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Local paintballers win big in first season

By Johnny Jackson

jjackson@henryherald.com

A McDonough paintball team in its first year of competition, has walked away with the Georgia Field Owners Association's 2009 Division-5 Championship.

The Hot Shot Kids Orange Team placed second in the Georgia Field Owners Association's (GFOA) final five-man team tournament recently in Macon, propelling the team to the top spot in points earned among other top Division-5 beginner teams in Georgia.

"I was excited when we won it," said Team Captain Dylan Kersey, of McDonough.

Kersey, 14, said this year's successes are the direct results of teamwork and the collective passion among his teammates for the sport of paintball. "All my teammates are assets to our team, and we relied on everyone as a team," he said. "I feel like, if I'm sick one day, I have enough faith in my teammates to fill in."

Kersey, who competed in 22 tournaments this season, relished the unexpected first-year success with hopes and goals for the upcoming paintball season. "It's a good step up for our first year of playing," Kersey said. "It showed that we could do something great in our first year, and we plan on matching our accomplishments next season."

"It's been a phenomenal year," added team coach, Darryl McCurry. McCurry said the Hot Shot Kids Paintball Program, sponsored by Hot Shots Field Owner Shane Preston, was also able to garner good placement in other tournaments in the region and nation.

The multi-team program had a team finish fifth among about 300 teams during the 2009 Division-5 Paintball Sports Promotion World Cup, held in October at Polk City, Fla., and its three-man Division-4 team won the 2009 Carolina Field Owner Association's (CFOA) Regional Championships.

The team is one of 13 different paintball teams in the McDonough-based Hot Shot Kids Paintball Program, soon to be known as the Atlanta Breakout Paintball Program. McCurry said the program, which currently serves more than 40 youths from across the Southeast, has had teams compete in 23 different events this year, earning fourth place or higher in most instances.

"Darryl [McCurry] runs a very good program," said Joe Pfeil, owner of GFOA. "They're good kids as far as the sport goes and as far as representing where they are and where they are from."

Hot Shot Kids Gold Team, a Three-man Division-4 team, led by Kersey, won the 2009 regional championship in the Carolina Field Owner Association Regional Tournament in Rockhill, S.C. Kersey also led Hot Shot Kids Team Silver, which placed second in the National Paintball Sports Promotions' 2009 Young Guns event in Chicago, Ill.

Other members of the GFOA Championship Team include: Jody Marshal, of McDonough; Anthony Rincione, of Martinez, Ga.; and Adam Royal, of North Augusta, S.C.

Rincione and Royal are members of Hot Shot Kids Orange and also are members of Atomic Aftermath from North Augusta, S.C., which won the 2009 Division-5 Carolina Field Owner Association (CFOA) Championship.

"It was pretty cool to win, because there were some pretty good teams," said Adams, 14. Adams, a McDonough resident, joined teammate Thomas Whitmire, of Lilburn, Ga., on the Hot Shot Kids Silver Team, which placed second in the National Paintball Sports Promotions' Young Guns Event earlier this year.

To learn more the Hot Shot Kids Paintball Program, visit its new Atlanta Breakout web site.

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On the net:

Atlanta Breakout: www.atlantabreakout.com