Athlete of the Week: Caroline Hooks

6:17 PM, Mar 15, 2012   |    comments
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Later this month, a sharp shooter from Georgia Military Prep school will travel to Alabama for a national competition.

It's a big deal for the senior, but Caroline Hooks keeps herself grounded on the range and in the classroom, which makes her our "Athlete of the Week."

Range instructor Mary Ellen Eaton says she knew right away she had a special kid in the ranks when Caroline Hooks wandered into the program a couple of years ago.

"She had potential," Eaton said.

Hooks focused in on that potential and earned a trip to nationals this season. It's the first time anyone in Bulldog history has reached that level in at least fifteen years. The team found out about the honor at a banquet.

"When they said Caroline Hooks, I looked at Caroline and her mouth dropped open," Eaton said with a smile.

"Everybody is looking at you, and I was like I can't believe I just made it into all service nationals. It was really exciting," Hooks said.

That's saying a lot because precision air rifle athletes are not what you would call high strung. It may take a shooter forty seconds to pull the trigger. "There's a lot of stuff you have to concentrate on like balance and watching your breathing. Rifle team is a pretty complicated sport," Hooks explained.

And she hasn't shied away from complicated classes.
 
"I take an AP statistics class that's killing me right now," Hooks admitted.

Caroline, who wants a military career coupled with a degree in Nursing, carries a solid "B" average, but she says it's difficult.
 
"Well, we're gone so much, and we don't get home till nine. So coming back too late and going home to do homework and studying so late, it's very time-consuming, but it's just one of the things that you do if you play a sport. There are pro's and cons," Hooks said.

Hooks will continue to weigh her options, but her coach feels the senior could one day represent the United States in the sport.

"If I had my wish for Caroline I would like to see her in the Olympics one day," Eaton said.

Hooks doesn't talk about that milestone much, but she is proud of her progress over the last 24 months. With her talent anything is worth aiming for in the future.

"I didn't think I was going to be this good when I started, but I guess practice really does pay off," Hooks said.

The National Precision Air Rifle Championships will happen in Anniston, Alabama 22nd through 24th.

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