After back-to-back seasons of finishing in seventh place at the state competition, the Columbus High riflery team took a step forward in 2014.
It was more of a small step than one giant leap, going from seventh to sixth, but it was another sign of the growth the shooters on the team had experience.
None was more impressive than senior Kelly Orck, who averaged an area best 287.89 for the year and received a scholarship to continue competing at Columbus State University.
For her success, as well as her team's, she and coach Sgt. Maj. Frank Tuggle were named All-Bi-City shooter and coach of the year for 2014.
Orck didn't hesitate when she said 2014 was the best she had ever done.
"It was my senior year and I knew in previous years I wasn't as dedicated as I needed to be," she said. "I knew this was a way to get a scholarship to college. I knew that if I focused on this and made it a priority, that'd help."
It did, indeed.
She outshot the competition in the area and led her team to a high finish at state. Her future at Columbus State remains to be seen, but she said she has high expectations.
"I expect to be on the starting team," she said. "But that is a dream. But, hey, dream big or go home. That's the expectation I need."
The same can be said for Tuggle and the future of Columbus.
While the team will lose a large portion of its seasoned shooters going into next season, Tuggle said that what the team has done over the past three years has created a high expectation of success.
"I think we'll continue to get better," he said of future teams. "We're losing a lot of good shooters, but the new ones learn from the past and see how great our shooters were and that will inspire them to work harder to make it to this level."
He's happy for this season's success, but he is taking nothing for granted.
"This has to be the expectation every year," he said. "But you have to earn it."