GENESEO, ILL. – (AmmoLand) – What has bright-green, red or blue fingernails and can, on occasion, outdraw Team Springfield Captain Rob Leatham?
That would be one of the Williams sisters – either Jalise (pronounced jay-lease) or Justine, depending on who’s faster that particular day.
After taking the NRA 2016 Annual Meeting by storm, the newest members of Team Springfield sat down for a video interview so the shooting community could learn a bit more about these preteen wonders.
Just 16 months apart in age, Jalise (13) and Justine (12) Williams have been shooting since age three or four, depending on which sister one asks. Under coach Glenn Wong, they’ve been hitting the competitive circuit, primarily in United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA), since December 2013. Who’s the better competitive shooter? When asked, both immediately replied, “I am! No! I am!”
That about sums up the friendly, family rivalry.
Demonstrating that respect and discipline go hand in hand with safe and responsible shooting, both girls have already earned black belts in karate, play piano and achieve (mostly) straight A’s in school.
When asked about joining Team Springfield, Jalise replied, “Our first guns were Springfield Armory XD(M)s. I didn’t even think or dream that we would be on Team Springfield one day. I am just stoked! I can’t wait to put the shirts on for the next match!”
While Jalise prefers a little more quiet and spends her time reading, writing and shooting paper targets, sister Justine is all about commotion, taking part in motocross sports and dance. She also prefers the ring of steel targets to the calm precision of paper target shooting.
While both girls compete in Three Gun, USPSA and Steel Challenge, they have slightly different preferences for favorite division within the sport. Jalise prefers to shoot single-stack with her Springfield Armory 1911 Range Officer 9mm, while Justine chooses Production using her Springfield Armory XD(M) 5.25” Competition Model.
Regardless of division, the sisters share the same philosophy when asked about speed versus slow and easy shooting: “Fast!”
While Coach Wong assumes the lead for training and practices, the duo has a comfortable working relationship with Team Springfield Captain Rob Leatham, who observed, “The Williams sisters are the next generation of Springfield Armory shooters. Actually, now that I think about it, I wonder if they’re my replacements. Maybe I should have considered that earlier.”
After meeting anyone and everyone in the shooting industry at the recent 2016 NRA Annual Meeting, the sisters were off to film an episode of GunVenture with Tom Gresham, scheduled to appear on Sportsman Channel in the third quarter of 2016.
Already, the girls have racked up an impressive list of corporate sponsors. In addition to Springfield Armory, the sisters represent Berry's Manufacturing, Robinson Armament, ISCOPE, Tac-Tech-Cal Holsters, TPC, Weapon Shield, Dillon Precision, PK Realty and Mountain River LLC.
What’s in their futures? Both strive to become the youngest female Grand Masters first, then gain acceptance to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit after completing school.
Rob Leatham sums up the corporate relationship noting, “It’s been an enlightening experience to be around them. I wish I could get everyone I trained with to have the same drive, passion and joy that these girls have. They’re the future of our sport.”
About Springfield Armory:
“The First Name in American Firearms,” Springfield Armory was founded in 1777, when George Washington ordered the creation of an armory to store ammunition and gun carriages during the American Revolution. In 1794, the armory began to manufacture muskets and spent the next 150 years supplying firearms for every major American conflict. The original armory closed in 1968. In 1974, the Reese family took ownership of the Springfield Armory name and began making the M1A rifle. Today, Springfield Armory develops many products loyal to the company’s heritage, like the 1911 pistol, while ensuring its future with innovative products, including the XD, XD Mod.2 XD(M) and XD-S polymer pistols.
Visit www.springfield-armory.com for the very latest from the company.