In 1903, Theodore Roosevelt entrusted marksmanship skills to the civilians. His adventures in the West and his experience looking for marksmen, while building the Rough Riders, convinced him that civilians were the proper place to enshrine these skills. The Military Marksmanship program came and went depending on the whims of commanders. Each state was to form associations, made up largely by civilians, with assistance of the Department of the Army. The Illinois State Rifle Association became that organization for Illinois. In 1905, Roosevelt established the National Matches to give everyone something to strive for.
Each year, the Illinois State Rifle Association sends teams to the National Matches which has competitions for Pistol, Smallbore, Rifle and Highpower Rifle. There are both individual and team competitions. Every member of the Illinois State Rifle Association should be particularly proud of this year's outstanding results. The following article only touches the highlights; the Illinois Shooter will have more details.
The ISRA sent four pistol teams to the National Matches. The pistol phase is held at Camp Perry, Ohio. There were four ISRA teams: one Marksman team, two Sharpshooter teams, and one Expert team. The ISRA Marksman team took first place among state associations. Mike Milen was 3rd in the Distinguished Revolver Match.
The Smallbore section of the National Matches takes place in Bristol, Indiana. The ISRA has some great Smallbore shooters, especially juniors. One of the top matches for juniors is the Whistler Boy Match which is comprised of two junior shooters. The trophies at the National Matches are magnificent; the Whistler Boy Trophy features a young man whistling, hence the name. The ISRA had two Whistler Boy teams. Historically, the top team from each group is the gold team, the second team is silver, and so on. The ISRA garnered both a 1st and 2nd place. The Gold Team (Josh Hirsch and Martina Gratz) finished 1st, and the Silver Team (Josette Peters and Jaden Thompson) finished 2nd in the championships.
In the Three Position Match (prone, kneeling and standing), there are four shooters on a team. The ISRA came 1st in the junior division and 2nd overall. The only team who beat them was from the United States Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU). Very Impressive!
The Highpower Championships were also astounding for the ISRA. There is also a Whistler Boy Match for juniors shooting Highpower. Alex Vitous and Liam McKenna made up the team and walked away with the championship. The civilian National Trophy Individual Championship felt the weight of Illinois Marksman with James Vaughn (1st), Liam McKenna (2nd) and Tom Klauer (7th).
ISRA Gold won the High Civilian Team and took the Soldier of Marathon Trophy. The firing members of the team consisted of Jim Vaughn, Tim Klauer, John Roth, Mark Aussicker, Konrad Powers, and John Holliger. The team was captained by Konrad Powers and coached by John Holliger.
The National Trophy Infantry Team Match is a six-person team match. ISRA Gold took 2nd place among the civilians.
Liam McKenna, ISRA Junior, set three national records. Liam's national records include the National Individual Trophy Match and the National Trophy Individual-Junior Team. Liam McKenna was 1st and Alex Vitous was 3rd. In the National Trophy Individual-Team Aggregate, Liam, once again, set a new national record.
There is more coming. Perhaps we should put an inscription over the ISRA door which states "Excellent Marksmanship Lives Here".
These performances show that the ISRA has one of the most active and competitive highpower rifle programs in the country. The shooters who compete in our state continually expect to fire top scores and positively represent the ISRA in national competition.
Thanks for being a member.
Come see us at the Peoria Civic Center for the Deer & Turkey Expo, Booth 624C on July 28,29, and 30!
Thursday, July 27, 2017
ISRA Smallbore/Rimfire F-Class Thursday Night League
Saturday, July 29, 2017
Sunday, July 30, 2017
MTG Advanced Handgun Skills
Sunday, July 30, 2017
American Legion Team Match #4
Glock League (bring your GSSF member #)
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
ISRA Tuesday Night Irregular League
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
ISRA Benchrest League
Saturday, August 5, 2017