By CHRIS GOLTERMANN, CowetaScore.com
East Coweta's rifle team breezed into this week's GHSA semifinals while maintaining an undefeated record that included a perfect run the regular season in Area 5.
This year's team finished a perfect 10-0 while leading Area 5 with a scoring average of 1,156.73 (out of 1,200). Senior Tanner Whitehead also led the area with a season-best score of 298. He was among eight shooters from East Coweta that scored a perfect 100 in prone during the season.
Whitehead also scored a perfect 100 in kneeling along with sophomore Josh Holm in Area 5 matches.
In addition to advancing to the state playoffs as a team with its Area 5 title, East Coweta had five shooters that qualified individually for this month's GHSA State Championships by firing a score of at least 292 during a match.
Along with Whitehead and Holm, who posted a seasonbest of 295, sophomore Kinsley Hannon, senior Gage Acedera and senior Austin Barber all qualified for the state finals.
East Coweta won the Area 5 title with a score of 1,169 in its championship match on March 17. The effort was one point ahead of the program's state record from the 2016 GHSA championship victory.
Ware County won last year's GHSA championship with a 1,160, just ahead of East Coweta's runner-up effort of 1,153.
Whitehead, Barber and Holm each competed in last year's state championships, which will be again held at the Pool International Shooting Complex at Fort Benning.
It was the second straight top-two finish for the program following the 2016 GHSA title.
East Coweta won its first state riflery title in 2000.