Nov 18, 2008

Archery range hits the mark for Ultimate LU

by Daniel Martinez

Liberty students trudging up the backside of Jack Mountain with bow and arrow in hand will now be a more common site. These students will be making use of the Liberty University Archery Range, which opened on Oct. 10 and now stands overlooking the paintball and intramural sporting fields on East Campus.

Sophomore Ben Stallard thought of the newest facet of the Ultimate LU program during his freshman year at Liberty. Stallard has been shooting arrows since he got a bow for Christmas at the age of seven, and since coming to Liberty, has missed it. In the spring of 2008, he and a friend approached Campus Pastor Chris Deitsch, and the creative wheels started turning.

“It was based on the concept of Ultimate LU, and student interest,” Edward Barnhouse, Director of Intramural Sports and Outdoor Recreation said. “It took just three weeks to build.”

After the idea started becoming a legitimate possibility, Stallard, friend Kennon Snow, Liberty alumnus Dan Witt and John Allen began brainstorming.

Stallard recoun-ted “early morning meetings to put our plan toge-ther” that included studying existing college ranges, cutting limbs, moving bushes, obtaining targets from local tournament agent Rick Crickenberger and summoning an Archery Shooters Association (ASA) professional to help with the construction of the site.

“(All the hard work) paid off when we brought everything before the University’s Clubs and Club Sports Department and were made an official club of the school,” Stallard said.

Students interested in joining the club or gaining hunting rights on Jack Mountain must take a safety course and get a certification, according to Director of Auxiliary Services Lee Beaumont.

“We are also introducing an archery class for spring semester (for) a credit course,” he said.

Twenty-one students have already joined the club and gaining access is not a complex process, according to Stallard.

Interested students must pay $75 to youth ministry professor and club faculty advisor John Geukgeuzian for a membership card. After students on the club pass safety training and meet the required qualifications for hunting, they are free to use the range at any time during daylight hours.

“I think it is a good addition to Ultimate LU,” Beaumont said. “We want to implement activities that students … request.”

As of Oct. 10, when the range officially opened, students gained access to the newest feature of Liberty’s rapidly developing campus.

Stallard believes the range can be a recruiting device for the school due to its uniqueness. The club is already planning to hold contests for raising funds and entering competitions with other colleges, according to Barnhouse.

“Whether it be competing in archery tournaments or witnessing at those tournaments, our main goal is that people know we are a

Christian team and that when we are competing, we are doing it for Christ,” Stallard said.

Interested students can contact Stallard at bstallard@liberty.edu for more information.  


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