Originally created 07/20/02

Reynolds takes gold, helps students place



With a wet towel wrapped around his neck, Harold Reynolds pointed his shotgun to the sky and yelled, "Pull."

Two shots. Two shattered sporting clays. Reynolds repeated this five times until he destroyed all 10 "birds" at his station.

Reynolds, anElberton, Ga., resident shot 87 of 100 sporting clays in the lone shooting event Friday in the Georgia Games Championships at Pinetucky Gun Club.

Reynolds' effort was good enough for a gold medal in the Men's M1 division. He beat Martinez's Michael Benoit by 13 clays.

"It was kind of challenging on that course," Reynolds said.

With temperatures in the upper-90s Friday afternoon, Reynolds faced another challenge: his emphysema.

"When you've got a disability like I've got," he said, "it's pretty tough sometimes."

Reynolds was one of 16 participants in the competition. Reynolds was grouped with two 15-year-old Athens-area shooters he coaches - Kyle Major and Robert Perry.

They entered the 10-station course with a scorekeeper and another person who helps throw the clays. Set in the woods, the course wound down around a side of the hilly area at Pinetucky.

Shooters would line up one at a time and shoot clays in the air or on the ground. At the third station, clays were thrown along the ground - which was said to simulate rabbits hopping through the woods.

At Station 5, shooters were smacked in the face with the smell of the adjacent landfill.

"It was smelly, and you could see the dust over there," Reynolds said. "To me, that's not good."

While Major and Perry walked the course, Reynolds rode in a modified golf cart. With a gun rack on the back, the cart also had areas in the front and back for a toolbox and a cooler.

After reaching Station 8, Reynolds got out of his cart and gave some instructions to his students. His tips helped as Major score 72 and Perry 70. Major won the Men's J2 division over Perry. They were the only ones entered in the competition for that division.

"He told us where to start," Major said. "He told us where to shoot some of the birds."

Major and Perry have been shooting sporting clays for just a year. They didn't start shooting on a regular basis until they picked it up with the 4-H Club two years ago.

The sporting clay bug has sunk its teeth deep into them. Perry, who faced bad weather the last time he visited Pinetucky, had no problem with the blistering heat.

"We'll shoot in this, and we'll shoot in the freezing rain," Perry said. "That's how it was last time I was down here."

Reach Chris Gay at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 114.