Lumpkin County rifle team improves to 5-1

  • LCHS sophomore shooter Joshua Molina takes aim during the prone portion of competition. Molina shot perfect scores in prone and kneeling to help the Indians defeat North Forsyth last week, improving the team’s overall record to 5-1.
    LCHS sophomore shooter Joshua Molina takes aim during the prone portion of competition. Molina shot perfect scores in prone and kneeling to help the Indians defeat North Forsyth last week, improving the team’s overall record to 5-1.
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The LCHS rifle team improved to 5-1 on the season after pulling out a nail-biter against North Forsyth at the Indian Hunting Grounds at LCHS on Thursday, Jan. 16.
The Indians received a stellar performance from sophomore shooter Joshua Molina, who shot a score of 287 at the event, in order to help them hold on to a slim lead and emerge victorious 1,126-1,102.
Molina shot perfect scores in both the prone and kneeling portions of the event.
At the end of the prone position relay of the competition, the Indians found themselves up by just two points. The slim lead was thanks largely in part to Molina shooting a perfect score of 100 and true freshman Jake Gary recording a score of 99 in the prone position in his first ever match as part of the LCHS rifle team.
The Indians gained another point in the standing portion of the competition and led North Forsyth by three points headed into the final position of the event.
The Indians further separated themselves from North Forsyth in the kneeling portion of the competition when Molina shot his second perfect score of the event.
Molina’s score of 287 marked a personal record for the Lumpkin young gun and the team score of 1,126 marked a season high for the LCHS rifle team.
Senior and team captain Colby Craddock also had a successful day on the range for the Indians versus North Forsyth. Craddock shot a 282.
Other notable performances came from Ansley Gilstrap, Anthony Bauer and Gary. Gilstrap shot a 281, Bauer shot a 276 and Gary finished his first match with the team with a score of 271.
The close victory improved the Indians’ overall record to 5-1 on the season.
Along with the thrilling win against North Forsyth, the LCHS rifle team is currently waiting to find out whether or not its shooters will receive an at-large invitation to the Jr. Olympics after five of its members took part in the North Georgia qualifying round for the USA Shooting Junior Olympics Air Rifle State Championships recently.
The Indians fielded one of the youngest teams competing in the event with three sophomores and two eighth graders taking part in the qualifying round.
Molina led the pack of young guns with a score of 555 out of 600 in the 60-shot, standing position only competition, missing out on an automatic bid by just 20 points.
Eighth grader Liv Lusky continued to show the strength of the Indians’ future with a score of 547. Sophomores Bauer and Justice Turner followed with scores of 536 and 525 respectively. And, eighth grader Maddy Moyer showed off her straight shooting with a score of 517.
“Even though the automatic invitational score is 575 out of a possible 600 for men and women, there is still a chance that the shooters could get an at-large invitation to the Jr. Olympics,” said LCHS head rifle coach Ron Fugate. “The at-large invitation will be sent out in several weeks, so for now, the shooters will have to wait until the national qualifying results are all in.”
Fugate expressed his pride in how his shooters carried themselves at the qualifying round.
“Regardless of the outcome, all of out shooters were poised and represented LCHS, the shooting program and our community with pride,” Fugate said.
The LCHS rifle team will travel to Riverside Military Academy for their next match this Thursday, Jan. 23. The match is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.