Navy, Army Navy, Army discussed on Navy Sports Central
Go ahead and see what's happening with some of the navy teams that have been in action lately. Today we'll focus on the rifle, water polo, and women's rowing teams. And by the way, I will touch on the big wins in mids hat and men's and women's soccer and men's and women's cross country. We'll go ahead and hit those later on in a deep dive in midwife segments. So here we go with the navy rifle team. They came off a series of matches against ranked opponents over the course of the last two weekends. They took on number 11 Akron number 12 Ohio State number 16 Memphis and number four old miss. And during that stretch, they ended up with a two and two record with the winds coming over Ohio State and Memphis. The mids are led by senior captain Mike xanti from Norfolk Virginia. And I will tell you that he's really been in a zone lately because it seems like every time he goes out, he's setting either a new personal record or a new school record. And I'll give you an example of what I'm talking about here. And the match against old miss, which was their most recent one. They did come up short in that one, but the team tied their highest point total of the season. And one of the reasons for that was that zanti scored 599 points out of 600 in the air rifle competition. So yeah, I'd call that some really good shooting. And just to give you an idea of what I mean, I'll reference something that coach Mike auntie said in a conversation with navy sports Phil Bergman a couple weeks ago. The competitors shoot at a target from a distance of ten meters in the air rifle, and from there, that tendering looks like it's about as big as a period at the end of a sentence. So think about that for a second. From ten meters away, that ten ring literally looks like a dot, and xanthan nailed it on 59 out of 60 shots, which to me is just amazing. The guy keeps raising the bar every time it goes out and he's leading a strong team as well. Freshman McKenzie shed and senior Mark amdahl have shot very consistently so far this year. Shed finished third in both the small bore and air rifle against Ohio State and followed that up by placing second in both competitions in the win over Memphis. Andal has shot a season best 5 95 in air rifle and 5 78 in small bore so far this year. Next up for the rifle team is Kentucky on October 30th, but they're really big fall competition is the president's trophy match where they'll be going against air force army and coast guard the following week. So that should be a good one. Before we finish up with the rifle team, I did want to mention that I had an opportunity to interview Mike zanti last year for the navy sports nation blog. I believe it's back in November. And it was a pretty fun conversation. So I'll go ahead and put a link in the show notes so you guys can check it out if you want. Mike is also the son of guy and Kathleen zante. Guy was in the class of 82, and he wrestled at navy, and Kathleen is my classmate from 84, and she went by Kathleen Murray back then. And she's a part of that interview also. So if you want to kind of get a sense of what a parent goes through while supporting a son or daughter who participates in a sport that is certainly not traditional, check out the feature. Like I said, I'll go ahead and leave a link in the show notes and you can see for yourself. All right, now let's move on to water polo. Last month I actually featured the team in the navy sports nation blog and I'll leave a link for that one, too. In case you want to take a look, anyway, the team won a couple of games in a row after completing a West Coast swing that was really, really tough. They played against some of the best programs in the country. Right now they are 8 and ten, but their conference record is three and one. The mids most recently beat Johns Hopkins and bucknell and over the next four weeks they will finish up the remaining conference games before hosting the conference championships at lejeune hall. I think the team is set up to do pretty well. The rest of the way, coach Louie Nicolas really put them through the ring a couple of weeks ago and those games against teams like UCLA, which was ranked third and Santa Clara, which was ranked 9th. They were basically designed to raise the team's level of play. So we'll see how things go starting this week with mount saint Mary's, but I've got a pretty good feeling about where the team is going to go from here. All right, now let's see what's going on with the women's rowing team. I will say that for all three programs that being heavyweight lightweight and women's team, the primary racing season is in the spring. Typically in the fall, they will train for longer distances than the standard 2000 meters that they race in the spring. In fact, they can be two to three times longer. So it provides a great opportunity to lay a solid foundation as they get ready to defend their patriot league championship. And by the way, I did get a chance to see the women practice a little bit when I was in Annapolis a couple weekends ago. I was there at the boathouse primarily to do to put together a feature for the lightweight rowing team, which I hoped to publish in the blog towards the end of this month. So stay tuned for that. But anyway, the team's first race of the fall was the navy day regatta, and it was held this past weekend in Philadelphia. The women entered a total of 9 boats and three different races. The number one varsity boat had a strong showing. They finished second behind pen. And they covered that 4000 meter course in 13 minutes, 48 seconds. The number two varsity boat, the varsity 8 boat finish 5th. And in the varsity fours race the mids finished second and third in between a couple of boats from pen. Now, the race that got my attention was the women's freshman 8 involving navy pen and LaSalle. And the mids absolutely blew the field away winning by 50 seconds. So this outcome really speaks to the depth of the program. So let's think about that for a minute. These athletes have been ruined together for less than two months, and they've already made a statement against a pretty good Ivy League program where pen is concerned. This is why the women's rowing team is so strong urine and you're out. They start putting together winning crews from the day those athletes show up in Annapolis. And whatever that coaching staff is doing is working. I mean, all you got to do to confirm that is to look at their 6 consecutive patriot league championships and to be honest, I don't see anything standing in the way of them picking up another one. All right, that's gonna do it for our sports update. Let's go ahead and take a quick break. And when we return, we'll really dive into this army navy rivalry across all sports. I think you're really gonna like what you're here. So stay with us. Okay, we are back and ready to get into our deep dive segment. Right now the mids are into the second half of their fall sports season and so far, army and navy have faced each other 7 times. The black knights came out on top and volleyball almost a month ago to take initial lead in the star series, but since then, the mids of one every game to take a 6 one lead. And just the last two weeks, navy's defeated army in men's and women's soccer and men's and women's cross country. And right before that, they posted wins and sprint football and men's golf. And all four of those matches the mids were in total control pretty much the entire time. The winning men's soccer was especially great to watch because it was the team's first win since 2014. And if you happen to listen to our last podcast that previewed the game with my guests in classmate Chris McKenna, you'd have heard that his analysis on the team was right on the mark. And that brings me to this point. I'm not sure how many of you are out there track the army navy rivalry outside of football. I'm sure if you've played a particular sport at the academy or if you have a son or daughter who plays it, you probably do look at at least one other one. But what about all the sports? Today I'm actually going to try and break that down for you a little bit more. And by the way, an interest of full disclosure, I did write an article in the navy sports nation blog on this topic this past summer, but I thought discussing the army navy rivalry across all sports would make good content for the podcast also. I'm thinking if nothing else, you can always send a link to your army buddies if they ever start giving you any static just because they want a few football games recently. Anyway, what I'll do is start with the first matchup and then I'll hit some major milestones in a rivalry as we go through the chronological history. So we'll talk about when some of the other major sports were added and where the overall record stood at different points in time. And finally, I'll try to pinpoint the time when things really started to turn in navy's favor, which is basically resulted in them dominating the rivalry across all 24 sports where they currently compete. As we get started, I did want to give a shout out to Justin Kaczynski, who is one of navy's assistant athletic directors for sports information. I reached out to him in the summer when I was researching this feature for the blog. And I was just looking for information going back to maybe 1970. So just a little over 50 years. But Justin went way above and beyond the call and provided me with the results of every army navy competition that's ever taken place back from the very first one. So that was a huge bonus and I just wanted to thank him for that. Okay, I guess the best place to start is at the beginning. The very first army navy competition as most of you probably know is in football. The midge won that game 24 to nothing on November 20th, 1890. And for the first ten years, football was the only sport they played. Navy won three of the first four games. And I guess things got pretty intense after they won in 1893. Apparently some army general really got into it with a navy admiral and it nearly resulted in a two of them squaring off in a duel. So I guess they still actually had those things in the late 19th century. I wasn't sure about that. But anyway, I guess someone managed to calm them down, but the services were ticked off enough at each other that they didn't even play the game for the next 5 years. It started back up again in 1899 and army did win that one. So the first decade of the rivalry ended with the mid holding a three to two advantage. Then in 1901, army, navy started playing each other in baseball, but it was still only a two sport rivalry up until 1920. And that's when things really started to change between 1920, 1940, 11 more sports were added, bringing the total to 13, and they included basketball. Lacrosse gymnastics and outdoor track. Now, as far as the head to head competition goes, the black knights actually held a slight advantage up through 1935. If we were just looking at the number of years each side came out on top, army wanted 17 years compared to 13 for the mids, and there were 9 ties. And that makes sense because there are only two sports played during those really early years. But it was roughly a period of about four decades we'll call it 1935 to 1973 where the black knights really increase their advantage in the overall series. Now, the football teams were relatively even during the 40s and 50s. In fact, navy barely came out on top there going ten 8 and two during that 20 year stretch. But it was in the sports like rifle and pistol where army was winning consistently. And the same was true in squash. But it was in gymnastics where army really kind of dominated the mids because between 1949 and 1969, they only lost one time. So that was largely responsible for giving them the edge going up through 1973. And in fact, by that time, the black knights had a double digit lead. They were ahead 37 to 26 with 12 ties. And I guess by that time, the mid to decided they'd had just about enough. Now, if you had to identify the person who was most responsible for getting this turnaround started, I'd have to go with Bo coppage who became the athletic director at navy in 1968. He was a 46 graduate of the academy and he was actually an active duty captain at the time he took over the role, which was kind of unusual. And while he was a navy, he played football and wrestled on the football team an offensive lineman. But anyway, this was a really, really good hire because when you think about trying to get something like this turned around where you are at a disadvantage in the head to head competition, it makes total sense to hire somebody who knows what it's like to sing second and I'd be willing to bet that coppage knew the score coming in and he had some plans to do something about it. He was the athletic director at navy for 20 years, and during that time, the army navy sports series expanded to 19 head to head competitions. And in the 1980s, 6 women sports were added, starting with basketball in 1980, and the others that followed were swimming, cross country, indoor and outdoor track and also volleyball. We're going to get to the results that copied produced while he was the AD. And when we do, you'll see that he made beating army a priority in all sports, not just football. And of course, all that starts with getting the right head coaches. So cops did three things that pretty much told everybody that he was ready to beat army no matter what the sport was. First, he made sure that wrestling coach Ed Perry didn't go anywhere. Perry had been coaching the mid since 1961. And he was already building a pretty strong legacy. When coppage arrived, Perry was already in the middle of a 5 match winning streak versus army, he was an outstanding coach who had won three NZ titles when he wrestled in college. And it's not unreasonable to assume that with that kind of track record, other colleges were looking to scoop him up. But Perry ended up staying at navy and as it turns out he never lost to the black nights while coppa was the AD. In fact, his record was 22 two and three. And both of those losses and two of the three ties occurred during Perry's first 5 years as a head coach. And after that, his wrestlers just became absolute wrecking machines when it came to taking on army. I mean, they would just crush them. It was routine for them to win by over 20 points. That was pretty much the expectation. In fact, in 1975, navy beat the black knights by a score of 40 to two. So when looking specifically at wrestling in the army navy series, that was one where you could basically pencil the mids in for a win just about every year. They are currently dominating the head to head competition over army with a record of 50 ten and 5, and that includes a win last winter against the black knights up at West Point under new coach Kerry Cola. So right now, the wrestling program is I'm pretty solid ground as it relates to the head to head competition against army. And now we're going to talk about a higher that Bo coppage made that helped get a program turned around in that army navy series. As I mentioned earlier, army usually got the best of the mids in gymnastics. I'd already spoken about that streak where they'd won 19 out of 20 years. And they also won 8 straight times in the 70s and the first part of the 1980s. So then in 1983, coppa hired Pete Corman as the head gymnastics coach. And Corman was actually an Olympian. He competed in the 1976 Montreal Olympics. And I actually remember watching him, he won the bronze medal in the floor exercise and he became the first American gymnast actually to meddle in 44 years. Now, he only coached it navy for 6 years from 1983 to 88, but his record against army was a perfect 6 O. And even more importantly, Corman raised the program to a level that it still maintains today. I went for the black knights in gymnastics is no longer a sure thing like it used to be, you know, looking back at the 1950s through the 1970s. And in fact, the mids have enjoyed quite a bit of success against them the last several years that includes two straight wins in 2019 and 2020 with the meat from last season being canceled due to the pandemic. Now navy gymnastics is one of the more high performing programs on the east coast under coach kip simons. And I think it all started when copied hired back in 1983. Okay, so far, we've talked about one coach that Bo cop had made sure did not leave navy and that being a Ed Perry. And then with Pete Corman, he hired a coach to get essentially one of his programs completely turned around and more competitive with army. And now I'm going to talk about Bo cops bringing on Paul Evans to lead the navy basketball program. Evans came to the naval academy from saint Lawrence, which was a D three school in upstate New York. And one of his strength was developing power forwards and centers into high quality players. And while he was a navy, he produced two of the best in the history of the program, those being Vernon butler and David Robinson. So coach Evans spent 6 years at navy before taking a job at Pitt after the 1986 season and he never lost the army either. His record was a perfect 7 and during those years, the mids were pretty tough to beat no matter who they played. In 1986, they just rolled through their regular season and their conference schedule, making it all the way to the elite 8 in the NCA tournament. And even though they lost to the eventual runner up duke, that navy team continues to be recognized as the best one ever in service academy basketball. So just to recap book coppa is track record. Remember, he came on board in 1968, and it was 1973 when things really started to kind of get turned around. From there until the end of coppa's run as athletic director in 1988, the mid one, the overall head to head competition against army every single year. So that 37 to 26 lead that the black knights had to go along with the 12 ties. That was all gone by the time copied retired. Now the mids lead in the series 41 to 37 with the 12 ties and they were about to build on that in a pretty big way. So we're going to go ahead and take a quick break and talk.