By Score Atlanta
Fourteen teams and 71 total shooters took part in the 2013 GHSA Riflery Championships, presented by the Georgia National Guard Saturday at Fort Benning’s Pool International Shooting Complex. The teams’ scores were comprised of the four team members’ individual point totals in the relays.
Union Grove won back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2009, but failed to crack the top three in 2010 and 2011 and failed to even make the finals in 2012. Union Grove advanced to the finals this year after taking out Kennesaw Mountain in the sectionals and edging Northside-Columbus in the semifinals. The Pool International Shooting Range was kind to Union Grove as the Wolverines captured their third state title with a team score of 1145 to beat out North Forsyth and defending champion Lumpkin County, which each finished at 1140. North Forsyth won a tiebreaker for second based on recording 59 “inner 10″ shots to Lumpkin County’s 51. Lumpkin County won a tiebreaker last year over Madison County 46-45 based on “inner 10s.”
North Forsyth fell short of its first team title but did manage to win the program’s first GHSA trophy as runner-up. Last year, North Forsyth finished 13th, but Rebecca Godwin helped the Raiders improve after snagging the individual title as GHSA air rifle champion. Godwin entered the championships holding the state’s top shooting average by a healthy margin and was named Team Captain of the 2013 GSSA All-State Team. She cemented herself as the state’s top shooter in her senior year with the victory. Lumpkin County’s Heather Johnson finished second while Marissa Furney won the first-ever individual medal for the Columbus program by finishing third. There was only 0.1 between the silver and bronze medalist scores.
Previous champions in the current format Northside-Columbus (2005, 2006 and 2007), East Coweta (2000) and Ware County (1997) also made the finals. Northside-Columbus reached the finals as one of the top two non-winning semifinalists with the highest scores, along with Dalton. Other finalists included Allatoona, Upson-Lee, Columbus, Lee County, Elbert County, Rutland and Parkview.