Student Air Rifle program promotes discipline and responsibility - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Student Air Rifle program promotes discipline and responsibility

CHATTAHOOCHEE COUNTY, GA (WTVM) -

Dozens of Junior ROTC students are getting ready to try out for the air rifle marksmanship program at Chattahoochee County High School. 

On Wednesday, WTVM got the opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at their state of the art rifle range.

Only about 10 students will make the cut to be a part of the Air Rifle Marksmanship Program.

“I really like the leadership and respect aspect of it and doing what you need to get a higher position and to help your fellow peers," said Alex Croom. 

Croom and Alex Herzberg were on the team last year that qualified for state. They said the program helped them stay out of trouble and keep their grades up.

Senior Army instructor Lieutenant Colonel Kelvin Scott said he students have to keep good grades, pass a physical and safety exam with a score of 100 percent, and sign a safety pledge before ever firing an air rifle. 

"Everything you do is based off safety, so it plays such a big part in what you do and everything that you try for here," Herzberg said. 

Lt. Col. Scott also said air rifle marksmanship is one of the safest high school sports in the nation. 

Since he’s been at the school in 2008 there have been no accidents, and in the last 10 years across the nation there were only six minor incidents. 

The teachers and the “state of the art” rifle range have to be certified on multiple levels. 

"We’re 1 in 2 schools in Georgia that has a computerized system known as mega link giving immediate feedback to the shooter where their round is impacted as well as the previous round," Lt. Col. Scott said.

"The targets on the screen plays a major part because it helps you with not only to see where you’re shooting at but it also helps with the correcting your rifle," Herzberg added. 

These students compete with other schools in Columbus and surrounding areas in the southeast, and can continue on a collegiate, military, and Olympic level. 

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