Tifton Gazette

Local Sports

February 9, 2013

Tift County air rifle team breathes easy with Fitzgerald

TIFTON — The Blue Devil air rifle team got a breather Thursday night when they easily outshot Fitzgerald High School 1,101 to 824.

“We’ve had some tough matches over the past two weeks shooting against Colquitt County and Worth County,” said Coach Julie Rucker.  “Any day of the week, any of our three teams could outshoot the others. We are that close.”

Close wasn’t a consideration on Thursday against Fitzgerald.  Tift’s newer squad members had the opportunity to shine in a match as Rucker gave three of her top shooters a night off.  

“Our sport produces a lot of data,” said Rucker. “You can easily tell which matches will be difficult and which ones will be easy to win.  Fitzgerald’s data shows they will shoot about 300 points less than we will.”

Tift placed three new shooters in the top four for the match.  Brooke Hester once again led the team with a 287.  Sophomores Miles McDonald (277) and Rose Bradford (272) both stepped up to give solid scores while freshman Jasper Thornton surprised everyone with a 265 to finish out the top four.

“I am excited about the depth our team is beginning to have,” said Rucker.  Seven of the eight shooters for Tift shot a 263 or higher in the match.  

Thursday’s match showed that Tift does have some depth as they were able to shoot close to their average even with three of their usual top four shooters out for the evening.

“I keep saying that we need some shooters to step up and give us some scores in the mid-270’s,” said Rucker.  McDonald and Bradford met that challenge in this match.

Tift has another opportunity to give some newer shooters a chance to compete when they travel out of town to shoot against Fitzgerald again next Tuesday.  They are half-way through their regular season which culminates in the Area Championship on March 8.

The top individual shooter for Fitzgerald was Brittany Flinchum who shot a 243.

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