Rissinger's right on target
Published: April 4, 2013
Font size: [A] [A] [A]
Scott Rissinger put his life right on target.
In the process, the former Valley View man recently garnered a national archery title and is conquering life's opportunities as a cancer survivor.
Rissinger won the 2013 U.S. National Indoor Archery Championship in his division held March 9-10 at James Madison University in Virginia. He used his recurve competition bow and shot a 571 on Saturday, March 9, and a 563 on Sunday, March 10, for a 1134 grand total. The next closest competitor in his division shot a 1117. He won in his division - Master 50 plus - and scored in the top 10 in the nation for all age groups. He had the overall high score in the East.
Rissinger explained each archer had a chance to shoot 60 arrows at targets 20 yards away for a possible score of 600 each day of the competition.
The win couldn't have come at a better time.
"It's been a God-send. I'm using all my old equipment, except for buying a new string and new quiver," he said.
"I'm just excited that I won at Nationals.
"It's an accomplishment at any rate, but being a cancer survivor makes it so rewarding. I've gained confidence that life isn't over," said Rissinger, now 52, of Palmyra.
He said his prostate cancer diagnosis, and subsequent surgery, when he was 49-years-old pushed him to put his life into perspective. Rissinger, who also is employed at Fort Indiantown Gap, had operated Tri-Valley Technical Services in Valley View for more than 25 years with his wife, Penny. He had served with the Tri-Valley Lions Club and was a former Hegins Township supervisor and treasurer. Rissinger had been so busy that he had little time to practice what he truly enjoyed - shooting his recurve bow.
Rissinger decided it was time to make a change, so he and his wife moved to Palmyra.
He picked up his bow and began shooting again.
Rissinger had shot bow for years. His father, Willard, had sparked his interest in archery when Scott was just 10-years-old. He remembers shooting at a range in Spring Glen before another range became available at the Valley View Gun Club.
"My dad got me into the sport years ago and I used to shoot with a friend, Jeff Artz. It's been fun to hone my skills again."
Rissinger tried out for the U.S. Olympic teams in 1992 and 1996, but did not qualify. He was eliminated the last time for a chance on the Olympic squad during a shoot-off with archer Butch Johnson, who eventually did make the 1996 team, he said.
With the elimination at a shot at the Olympics and with the opening of the Tri-Valley Technical Services/Radio Shack store in Valley View in 1996, Rissinger temporarily put down his bow.
Today, Rissinger is thankful he made the decision to get back into the sport.
In October he became a certified USA Archery Level 3 coach. Rissinger now assists with the Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD) program at the Palmyra Sportsmen's Club, near his new home, teaching archery to young people and helping them learn range safety and proper shooting techniques.
"It's refreshing to see kids shoot recurve and to get the opportunity to help out," Rissinger said, noting other archers may be familiar with compound bows.
This year, Rissinger competed in the National Field Archery Association competition in Louisville, KY, on March 16-17 where he placed sixth in the country. He's also preparing for the PA State Indoor Archery Championships at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, scheduled for April 6-7. He won that event last year.
Rissinger makes time in his daily schedule to practice.
"To shoot recurve, you have to shoot a lot. I try to shoot everyday."