East Coweta High School’s Junior ROTC Precision Rifle Team has a chance to bring home a state title after qualifying for the GHSA state championships.
Team members include Nate Peterson, Tanner Whitehead, Grant Thom, Austin Barber, Drake Ward, Josh Holms, Evelyn Reid, Nathan Wright, Gage Acedera and Bo Saavedra.
The team competed in GHSA varsity rifle as well as the JROTC Annual National Competition.
The team also shot several individual matches, winning the Dixie Challenge and finishing second at the Montgomery Bell Invitational.
East Coweta defeated Duluth High School in the state sectionals and defeated Southeast Bulloch 1164 -1107 on 31 in a state semifinals match.
During the GHSA Area 5 Rifle regular season, ECHS finished with a perfect 15-0 record and won the Larry Pendergrass GHSA Area 5 Rifle Championship for the fourth year in a row.
At the Area 5 Championships, Whitehead placed first out of 54 of the top shooters. Peterson was second, Thom 10th, Barber 11th and Ward 13th.
Peterson, Whitehead and Barber earned All Area 5 Team recognition, while Peterson and Whitehead were both selected for the All-Georgia Rifle Team for a second year in a row.
The team also competed in the JROTC national air rifle competition at the Marine Corps Service Championships in Las Vegas in February, finishing second overall behind El Dorado High School of New Mexico.
Whitehead finished in second place out of 44 of the Marine Corps’ top shooters, while Peterson was fifth, Barber 15th, Thom 22nd and Holmes 25th.
With its second place Marine Corps finish, the ECHS team earned a spot in the 2017 All Service Championships, held in Anniston, Ala. in March.
The All Service Championship is open to the top five teams and top nationally ranked shooters from each of the JROTC military services.
East Coweta finished third overall behind El Dorado and John Marshall High School of Virginia.
Peterson finished fifth in the nation. Whitehead finished 11th, Barber 32nd,and Thom 40th.