Archery Tournaments Draw Crowds to Mermet Lake

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By Nick Hausen

MASSAC COUNTY --  Tuesday marked the start of a busy week at Mermet Lake Fish and Wildlife Area. The site is hosting two archery tournaments drawing competitors of all ages from all over the country and beyond.

This week, nearly two thousand competitors and many more spectators will descend on the area for the Superman Classic and the ASA Pro/AM Championships.

"Last year, we had about 25,000 people come in and they fill our hotels and they eat at our restaurants," explained Lindsey Stoner with the Metropolis Tourism Bureau. "They support our community by shopping, eating, getting gas here."

Mermet has hosted the Superman Classic for 11 years and this is the 17th year they've hosted the Pro/AM. People from all over the country come for these two tournaments wandering through the woods shooting at strategically placed targets.

"You have to shoot this one to shoot their big classic, so they always come early to shoot our tournament for the practice plus the friendly competition we have as well," said Stoner. "There's 22 classes plus the youth classes."

Tuesday, archers had dodge the rain to compete.

"It's something that anybody can do and you'll see it," said competitor Bobby Harrell. "There's guys in their sixties and seventies just starting to shoot their bows. And there's family. Lots of families."

Family and friends are what Harrell says draws many people to the tournament.

"Everybody's friends, everybody wants everybody to win, it's that kind of a deal. It's not cutthroat, it's fun," explained Harrell.

If you're interested in joining in the fun, Harrell suggests finding a pro shop or a club, one with people willing to educate.

The Superman Classic is open to anyone and runs through Thursday and costs $20. The Pro AM starts Friday with the finals set for Sunday.

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