Story by Amy Turner, Staff writer
Photo courtesy of Brock Kirk/The News
The snapping sound of bows and the echoing thuds of arrows spearing their targets are all that can be heard during the Murray State archery team practices at Carr Health.
The archery team at Murray State was considered a club last year but has officially received accreditation to be a collegiate team under head coach Tom Patterson from Princeton, Kentucky. Patterson has been been coaching the sport for 15 years now and has been the Murray State coach since the team was formed three years ago.
President of the team is Dalton Melloi, sophomore from Henderson, Kentucky. Acting as an unofficial vice president is recent transfer Cody Appleby, junior from Madisonville, Kentucky.
Becoming an official accredited collegiate team means the archers can now go to tournaments and competitions. Murray State’s Archery Team will be attending their first competition on Jan. 19 in Madisonville, Kentucky for Internationals.
Practices are held in the south gym at Carr Health. The team has two practice sessions per week: One on Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and another one on Fridays from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
A typical practice begins with the group circling up and giving announcements and social time,” Patterson said. “It’s archery plus something else.”
During practice, Coach Patterson circulates around the room, helping students with various techniques as they go through campus.
Melloi, who has been into archery since his sixth grade year, said his favorite part of both being on the team and archery in general is the competition.
“I also enjoy building good friendships at practices and such,” Melloi said.
Cheyanne Hofmann, freshman from Crystal Lake, Illinois found out about the archery team through a flyer posted on the pole outside of Oakley Applied Sciences building.
She said she went to a practice and was hooked. She said the most enjoyable part has been shooting arrows and learning the technique.
“I’ve enjoyed learning how to do it because I’ve never done it before, ” said Hofmann.
Helping her on her learning curve is Taylor Cook, sophomore from Nashville, Illinois. Cook picked up an interest for the activity through her dad and decided to join the team.
“I’ve just always wanted to learn archery but I haven’t got into it until now,” Cook said.
The team runs an average of 17 students per practice with one of their largest practices having around 20 students in attendance. The team is reportedly always looking for new archers to join the ranks.