Tifton Gazette

Local Sports

January 12, 2013

Blue Devils air rifle outshoots Turner County

TIFTON — The Tift County High precision air rifle team traveled to Ashburn for their first regular season match against Turner County on Thursday evening.  Tift easily shot past Turner with a score of 1,115 to 935.

Tift starts the season where they finished last year; the 1,115 score is the second highest score they have posted behind an 1,117 shot in the state semi-finals against Worth last April.

“We have 12 shooters this year, many of whom have had shooting sports competition experience, even if they aren’t experienced in air rifle,” said Coach Julie Rucker.  “We have five returning shooters, but I am especially excited with the quality of our new shooters this year.”

Senior Brooke Hester led the team shooting a 290 and qualifying for the state riflery championship as an individual in the first match of the season.

Shooters who reach 290 in a regular season match automatically qualify for state even if the team doesn’t make it to the state match later in the season.  A perfect score is a 300.

“I’m proud that Brooke achieved this goal early in the season,” said Rucker.  “Last year her best score was a 289, which she also shot in Turner County.   Brooke has also been sick the past couple of days, so it took some determination on her part to come out and perform at that level.”

Sophomore Hannah Rucker followed Hester with a 281.  Rounding out the top four shooters for Tift were junior Shelby Gates and sophomore Dylan Merritt who both shot a 272.    

 “I fully expect our top four shooters to be different in each match.  Brooke and Hannah have been the first and second shooters consistently, but I have so many kids shooting well that I never know who my number three and four will be,” said Rucker.

Turner County shooters were led by Patrick Poore who shot a 265.

Tift will shoot their first home match against Coffee County next Thursday, Jan. 17, at 5 p.m.  


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