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Expectations High for Penn College Archery Team


Great from the get-go.

That describes the success story of Pennsylvania College of Technology archery teams.

“The year we started (1997), we had three guys in the male compound division who, when they got to Penn College, knew how to shoot. They walked in and could compete,” explained coach Chad Karstetter, who, as a student, was one of those original three.

The Wildcats finished third in the country in male compound that year, then won back-to-back National Championships in the event the next two seasons, with Karstetter earning All-America status each year. Now, the third-year coach thinks his team is poised to capture another national crown.

“I’m hoping for another national title. It doesn’t matter which division we have one in, but I really want one. I’m pushing for one,” Karstetter said, as his team prepared for its next match March 1 at the Virginia Indoors in Manassas.

On paper, it would appear that the best bet for that goal being met will come, again, in male compound, where all five shooters return from last year’s team. Among them are Matt Frye of Muncy and Harry Bauman of Lock Haven, each named All-Americans Frye placed fifth nationally individually. Also in the division are Chad Groff (West Perry), Adam Milcoff (Spring Grove) and Jon Mattivi (Southern Columbia).

“They’re going to be really strong. Of the three teams that I have, they’ll fare the best,” the coach said.

Competing in male recurve will be Aaron Holdren (Athens), Jason Kornbau (Red Lion) and Robert McIntosh (Lockport, N.Y.), all returning lettermen, and Tim Sico (Andover, Mass.).

“They had a really good year last year,” Karstetter said. “They ended up taking third at nationals, and I’m hoping they can at least move up one notch.”

As a team at nationals last year, Penn College had its best finish ever by placing fourth. It just missed third by a point, and that was because it didn’t field enough women in the female compound division. That should be different this season with Beth Robinson of Williamsport returning and newcomers Leslie Weaver (Allenwood) and Karen Morse (Canton) on the squad.

“Beth is the only returning female and I’m hoping she can help the new girls out . . . They should do fairly well,” Karstetter said, pointing out that Robinson placed ninth individually at the national meet last year.

Also on the Wildcats’ roster are Steve Lierh (Fairless Hills), Ryan Romberger (Upper Dauphin), Chad Chirillo (Johnstown) and Dan Epler (Palmyra).

Because results are being tabulated and reported from different sites throughout the state, Karstetter has yet to hear how his team did in its first outing at the Pennsylvania Indoor Championships in early February. But, he noted, based on his experience from previous competition, “We really did good as a team. There isn’t another team in the state that could compete with us.”

The college’s matches are held two to four weeks apart, but the coach said that schedule actually has benefits.

“Because it was close (in Taylor), I got to take everybody to the state meet and we could see how they performed in a tournament situation. It’s nice having the next month to focus on their weak points and see if we can’t make them a little bit better,” Karstetter said, noting that his archers practice routinely and go to noncollege tournaments on their own other weekends.

Looking ahead, Karstetter said, “If everything keeps progressing as it has in the past, this year I think we’ll be better than last year.”

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