and we are thrilled that they have welcomed us back for our 2023 State Championship. With the ongoing support of TWRA and their grant funding, we have been able to improve and enhance the S3DA experience in TN. Because of the grant, we have been able to purchase much-needed equipment and resources needed to help grow our program while spreading the message of S3DA for all. I believe that TN S3DA archers, coaches, and parents are hands-down some of the best in the S3DA program. Seeing coaches step up to help archers regardless of their team affiliation and watching young archers encouraging one another and cheering on their competition, are just a couple of things that make these events and this program so meaningful and successful.”

Lily Napolitano with Clinch River Archery competes in the highly competitive Young Adult Pins division and earned her way to her 1st shoot down appearance. When asked about her experience, Lily replied “The experience was nerve racking but also very amazing at the same time. I was so nervous when I learned I was in the shoot down, and I did not know what to expect. I was overwhelmed and did not know what was happening or if it was even real but Kaden Ward, the newest member of our team helped me through it and calmed me down and I was not so nervous after that. This was an amazing experience for me, and it has motivated me to do better in all I do in archery. I will give my all – 100%!”

Buffalo Ridge is comprised of approximately 2,000 acres in the southern portion of Humphreys County. Since becoming a TWRA refuge in 2016, the area has been utilized as an outreach, education, and learning center as well as TWRA’s Law Enforcement Training Academy. Future plans include the addition of a new education center and shooting ranges. For more information on the Buffalo Ridge Refuge visit: Buffalo Ridge Refuge (tn.gov) and for more information regarding the TN S3DA program visit: https://www.facebook.com/TNS3DA.

Youth Archer Logan Shepard Achieves Pennsylvania Triple Trophy

The Pennsylvania Triple Trophy began in the 1960’s. It was originally a product of the Pennsylvania Game Commission to celebrate accomplished hunters. When the program was discontinued, the PA Triple Trophy Unlimited program took up the mantle and has been keeping records and bestowing awards since. The Pennsylvania Triple Trophy is accomplished by harvesting an Antlered Whitetail, a Black Bear, and a Wild Turkey all in the same license year. It’s a rare and difficult feat for seasoned hunters but made even more special when accomplished by a youth hunter.

Recently, 17-year-old Pennsylvania S3DA youth archer Logan Shepard accomplished this task. The Scholastic Archery Association (S3DA) was pleased to award Logan with the inaugural S3DA Conservation Award for his efforts. According to Perry County Archers Coach Carla Orris, “Logan is a dedicated archer who works hard and sets great examples for younger archers through his respect and kindness for others and conservation through ethical hunting practices. I am honored to be one of his coaches and was appreciative to be able to present him his award. He was truly thankful and honored to receive the S3DA Conservation Award and shared his hunting stories from this past year to a crowd that included other coaches, teammates, friends, and family.”

“When I started hunting this year, I never dreamed I would earn the PA Triple Trophy. It was by far one of the greatest experiences of my life and I will cherish the memories forever. Thank you to all who have mentored me and supported me. I couldn’t have done this without you,” stated Logan Shepard.

The mission of the S3DA program is not only focused on target archery but also the vital need to pass on a passion for conservation and hunting heritage to youth across the nation. Youth participating in S3DA events are learning life-long skills such as fair chase and ethical hunting, as well as wildlife conservation which are integral to the development of well-rounded outdoorsmen and women. PA S3DA State Coordinator Pete Slusser said, “Being able to celebrate an accomplishment like this on a national level shows that the S3DA program truly supports conservation and their youth membership. We were more than happy to share Logan’s story!”

For more information on the Pennsylvania Triple Trophy visit: www.patripletrophy.com and for information on the Pennsylvania S3DA program visit: https://www.facebook.com/PAS3DA.