High School Riflery

EC takes third at NJROTC Championships

by Chris Goltermann

East Coweta’s precision air rifle team is on quite the roll heading into this weekend’s Georgia High School Association state semifinals.

Fresh off an Area 5 championship with an impressive score of 1160 out of a possible 1200, East Coweta shooters earned an opening-round state playoff victory over Colquitt County and then carried that momentum into a third-place finish at the 2014 National JROTC Championships held at Camp Perry, Ohio from March 20-22.

Paced by junior team captain Glen Lauzon’s individual sixth-place finish in the all-service national event, the ECHS Marine Corps unit put together a score of 4636 in the two-round 3x20 format while placing behind only Ozark (Mo.) High and Georgia rival Lumpkin County.

Lauzon’s combined total of 1271.6 individually ranked first among Marine Corps unit shooters.

As a team, East Coweta finished just four points behind Lumpkin’s runner-up finish of 4640 points.

Both programs will compete among 24 schools in Saturday’s GHSA semifinals. Twelve winners in addition to two individual place teams with the highest remaining scores will advance to the April 12 state championship at Fort Benning.

The Indians will face Colquitt County at home in Saturday’s semifinals.

Led by Major Pete Merrill, senior instructor for East Coweta’s Marine Corps JROTC, the program excelled at last weekend’s NJROTC event with Lauzon and junior returner Destiny Collier leading four scores all above 1150.

Collier finished the prestigious three-day competition with an 1158 while junior Alexandria Wright and sophomore Jonathan Satterfield were equally strong with respective efforts of 1156 and 1151.

Satterfield led all shooters with a 199 out of 200 at the prone position during East Coweta’s final series, improving his day one total by three points. Lauzon and Collier added scores of 198, two ahead of their first attempts at the position.

Lauzon had a best of 196 in standing and 195 in kneeling while advancing to the 10-shot individual finals and firing a 100.6, second-best among finalists.

Collier and Wright, a returning shooter who stepped into a top spot for East Coweta this season, placed 11th and 12th among Marine Corps competitors while Satterfield was 16th.

The four standouts combined to lead the program to an undefeated 9-0 record in Area 5 during the GHSA regular season. Competing in arguably the toughest area among Georgia high school programs, East Coweta had an average score of 1147.70 during the nine victories before dominating the Area 5 Championship on March 7.

The team’s score of 1160 placed ahead of Luella (1134), Stockbridge (1122) and Union Grove (1118) among the six state qualifiers out of Area 5.

Since 1997, East Coweta has seen 24 shooters selected to the Georgia Shooting Sports Association’s All-State team and has qualified for the GHSA championships in 11 of the last 13 seasons.

The program is seeking the school’s second GHSA state title next month after placing third in 2010 and as state-runner up in 2011. The 2000 rifle champions are the only team in school history to earn a GHSA championship.

Following this year’s GHSA Championship, Lauzon will compete in the 17-21 year-old division at the Junior Olympics in Colorado Springs during the week of April 21.

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