At the recent ORA State Convention, Elisa Boozer was granted an honorary life membership to the Oklahoma Rifle Association for her outstanding achievements as a competitive shooter and in representing Oklahoma. This is adapted from the presentation of ORA Treasurer and H&H Precision Shooting Coach, Charles Meloy, who told her story before presenting her with her CMP Junior Distinguished Shooter medal. We look forward to seeing Elisa continue her training with the hopes of becoming a college athlete in the shooting sports. Did we mention that Elisa is not even out of high school yet? As you will see, has accomplished much at the ripe old age of 16. She shares her story in hopes that other Oklahoma youth will find the same great opportunity and friendships she’s discovered in competitive shooting.
Ladies and gentlemen, I want to tell you this story. As all good stories go, it would have an epilogue and prologue, and in our prologue, although the story is true, or partially true, or at least a little bit of it is true, none of the characters in this story are innocent and we are not going to change their names! So on with our story! Long, long ago, in a land far, far away– well, it was 16 years ago and in Moore, Oklahoma, there was a handsome young man (Brandon Boozer) and his beautiful bride (Gloria Boozer) who had a bouncing baby girl (Elisa Boozer). Now one would think that was just the highlight of their life, except they had a bouncing baby girl a few years before that, so this was sort of a ho-hum deal We’ll call this second bouncing baby girl baby Hero.
Baby Hero started to grow and as it turns out, the handsome young man was a highly skilled martial artist, not only as a practitioner, but as a coach and teacher. So when baby Hero got to be old enough to stand on one foot and kick with the other, the handsome young man started training her in the martial arts and this went on for a number of years. She continued to grow and grew into a young girl Hero.
When young girl Hero was in fifth grade, she was having a conversation with the handsome young man, her father, and said, “You know, I’m getting tired of studying karate. I would like to try something else!”
So, they started down the list of all the events that are practiced in the Olympics. When they got down to the S’s, they saw that there was soccer and swimming and shooting and skating and she said, “Wait a minute, shooting is an Olympic event? I think I would like to try that!”
That is when they started out on a quest to find a place to explore shooting. Now in their quest, ultimately, they landed at H & H Precision Shooters, which, by the way, is a member of the ORA. Then they met the coach (Charles Meloy); well, the coach really isn’t such a bad guy, but every story needs an antagonist in it, and he is as good as any. So the coach started her into the regular routine that he starts on with new shooters and using club rifles. She started shooting and was very receptive, coachable and accepting of training. After about four weeks she was still there. Generally four weeks is about the time when the coach begins to loose them if they are not interested, but she kept coming back.
One day, she told her father, our handsome young man, that she wanted her own rifle. So they got her a Daisy Challenger and she shot that for a while. But pretty soon she outgrew it. So they got her a CZ T200, and she shot that for a while and then she outgrew it. Next they got her a Feinwerkbau 800 Evolution and she shot that for a while and she outgrew it. Finally she got her Pardini, which she worked over the summer to pay for herself! Let me tell you something about that rifle. It has been said that Pardini rifles are like Italian sports car, they are a bear to get set up, but once everything is right, they just go like sixty. This Pardini is what she currently uses.
Our young girl Hero has now grown into a beautiful young lady. She started participating in local matches, and then in state matches. In her freshman year, she won the State Junior Olympics and that got her attention to the National Junior Olympics.
By this point, she’s advanced and wearing all leather clothing for shooting: leather britches, leather jacket, leather gloves, and leather boots. However, not only is our beautiful young lady a shooter, but she’s also a 4.0 student. She’s also a tennis player, and as a freshman in high school, she was playing tennis on the varsity squad. As a sophomore in high school, she played tennis on the varsity squad. That has nothing to do with her shooting except tennis players develop large thigh muscles and so she outgrew her leather britches and they have had to be replaced several times, much to the chagrin of the handsome young man and his pocketbook!
In her freshman year of high school, our young lady Hero swept the State Junior Olympics for both USA Shooting and CMP scoring gold in all individual and team events earning an invite to the National Junior Olympics. In fact she has qualified 4 times for the Junior Olympics. USA Shooting is the organization that selects and trains the US Olympic shooting teams.
Our young lady hero spent a week in Puerto Rico for training. This was set up by Team Winning Solutions, or TWS. Our young lady Hero went there for a week and at the end of the week, she shot in matches against other Olympic shooters, finishing fourth in the finals. At the same time, this was going on, our handsome young man wen through his own week of training to become an ISSF class B range officer license.
As our young lady Hero went to National level matches, she ran across other elite shooters from Oklahoma. They were all shooting in the individual matches, but since they didn’t belong to a recognized club, they couldn’t shoot team matches. So they organized Oklahoma Sharpshooters, which is also a member of the ORA. Now when they go to National matches, they can shoot both as an individual and as a team. In our young lady Hero’s sophomore year at the State Junior Olympics, she swept gold in the individual matches, swept gold in the team matches and again, earned another invite to the National Junior Olympics. While there, she got to know several people on the TWS team, coached by a current olympian. As a part of that team, she returns regularly to the Olympic Training Center every three months. You could say she has been doing very well. At the last Junior Olympics as a sophomore, she was 35th out of 235 overall in all age groups, 10th out of 110 in her age group, and the number two sophomore in the nation. This has attracted a lot of attention. As a junior, she is now beginning the recruitment process to find a college team to call home.
Along the way she has competed in CMP EIC matches, winning enough such that she has earned her Junior Distinguished Shooter Medal, which I am proud to award to her today. I have come to the end of my story; however, all good stories have an epilogue, and I am asking Mark Vaughan to continue the story. On behalf of the ORA, Mark is awarding Elisa Boozer an honorary life membership in the Oklahoma Rifle Association.
The ORA is proud to have Elisa as an honorary life member and to represent the enjoyment, skill, dedication, and passion that is found in Oklahoma’s firearm communities.