September 19, 2012

Rifle Squads Are Prepared for 2012-13 Slate

Head Coach William C. Smith enters his 13th season at the helm of The Citadel men's and women's rifle teams and is set to enter the 2012-13 season with a roster that is chocked full of experienced marksmen.

Men

The men's team will bring back top shooters Robert Jackson, William Wutzer and Nathaniel Moy, who all fired impressive air rifle and smallbore marks during their freshmen campaigns.

Jackson led all Bulldogs a season ago with an air rifle average of 568 and a smallbore average of 549, earning 10 varsity letters in his outings. The Roswell, Ga., native led all Bulldog air rifle shooters in seven of the 12 matches and posted a men's team high of 575 on three occasions.

Wutzer finished the 2011-12 season with an air rifle average of 561, second best among his teammates, and earned nine varsity letters including an impressive 562 in his first collegiate competition. The Siesta Keys, Fla., native also earned two smallbore varsity letters with his season-best mark coming against Air Force and Ole Miss where he carded a 562.

"Last year's outstanding freshmen class has returned as seasoned veterans with practice scores already higher than last season's average," said Smith.

Franklin Wright, who took a year off after a stellar freshman season, is back as the men's team captain and the junior brought his brother Thor with him. Smith expects big things from the Wright family this season and was impressed with Thor's preseason scores, which were consistently in the 560's.

Women

Julia McCullohs will captain the women's team for the second consecutive year and will look to continue her consistent four-year career as the Bulldogs' number one shooter. The Colorado Springs, Colo., native led all women shooters a year ago with an air rifle average of 565 and a smallbore average of 520.

Pacing McCullohs again this season will be senior Terri Craig, who closed out her junior campaign with an air rifle average of 555, including a personal-best mark of 569 against Alabama-Birmingham.

Schedule

The Bulldogs are slated to host nine matches at the Inouye Marksmanship Center including two Southeastern Air Rifle Conference matches and the SEARC Championships.

The Citadel will open up the season with a non-conference matchup against military school rival VMI on Sept. 22, in Lexington, Va. The Bulldogs have topped the Keydets in each of their previous six meetings.

The Bulldog marksmen will compete against seven other schools throughout the 2012-13 season, all of which are ranked by the NCAA. The 2010 and 2012 national champion Horned Frogs of Texas Christian will come to the Inouye Marksmanship Center Oct. 6 and 8, while Kentucky, the 2011 national champions, will compete in Charleston on Nov. 3-4.

The Bulldogs will also play host to No. 4 Army, No. 8 Jacksonville State, No. 13 Air Force, No. 17 Columbus State and conference foe No. 19 N.C. State.

"We open at home against last year's NCAA champion, TCU, plus Columbus State and Jacksonville State, said Smith. "TCU looks to repeat as champion this season with returning Pan American and Olympic Team shooters in their squad."

In conference play, the Bulldogs will look to notch their fifth Southeastern Air Rifle Conference championship since joining the conference with their most recent coming in 2010-11 when they topped rival N.C. State. SEARC competition will begin on Sept. 29-30 in Dahlonega, Ga., and will include seven competitions throughout the season, culminating on March 2 in Charleston for the championship.

"We open SEARC at North Georgia and several conference schools are in the hunt this year," said Smith. "Our shooters want to win the conference championship this year and a strong first match will put that goal in our sights!"

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