Shooter Spotlight: Hap Rocketto

The purpose of the “Shooter Spotlight” is to help shooters get to know their fellow competitors a little bit better. We cover a wide range of shooters from “Marksman to Master.” This is the 16th interview in the series.

Hap Rocketto

Where do you call home?
Quaker Hill Rod and Gun Club is my shooting address, but I like to think that every rifle range is my home.

How long have you been shooting?
I first shot when I was about eight, but that was just a little plinking.

How did you get involved in shooting competitively?
I started competitive shooting as a high school freshman in 1961 at New London High School, following in my brother Steve’s foot steps, under the great teacher and coach George H. Gregory, Jr.

What is a little known fact about yourself that your fellow competitors might not know?
I believe that I am the only living person existant who has held in his hands the Dewar, Pershing, Randle, and Roberts trophies.

What do you consider your finest shooting achievement.
The 35 or so years I have worked with juniors and new shooters as a coach and mentor is what makes me proudest about my shooting career. I have been at it so long now that most of my present Mohegan Rifle league team is made up of my old juniors.  Some of their children are now competing which sort of makes me their shooting grandfather.

What is your favorite pre-match meal?
An onion roll with cream cheese and a glass of orange juice is my favorite way of filling the pie hole before a match.

What is your favorite post match drink?
An ice cold Coke in a glass bottle is my preferred way of rehydrating after shooting.

Do you have a favorite shooting range?
Like food, I have never come across a shooting range that I have not liked-just some more than others.

Do you have any short term and/or long term goals?
Long term I am looking at making a run on the NRA 3P Outdoor Smallbore Rifle Senior Championship in 2012 when I turn 65.  Look out Lenny Remaly and Jay Sonneborn!

What shooting skill are currently focusing your energy on?
I am working at improving my prone so that I might earn the Perry leg I need to earn prone Distinguished as well as my standing position, which has been suffering from neglect.

Thanks Hap for sharing a little bit about yourself with the pronematch.com community!

About Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes started shooting competitive smallbore in 1986. During his Junior career, he earned two national junior team titles as well as local and regional wins. After a 10 year year hiatus to attend college and start a family, Dan returned to the sport and has added local, sectional and regional wins to his shooting resume. Dan is a Distinguished Rifleman, National Record Holder, U.S Dewar Team Member, Black Hawk Rifle Club Member, Digby Hand Schützenverein member, and is the founder of pronematch.com. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and 2 children.
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6 Responses to Shooter Spotlight: Hap Rocketto

  1. Justin Tracy says:

    Hap, While your coaching and mentoring of many a shooter is certainly a grand achievement, I think by far your greatest shooting related feat is not killing anybody (at least not from the US team) with your "stunt" driving on the other side of the pond during the Robert's Meet. That is a truly amazing outcome considering the ammount of time that only two wheels were on the actual road.

    Very important note: I am not complaining about your driving as it was far better than I could have done, this is strictly an observation, even a statement of fact, and I am most grateful for your services. And for not killing me.

    Justin

  2. Hap Rocketto says:

    Justin,

    It was not bad driving, I was trying to conserve natural resources. By driving on two wheels I reduced wear and tear on the tires saving rubber, the reduction in friction saved gasoline, and the screaming of my passenger meant I never had to turn on the radio for entertainment. Although I guess the carbon footprint of the CO2 generated by the screams probably negated the savings I made on the other end.

    By the way, my youngest daughter was in the "Crown Jewel of the Erie Canal" on Saturday. I told her Fairport was as close as she was allowed to get to Rochester because the big city is overrun with roaming and lawless bands of Pastafarians.

    Hap

  3. kevin nevius says:

    Hap:

    You are one of my favorite people on God's green Earth, I hold you and yours in my prayers and I wish you all the very best in the coming year!! I look forward to seeing you again VERY soon!

    You were an invaluable mentor and friend on the trip to England – and I will never forget it.

    Thanks for everything,

    kevin

  4. Justin Tracy says:

    I agree with Kevin's comments as well, except replace God with the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    In wishing you the very best I also want to warn you about that large grey mass that is in the upper left corner of your picture. I fear that it will turn those precious few dark hairs into much lighter ones. Or maybe the thought of me being about an hours drive from your daughter will do that regardless of the actions of mysterious grey blobs. I should also warn you that Fairport is closer to Rochester than I am. It's too late already.

    Justin

  5. mark delcotto says:

    Justin,

    My daughter (Ellen) of 16.5 yrs, a newly licensed driver herself, asked me how long Hap had been driving! Just kidding Hap…… Mark D

  6. Shawn Carpenter says:

    I feel like I have heard all of this before…..

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