Moore Teen Takes Aim at Elite Shooter's StatusJul 03, 2021
Former competitive marksman and coach Charles Meloy knows what it takes to compete at the shooting sport’s highest levels. Over the 15 years, Meloy has been running the H&H Precision Shooters program; he’s seen thousands of youth shooters come through the program.
“In the 15 years, we’ve had about three kids come through and make it to some point in the Olympic shooting program,” said Meloy.
Elisa Boozer walked through Meloy’s doors three years ago at 11 years of age. She was just looking for a sport to focus on.
“My family has a rule about having an athletic activity to go along with academics,” said Boozer. “I was doing karate with my dad and didn’t really want to do it anymore. But, my grandpa has always been involved in different types of guns and stuff, and so I just kind of went along with that and ended up here.”
It didn’t take Meloy long to recognize that the youngster had the rare qualities that set her apart from the crowd.
“I saw that little Olympic spark that so few have,” said Meloy, “So, we gently fanned that spark over the years, and she has certainly excelled.”
Boozer, who will be a freshman at Moore High School in the fall, was the top shooter in her age group for the state of Oklahoma this year. Competing in the t the 2021 National Rifle Junior Olympic Championships this past spring, she finished 5th in the 14-and-under age group for girls and 6th overall in the 10-meter precision air rifle event. She’ll be competing in another national shooting competition this fall.
“I actually qualified last year, but the competition was canceled because of COVID,” said Boozer. “I felt like I could do well at the Junior Olympics, but it didn’t really sink in how well until about a week later.”
While she seems to come across as an ordinary, extroverted kid who just finished middle school, there’s a deeper level of concentration that sets Boozer apart when it comes to shooting.
“I’m very much a person who has to have everything just the way it has to be,” said Boozer. “I love structure and processes and all the things that go with that.”
That desire for order and precision is one thing that powers her success when it comes to shooting. The best shooters can put pellet after pellet into the exact center of a target from 10-meters away. However, Elisa’s passion for perfection sets her apart.
“I’m always just a little nervous before the competition starts,” said Boozer, “But once the match starts, a calmness sets in, and I just go through my shot plan, making sure every little detail is the same: is the butt plate on my shoulder correctly, are my feet comfortable, checking my balance by holding my rifle under my chin. You focus and eliminate every distraction.”
Boozer says the irony of all that is that she doesn’t see herself as a naturally calm person.
“I think I’m pretty normal outside of shooting,” said Boozer. “I love to talk to people. But, honestly, I’ll talk to just about anybody. And I love just about any kind of music. Except for metal.”
She gets a lot of family support from her parents and sister, a junior at Oklahoma City University. She’s also deeply involved with the Cleveland County 4-H team. She participates in their sport shooting program, which is not as intense as the precision shooting competitions she’s beginning to excel in. Boozer plans on playing tennis and running for student government when she heads off to Moore High School in the fall. She also plans to follow shooting as far as it will take her, including the Olympics in the future.
“Right now, I just want to get my scores to a point where I can make a collegiate shooting team,” said Boozer. “I don’t think about things like the Olympics that much yet.”
She and her dad met up with Meloy in late June to get used to her new rifle. It’s a top-caliber air rifle that she can use through the Olympics if she does make the U.S. team. Her dad, Brandon, says he’s proud of how she’s applied herself to the sport and is committed to helping her achieve whatever goals she sets for herself.
“This rifle will take her as far as she wants to go,” said Brandon, “I’m just grateful for groups like Cleveland County 4-H and H&H Precision Shooters for giving her the direction they have.”
Brandon says shooting is a sport that he hopes will attract the attention of more kids in the future.
“This is a great sport for kids to become involved in,” said Brandon. “It’s not very expensive, and there are a lot of free gun education programs around the state for them to get started with.”
For more information on how to get involved in sport and precision shooting, contact:
H & H Precision Shooting - 405-947-3888.