East Coweta advances to GHSA state championship after win in semis

by Chris Goltermann


East Coweta rifle coach Maj. Peter Merrill talks with junior Glen Lauzon (middle, left) and sophomores Destiny Collier and John Satterfield earlier this season. The team dominated its semifinal match against Colquitt County on Wednesday to reach next month’s GHSA Championships. 

East Coweta’s air rifle team may have redefined the term ‘on target’ during the 2013-14 season.

Continuing to post scores well above the level at last year’s GHSA Championships, juniors Glen Lauzon and Alexandria Wright and sophomores Destiny Collier and John Satterfield put together an effort of 1156 (out of a possible 1200) in Wednesday’s semifinal victory over Colquitt County.

East Coweta earned a 52-point victory over Colquitt led by Lauzon’s near-perfect 297 out of 300 in a season-best effort.

The junior team captain was coming off last weekend’s eighth-place individual finish at the National JROTC Championships at Camp Perry in Ohio. Lauzon was the top Marine Corps finisher in the nation last weekend.

Lauzon’s effort against Colquitt was “by far the highest score we have had all season,” said East Coweta coach Maj. Pete Merrill.

Wright followed with a 290, while Satterfield and Collier finished with respective efforts of 285 and 284.

All four team members qualified individually during the GHSA regular season out of Area 5 by earning scores of 290 in competition.

This week’s 12 semifinalist winners, along with the two losing schools with the highest remaining scores, advance to the April 12 state championships at Fort Benning.

Both Collier and Lauzon had bests of 294 during the regular season as the team finished 9-0 en route to an Area 5 championship. Satterfield qualified with a top effort of 292 while Wright had a 291.

Division rival Luella, led by junior Ethan Brown, also advanced to the state championship this week by defeating Columbus 1141-1138. The Lions finished as the No. 2 seed from Area 5 behind East Coweta.

Defending state champion Union Grove, which placed fourth in the area, reached the semifinal round as well as third-place Stockbridge.

Despite finishing 10th of 11 teams at the 2014 state championships, East Coweta remains poised to be among the favorites heading into this year’s event. The program, which won the school’s only team state title in 2000, placed as state runner-up in 2011 and third in 2012, while averaging a 1147 during the regular season.

All shooters, though, will again have to adjust to Columbus’ Olympic shooting range. Competitors will use tables to shoot in the prone and kneeling positions, different than any previous event during the GHSA season.

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