High School Sports

Northside, Columbus ready for state rifle meet

Just like a season ago, two local rifle teams will compete at the state meet on Saturday at Fort Benning.

Northside and Columbus advanced to the 14-team championship field. The former will be attempting to win its first title since 2007 and fourth overall.

Columbus will attempt to pick up its first ever state air rifle title.

The road for the Blue Devils was intense, given that they had to go to two tiebreakers in their semifinal match with Elbert County after both teams finished the day at 1,121.

The second tiebreaker was the kneeling position, which Columbus had scored higher in.

"The kids were excited about that, obviously," coach Frank Tuggle said on Friday.

And even more excited about the opportunity to compete on Saturday.

Columbus finished sixth a year ago, one spot ahead of crosstown rival Northside. It has never won an air rifle title, however, last winning in the .22 competition in 1974 before it was discontinued in 1995.

"We're going out there with high hopes," Tuggle said. "Depending on how well our shooters shoot, we should do well on the second relay. We've trained for it and practiced. They're ready."

The Blue Devils will rely on seasoned shooters Veronica Leggett and Sara Daniels in the second relay, while Carmen Paige will anchor the first.

Northside, meanwhile, defeated Dalton in the semifinals, 1,152 to 1,136, behind junior Shelby Huber. Huber had a top score of 292 in that match, and will be counted upon to lead the way on Saturday.

Hunter and Jade Gallahair and Cason Borum are also starters for Northside and will compete at state.

The meet will be held from 10:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Pool International Shooting Complex at Fort Benning. The competition is free of charge.