For the last four years, Susan Deem has been looking for a tenant to fill the old Deem’s Supermarket store. It’s 18,000 square feet, and she expected another grocery store to move in, but it seems the Carl Junction Archery Team needed the space.
“I needed somebody in here and they needed a place to practice. So, it worked out well for both parties,” explained building owner Susan Deem.
Chelsi Leggett is the coach and she says attendance has increased dramatically over the last few years, and a movie is to blame.
“After The Hunger Games, a lot of kids took it on,” said CJ Archery Coach Chelsi Leggett.
There are 115 kids enrolled and they were practicing in a very cramped place.
“And we’re talking about a cafeteria, not even a gym,” Leggett added.
Tatum Graham is a sophomore and she says it was hard to practice.
“Close together, and whenever you pull back, you kind of hit other people. And, it was just really cramped in here,” said CJ sophomore Tatum Graham.
The group is now able to have more people shoot at once–in the past, they had to take turns.
“[There is] more room so you can focus more and spread out more. It’s a little bit quieter, you don’t have the temptation to talk in between rounds when there’s people shooting,” explained CJ senior Steven Mann.
“Now, we’re able to bump up practices, practice more and open the range more so kids are getting more shots in,” Leggett explained.
This is also a good thing for area retailers on this side of town.They’ve all noticed an increase in traffic and sales when the team’s practicing.
The team hopes to take home some championships in 2017 since they have been able to practice more in their new space.