It is with great sorrow that pronematch.com announces the passing of Harold “Hap” Rocketto on July 8, 2021 at the age of 74. The shooting community has lost it historian who was also a distinguished rifleman.
Harold “Hap” Rocketto, his involvement in the competitive shooting sports is long and broad. His involvement started in 1961 as a freshman on the New London (CT) high school smallbore rifle team. Since that time, he honed his skills to become an accomplished rifle shooter. Hap Rocketto is a Distinguished Rifleman with service and smallbore rifle, a member of The Presidents Hundred, and the National Guard’s Chief’s 50. He is a National Smallbore Record holder, a member of the NRA 1600 Club, and the Connecticut Shooters’ Hall of Fame. He was the 2002 NRA Intermediate Senior Three Position National Smallbore Rifle Champion, the 2012 Senior Three Position National Smallbore Rifle Champion, and a member of the 2007 and 2012 National Four Position Indoor Championship team. He has been awarded an international distinguished badge in smallbore.
Hap has also worked to ensure the sport continues. For over 40 years he has been a coach to junior and new shooters. He coached juniors at the Quaker Hill Rod & Gun Club so long that children and grandchildren of juniors have participated in the Quaker Hill junior rifle program. Many of these juniors moved on to compete alongside him in the local (Eastern CT) adult indoor 3-P rifle league. He volunteered as an assistant coach for seven seasons at the US Coast Guard Academy. He is certified by the National Rifle Association as a Level Two Coach in Smallbore Rifle, High Power Rifle, and Pistol. He is also certified by USA Shooting as a High Performance Coach, one of just six certified by USA Shooting.
At the International level Hap won ten medals in two Maccabiah Games. He has been Captain and Coach of the US Dewar International Postal Team, Captain, Coach and Adjutant of the US Drew Cup International Postal Team, Coach and Adjutant of the US Wakefield International Postal Team. Hap has also been Adjutant of the United States 2009 Roberts Team, 2013 United States Pershing Team, 2017 United States Roberts Team, and appointed Adjutant of the 2022 (2021) Pershing Team.
Hap has also put pen to paper documenting regional, national, and international rifle matches. Known as a historian of the shooting sports his work appears in Shooting Sports USA, the Precision Shooting Magazine, The Outdoor Message, the American Rifleman, the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s website, and on pronematch.com. He was the contributor to the smallbore portion of the NRA book “The National Matches 1903-2003 The First 100 Years”.
Hap, along with his brother Steve, cofounded The Corporal Digby Hand Schützenverein club. Known as the club of the light-hearted shooters, it is a reminder that this sport is about having fun and enjoying the sport.
We are diminished.