Shining Star: Bailey Gallagher

She's not yet a teenager, but St. Clairsville’s Bailey Gallagher is a competitive shooter making her mark at the local and national level. And she's done this despite being hearing impaired all of her life.

St. Clairsville’s Bailey Gallagher is a competitive shooter making her mark at the local and national level.

And, she's not yet a teenager.

Bailey learned to shoot not long after she learned to walk. And no obstacle can keep her from taking her eye off the target.

“I got my first rifle when I was like 4 years old, and I've just been shooting ever since,” Bailey said. “My dad used to have to help me hold up my gun.”

The now 12-year-old Bailey is one of six kids. Her time on the shooting range at the Farmers and Sportsman Club of Bethesda is where she shares a special bond with her dad.

Matt Gallager recently shared a message on his Facebook page, noting that while competitive shooting can be pricey, seeing the look on his daughter’s face after a victory is priceless.

And there's a good reason Matt loves seeing is daughter smile from ear to ear. Bailey is hearing impaired.

“When I was a baby, they were like, 'well, she never looks at us when we say her name. So I got my hearing aids when I was 1-year-old,” she said.

She's never let that interfere with the sport she loves so much.

“I have special hearing aids for the range,” Bailey said. “They block out the louder sounds. When I go up to shoot, the range commands, sometimes I don't hear those, so I (ask) them before, 'can you speak a little louder? Then they do that. So that helps.”

Her hearing aids help, but it's her hard work that keeps her name at the top of the match boards.

“We travel all over the country,” Bailey said. “A few weeks ago, I went to Alabama for the world championship, and I got second place youth at the World Championships.

“A couple weeks before that, I was at the East Coast Championship, and I got first-place plaque there.”

Bailey says she's made friends all over the country. And she gets plenty of support from her friends back at home at East Richland Christian School.

“I usually have to miss Friday at school,” she said, “so on the next Monday they'll be like, 'hey, how'd you do at your match?’ And I'll tell them, and they'll say, ‘that's amazing. How do you do this?’’’

To that, her answer is simple.

“No matter what you're doing, find a way,” Bailey said. “If you feel like you can't do something, you can. There's always a way.”

This week’s Shining Star is a shooting star whose positive outlook on life and faith keep her right on target.

“God has really blessed me,” Bailey said. “I feel like I pray before each match, and He always blesses me with something, even if I don't get a first place, He always lets me know that He's there.”

Bailey is done for the season, and she says while the awards are great, the friendships she's made along the way has been the best part.

Don’t forget to nominate your Shining Star here.

You could see them featured right here on NEWS9.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off