SAVANNAH — Bulloch Academy claimed the state runner-up trophy Saturday in the inaugural Georgia Independent School Association Clay Target Sports state championship at the Forest City Gun Club in Savannah.
The Gators tallied a score of 764 in the three shooting events (Sporting Clays, Skeet and Trap) and fell just 10 points shy of winning the state championship. John Milledge Academy from Milledgeville won the title with a 774. Stratford Academy from Macon and Westwood Academy from Camilla ended the tournament with a score of 763.
Stratford won a shoot-off for third place.
There were 20 schools represented and only the top three scores from a school were used in determining a team’s total score.
Junior Will Marsh led Bulloch Academy with a total score of 262 in the three events. Junior Judson Brannen tallied a 252 while sophomore Brian Marsh and eighth grader Joseph Lomax netted 250s. All four were named All State.
Will Marsh had the third highest score among the 150 shooters while Brannen was 10th.
Marsh shot a 92 in Skeet, a 75 in Sporting Clays and a 95 in Trap. Brannen had an 80 in Skeet, an 83 in Sporting Clays and an 89 in Trap. In the girls division, senior Ashlee Lanier finished ninth. Bulloch Academy had 17 shooters compete in all three disciplines.
“I am so very proud of all of the team members,” said BA head shooting sports coach Barbara Conner. “Just about everyone posted their best scores in one or more of the disciplines. Joseph had two hats shot. It is a tradition when you shoot your first perfect round, 25 out of 25, your squad members get to throw your hat up and shoot it.
"Joseph had a round of 25 in Skeet and one in Trap during the tournament. Joseph said he was going to start wearing his dad’s hats to all shooting matches. Dylan Marlow had a perfect 25 in Trap and had his hat shot as well. We have been so impressed with how far all of the members of the team have improved since our first practice in August.”
Other members of the Bulloch Academy’s Clay Targets Sports varsity team were seniors Daniel Muldrew, Taylor Hankinson, junior Ian Hodges, sophomores Branden Burnsed and Braxton Brinson and freshman John Daniel Brannen, Austin Daniels, Davis Childs and Alex Cauthen and eighth graders Seth Conner, Brandon Merrill, Wilson Joiner, Dalton NeSmith and Will Howard.
Coaches were Conner and her husband Dwayne, Neal Burnsed, Troy Marsh, Chris Merrill, Freddie Brinson and Presley Lomax.