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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A State Championship Title was contested at Ft Benning’s Pool International Rifle Range April 2nd, 2011, and Griffin High School brought home all the Gold and a Bronze Medal.

Riflery has been formally contested in Georgia since 1944 with Air Rifle being the recognized leader over Smallbore .22 Rifle since 1992. Griffin came close to Gold in 1992 and 2003 with Silver Medal Team Finishes. Griffin brought home Individual Gold and Silver Medals along with their Silver Team Medals in 2003. This is Griffins 7th Team qualification and trip to the State Championship Match. State Championship appearances for Griffin include;1992 2nd, 1993 4th, 1994 6th, 2002 8th, 2003 2nd, 2005 14th.

David Vs Goliath:

Let there be no doubt in anyone’s mind that East Coweta will be a tough contender every year in Riflery. They led the Area 5 averages thru the regular season with an 1149.70 average. Griffin hovered in 4th place with an 1137.50 average across 10 matches. Griffin Coach Lang was heard to say that “it’s better to be the underdog, than the leader.†Turns out he was exactly right.

Team Medallists Griffin Gold, East Coweta Silver, and Luella Bronze as well as fourth place (some call it 1st place “Paperâ€) Union Grove are all in GHSA Area 5. These Area 5 teams competed head to head several times this year, and each knew the others strengths and any weaknesses quite well. In fact Griffin suffered early losses on the Road in Match 1 at Union Grove and Match 3 at East Coweta. The Area 5 Playoffs again found Griffin in fourth place behind East Coweta, Luella and Union Grove. Griffin picked the correct day to post their season high of 1148 team points at the State Championship to win all the marbles.

Team Performance:

Griffin’s Sara Howell set the pace early by posting for only the second time this year in the 290’s with a 291, the high score of all 63 individual competitors on the day. Team members Ale Gonzalez and Kayla Collett kept things close with their 287 and 280 respectively. Golzalez score was good enough for an eighth place spot in the coveted Finals. She would go on to better that with a 95.2 to improve to seventh overall on the day.

Jay Cross had four shots left in his final (kneeling) position, when East Coweta’s Tyler Dayton made a critical error; he posted four “9s†in a row for a total score of 288. Jay Cross could not know what every spectator behind him knew at that point. It was numerically possible that East Coweta had a small ***** in their armor. As the Chief Range Officer called “2 minutes remaining,†Jay shot two 9’s in a row for shots 7 and 8. Shot 9 found its way into the ten ring and every coach and spectator knew that Jay needed an 8 to tie or better to win. The crowd held their collective breath as Jay steadied his aim. With nerves of steel, he placed a .177 caliber pellet into the 10 ring, giving Griffin a 2 point win over Silver Medalist East Coweta and claiming Griffin’s first ever State Riflery Championship.

Individual Performance:

A Brawl within a Battle

Riflery consists of Individual Competitor scores that make up the Team Aggregate.

By the Time the Final two shots were tallied on the electronic scoreboard, Griffin eked out a two point victory for their first ever State Riflery Championship. It was then time to restart the lineup with the top eight individual scores to see who among them would be the Individual State Champion. This format is taken directly from the Olympic Riflery Finals and is designed to get the crowd and media more involved. Think NASCAR without TV. It can get quite loud as fans cheer their personal favorite champions.

Sara Howell took her single point lead into the Finals and posted some of the deepest 10’s (10.8, 10.7, 10.5 and a 10.1) of that part of the competition. Sara worked hard for those 10’s, but two 8’s crept in to steal her lead and she held on to a hard fought Bronze .5 ahead of fourth place finisher Kelsey Moral of East Coweta.

This was to be Jay Cross’s day, when he posted a 290, good enough for a third place start in the finals. Jay would go on to post the high score in the finals, 99.7 to overtake the lead and win the Individual State Championship Gold Medal. This was the culmination of a long year of hard work.

When the dust settled, a mere 9 points out of the 409 possible separated the top 8 contenders, and 3.5 points separated Individual Gold from paper. This was a hard fought and very close competition that changed leads almost with every shot, and was emotionally draining on athletes, coaches and the spectators.

Riflery is often more about committing to the process than natural talent. You get back what you put into it, and many Riflery Athletes will tell you that you win, by tenths of a point and what you log into your Shooters Journal.

Jay Cross started a single point out of first place, and by virtue of a tie breaker for the Finals, wound up in third place. Jay had to earn every tenth of a point the hard way. Nothing came easy.

This is what Champions are made of.

Roy McClain
GCO Life Member
CMP State Director
GSSA VP Ed & Tng
http://www.OleMillRangeCTC.com
 

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East Coweta is the local high school . . . :righton:
 

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I used to shoot on the JROTC team from 88-90 when they used .22's, we went to state each year but not further, I did earn the NRA Distingushed Expert my last year though. A lot of fun, I'm glad it's still popular.
 

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I too was on the JROTC rifle team for Upson county from 92-96. My first year was the only year we used .22's. When I tell people around here about competition shooting in high school, they seem stuned. "they let you have guns in school!!!!" yep and no one got shot wow
 

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Used to shoot 9 or 10 of 10 to stay on my varsity squad way back in the day.... lord how I miss "my" rifle....


... and since when did they switch to AIR toys???? :screwy:

Hahaa.... bringing back memories.... our coach was an Army Major - guy was a fine instructor, but he did enjoy playing mind games on the other teams. We'd practice firing in perfect synchronization for the first shot in the round; (the Range Officer:) "Ready on the left? Ready on the right? Commence Fir... BANG! Then a single "click-click" as we all ejected the first shot. Lol... just that would unnerve some teams. Another gag - the junior varsity would shoot first, and he'd have set out some soft drinks & donuts, then have some of the non-shooters from our team (out for whatever reason) dressed as though they'd be shooting later, eating and drinking. Sometimes the upcoming shooters from the other team would see that & eat n' drink as well. Too bad the carbonation & food in your stomach plays hell with your prone shooting! **burp** lol

I miss "my" Anschutz....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
GHS, Cross: State Riflery Champs!
by Staff Reports
http://www.griffindailynews.com/vie...lery-Champs--?instance=lead_story_left_column

Griffin Daily News

COLUMBUS, Ga. â€" State championships are always memorable. However, the one the Griffin High rifle team won Saturday at Fort Benning on the last shot was more memorable than most.

The Bears come from behind to shoot an 1148 and win their first-ever state championship in riflery by two points when co-team captain William Cross â€" who later in the day came from one point behind to win the individual state championship by 2.4 points â€" painted the bullseye on his last shot.

Read more: Griffin Daily News - GHS Cross State Riflery Champs
 

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Congrats Griffin !, keep it up and you might match the record of Robert E Lee (RIP) and Sgt Breese's lead slingers from the 60's and 70's 8) nothing like an old rivalry, but seriously :righton:
 

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I remember competing against Griffin High School a lot for Drill Team/Color Guard/Rifle Team competitions back in the JROTC days, but my HS was in Alabama (Grissom High School in Huntsville) so we're not part of the state championships here.

And yeah, even back in 1996 we were still using .22's for Rifle Team competitions.
 
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