Chatuge Gun Club, Inc.
P.O. Box 86  
Hiawassee, GA 30546

Safety The Final Responsibility is Yours
The Towns County 4-H Air Rifle Team Is at Work

     Four of the five teen athletes of the Towns County 4-H Sporter Air Rifle Team (AKA the “North Georgia
Airheads”) and their coaches took advantage of three special four hour shooting clinics at the North
Georgia College's Raymond C. Hamilton Rifle Range in Dahlonega during their Christmas break last
Ryan Tyler, Bazya and Blythe Smith, and Kyle Cox joined with the Tallulah Falls School team to further
develop their shooting skills. The clinic was arranged and led by J.P. O’Connor. The goal was to
encourage them to develop winning attitudes through mental discipline.
J.P. O’Connor, by vocation, is a software and database professional. By avocation, he is a coach and
official in the sport of Olympic rifle and pistol shooting. His specialty is applied sports psychology to train
athletes to thrive and win under pressure. J.P. is a member of the National Coach Development Staff –
both Rifle and Pistol.
In addition, Master Sgt. Timothy Stamey, recipient of the Silver Star and Meritorious Service Medal and
Level 4 Rifle Coach brought five athletes of the newly formed Tallulah Falls School Precision Rifle team
and shared his coaching expertise.
Also, the athletes and their coaches were introduced to Emily Stith, a recent high school graduate from
Colorado Springs. Emily has been training at the Olympic Training Center and is the 2017 Junior Olympic
champion and upcoming member of the Army National Marksman Unit at Fort Benning Georgia. Emily and
her parents were at the North Georgia College's range to practice before reporting to Ft. Benning. Our
athletes benefitted greatly from additional coaching by Don Stith, Emily’s dad/coach.
The Towns County team practices on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6 pm – 8 pm at the old
Hiawassee Recreation Center. These athletes will compete on Saturday, 13 January at the USA Shooting
Junior Olympic Shooting Championships. The next event they will participate in will be the Civilian
Marksmanship Program, state level 3P air rifle Junior Olympics, tentatively Sat 31 Mar 2018. These
competitions will be presented on the Hamilton Range. Also, in March, they hope to compete with other Air
Rifle Teams from Georgia and Alabama at the CMP South Range, Anniston, Alabama. The 4-H Georgia
State 3-Position Air Rifle Championships will wind up the season at Rock Eagle 4-H Center, Eatonton, GA
on Saturday, 28 April.

This enthusiastic 5-teen air rifle team is coached by members of The Chatuge Gun Club who spend two
nights a week with these teens. These coaches are Ed Jones, Steve Curlee, Mitch Floyd and Gene
Blackburn who have been coaching 4-H BB gun and air rifle teams for over 18 years

     Steven Curlee is a retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel. During his 21 years on active duty as a young
Captain, Steve was a member of the United States Army Marksmanship Unit. As a member of the AMU, he
competed in national and international shooting competitions. He also presented advanced marksmanship
clinics at major universities including all of the service academies.

     Along with these experienced coaches, coaching assistants and Chatuge Gun Club members Bill
Parker, and Ron Cantrell share their shooting expertise as well with statistics, scoring and record keeping
tasks provided by Verlee Jones.

     Thanks to donations of cash and manpower by the Chatuge Gun Club, The Georgia Sport Shooting
Association, Towns County Commissioner, Lake Chatuge Rotary Club the parents and various individuals,
most of the costs of the rifles and training equipment have been taken care of. Donations are appreciated
and put to good use.