Brian Parker begins his second season as head coach of the Pennsylvania College of Technology archery team with a solid nucleus returning from last season's squad, which finished second in the nation, and high hopes.
The Wildcats open their season today at the Penn State University Invitational.
"This year looks to be good. We have a lot of talented individuals," Parker said.
Key returning archers include Joe Dowdrick III, of Lebanon, and Kevin Dewalt, of Easton, in the male bowhunter division; Kendel Baier, of Jersey Shore, and Brianna Batykefer, of Butler, in female bowhunter; Matt Cummings, of Mountville; Jordan McGowan, of Carlisle; and Justus Leimbach, of Westminster, Md., in male compound; Ashley Baker, of Coudersport; Rebecca Boyer, of Macungie; and Nicole Lapinski, of Bloomsburg, in female compound; and Stephen Keys, of Reynoldsville, in male recurve.
At nationals last year, McGowan was the men's individual bowhunter champion while Batykefer was second in female bowhunter and Baier third in female bowhunter.
Cummings was a member of the team-championship men's compound squad; Keys was on the winning men's recurve team; Dowdrick, Dewalt and McGowan were on the winning men's bowhunter squad; and Baier and Batykefer were on the No. 1 women's bowhunter team.
Lapinski and Cummings were All-Americans.
The Wildcats will compete in six meets over the next three months, concluding with the U.S. Intercollegiate Championships at Cedar City, Utah, in mid-May.
Penn College will host the East Regional Intercollegiate Championships April 19-21.
"I look to have a good year. I have a great group of kids," Parker said.
After claiming three consecutive second-place team finishes at nationals, the coach said moving up to No. 1 "will take winning more gold medals than we won last year. Is that possible? Yes.
"It all comes down to the team rounds and how we perform at nationals. Once we get through April we'll have a better idea where everything stands. I think our biggest competition again this year will be Texas A&M. They are a powerhouse. They're big, they're powerful, but we keep knocking away each year, getting a little closer in points."