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MMC Set For New Archery Program

By Reilly Biel | 0 comments

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Mount Marty College (MMC) is continuing its year of progress by doing something not many colleges in the country have done — making archery a collegiate sport program.

At last Tuesday’s State of the Community luncheon, MMC President Dr. Marc Long announced that the college will partner with the National Field Archery Association (NFAA) and the U.S. Collegiate Archery Association to make this happen.

MMC will be one of the first colleges to offer archery as a collegiate sport in the Midwest.

MMC currently has archery as a club sport with a handful of members. The transition to collegiate sport will take place in the 2017-2018 school year. Varsity archers will compete in competitions.

"NFAA president Bruce Cull was very supportive of the idea," MMC athletic director Chuck Iverson told the Press & Dakotan. "I put together a spreadsheet to look at the cost and benefits, and gave it to our executive team and the Mount Marty board of directors. They all approved it."

The decision was partly made due to the Easton Archery complex being located in Yankton.

"We have access to one of the best archery facilities and coaching in the world, and there’s tremendous interest in archery as a collegiate sport, so we thought to put it together at Mount Marty," Iverson said. "There’s always risk involved, but it’s a situation we had to take advantage of."

Cull is confident the program will work well.

"We have world-class facilities and will provide top level coaching," he said. "We can draw teams from all over the U.S. and be an asset for everybody."

He doesn’t see archery’s popularity fading anytime soon.

"Archery is considered an emerging sport in the college sport, which means it’s on the rise, not on the fall," he said.

The NFAA will provide the coaches and facilities for MMC varsity archers’ use and MMC will offer archery-related scholarships. Iverson plans on adding internships to the Easton Archery complex.

"Our admissions department will pinpoint people that are interested in archery, getting the word out to them and making the archery coaches aware of those people so we can have direct recruiting contact," Iverson said. "We want to make it more appealing, so we’re treating this as we do with any Mount Marty collegiate sport. The biggest difference is it won’t be under the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) sports umbrella. It will be under the NFAA umbrella."

His plan is to start small with a goal of at least eight new MMC students involved in the archery program at the start of the next school year.

"As the program progresses and gets retention, we’re looking to have around 25 people on the archery team," he said.

Cull is excited to put this partnership in action.

"I’m thrilled we have an excellent partnership like this," Cull said. "It’s a mutual vision we’ve been working towards. Anytime you have that, it’s a win-win."

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