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A Unique Perspective

Hello all, my name is Ally Keirn and I am another new addition to the Army Athletic Communications staff. I came on board at Army after spending the past two years as the graduate assistant in the Sports Information Department at Bloomsburg University.

While I was a part of the Huskies, I worked closely with the 20 Division II varsity sports as well as Division I wrestling. I played an integral role in the social media efforts for the athletic department and was involved with the day-to-day operations while doing a majority of the graphic work for athletic publications, all while obtaining a Master’s of Business Administration.

It was during my undergrad years that I discovered there was a profession involving intercollegiate athletics filled with great individuals that I wanted to be a part of. I was a four-year starter of the nationally ranked women’s lacrosse team at Mercyhurst University and was fully unaware of the behind-the-scenes efforts that went into not just my sport, but all collegiate athletics. It wasn’t until I declared Sports Business Management as my major and volunteered for the NCAA Women’s Frozen Four in Erie that I got my first taste of athletic communications, and this is what ignited my passion for the unique profession. Since then I have become fully educated in what truly goes into college athletics.

Here at Army I am the primary contact for the golf team as well as for men’s and women’s swimming and diving in the traditional sense, but I also have a unique role as the Army-Navy social media coordinator. I am excited for the seasons to start and to see the cadet-athletes in action. The golf team’s only home event this fall is Sept. 27-28 when they host Navy so I will be able to fully cover the deep-rooted rivalry as the cadets and midshipmen tee-off against each other at the West Point Golf Course. The swim and dive teams have two intrasquad scrimmages before diving into a dual-meet at UMASS. This will give me the chance to see the teams in action and get to know the athletes a little before the season truly starts.

With the Army-Navy social media position I am hoping to use my mix of perspectives as a former student-athlete, a sports fan and my time in athletic communications to bring the fans of the two great military academies exactly what they want to see. It is a tough feat, but I am up for the challenge.

So far I have been in awe with what goes on here at West Point. The standards which the cadets and employees are held to help push us all to perform at our best every day because we represent so much more than other colleges. I am really looking forward to my first football game day experience when the Black Knights host Buffalo on Sept. 6. I can’t wait for the cannons go off, the parachuters to soar down onto the field and the glee club to start singing the national anthem. It is such a surreal feeling to be a part of something that has so much history and boasts many traditions. I am eager to share the experiences this season with all the fans through social media.

We officially kicked-off the fall season last Friday when the women’s soccer team hosted Fairfield. The following few weeks will be filled with much anticipated out-of-the-office games and events, which we are all looking forward to.

Hoping to see you at games and on social media,

-AK

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USA Men’s Basketball at West Point

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USA Basketball Visits West Point

What a day it has been for the West Point community! First off, let me introduce myself. My name is Nick Lantz, and this is my first season in the Army Athletic Communications office.

We were treated with a special and unique experience today at West Point. The USA men’s basketball team visited post. Some of the best basketball players in the world spent their day at the U.S. Military Academy touring the grounds and seeing what it’s like to be a cadet.

The players and coaches visited some important spots on post, including the cemetery and trophy point. They enjoyed the sloppy joes at the mess hall before getting some practice time in at Christl.

The players entertained the crowded gym with some drills, a short scrimmage and a little friendly competition with Army’s men’s and women’s basketball squads. They even played a long game of knockout, with forward Chandler Parsons of the Dallas Mavericks taking the crown.

It was a warm welcome for USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who played for the Black Knights under Bobby Knight and was Army head coach for five seasons during the late 70’s. Alongside Coach K were coaches Monty Williams, Tom Thibodeau and Jim Boeheim.

Jay Bilas played host while the practice was being televised on ESPN2. Fans enjoyed the show, but none more than the cadets. Many cadets were able to share some laughs with players while taking a selfie or two.

Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose received a huge ovation from the crowd. Rose, a former NBA MVP, is returning to the court after missing a large majority of the past two seasons due to knee injuries.

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors was also a fan favorite, as was Houston Rockets guard James Harden. The rest of the team: Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, Damian Lillard, Andre Drummond, DeMarcus Cousins, DeMar DeRozan, Kenneth Faried, Rudy Gay, Gordon Hayward, Kyle Korver and Mason Plumlee.

It was quite the experience having these terrific young players and distinguished coaches among the West Point community. Team USA heads down to the Big Apple for an exhibition with the Dominican Republic on Wednesday night in preparation for the FIBA World Cup.

Just another wonderful day at the U.S. Military Academy!

GO ARMY!

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Excitement Building for ODIA Newcomers

Hello, everyone. I’m Kelly Dumrauf, one of the newest members of the athletic communications staff. There are five new people in the office this year and we’ve all be enjoying our transition so far.

I’ve been at Army for about a month now, coming to West Point from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, an NCAA Division II school in Southwestern Pennsylvania. There I was the primary contact for eight sports and was afforded the opportunity to work with nationally ranked programs including men’s basketball and football. The last year at IUP was a unique opportunity for me since the institution is my alma mater.

Here at Army, I will be working with cross country and track & field, gymnastics, men’s and women’s rugby and women’s tennis. I’m very excited for the opportunity to work with a few sports I have never dealt with before and to learn from some of the bests in the business.

Rugby has been the newest addition to the Army Athletic Association’s growing list of varsity sports, as it was just announced on Aug. 1. The Black Knights now feature men’s and women’s rugby and are one of just a few schools to include those two under athletics. Heading into the season, I have never seen a rugby match. It has been a growing topic in our field and a sport that has been gaining popularity over the past few years. I am excited to see it through and to learn more about the game and the cadets who play it.

Gymnastics is also a sport I have never worked with before. Not many Division II schools carry gymnastics programs so this will be a new opportunity for me. Army is lucky to have one of the top gymnasts in the country, Jesse Glenn, and a very historic program under head coach Doug Van Everen. As an Olympic sport, gymnastics is a unique event that I think will be very interesting to be a part of. It’s always one of my favorite to watch during the Olympics. The gymnastics squad is also hosting the Army-Navy meet this year, on Valentine’s Day, so it will be fun to get to experience the rivalry first-hand. 

With such a young and talented group, these next few months should be a wonderful learning experience and a great time for all of us. We have a plethora of exciting events coming up including the Army-Navy football game in Baltimore and a trip to Yankee Stadium for a matchup with Connecticut. This year will be full of eventful nights and I’m sure some amazing competition.

Events will start getting underway soon and that is bringing in a lot of excitement in the office, with just a few weeks to go before we’re officially in season. I can’t wait to see what the year brings us and I look forward to working and meeting the Black Knights’ family.

-Kelly 

Go Army! Beat Navy! 

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Another week has come to an end, which means we’re another week closer to the 2014-15 Army sports season.

Preseason football practice continues to roll on, with the Black Knights finalizing preparations for their season opener against Buffalo on Sept. 6. Practice began on Monday with players donning helmets and shorts before adding shoulder pads on Wednesday and Thursday.

Check here for the recap from Thursday’s practice session.

Also of note this week was the announcement that five senior cadet-athletes were selected to lead the Corps of Cadets. Men’s soccer goalkeeper Winston Boldt will serve as the Deputy Brigade Commander, which ranks as the second-highest leadership position in the Corps. Also selected to the Cadet Chain of Command were women’s basketball guard Jordan Elliott, women’s cross country and track & field athlete Dayna Cline and football players Larry Dixon and Joe Drummond.

For the full write up on the varsity athletes selected to the Cadet Chain of Command, click here.

Working with and around these cadets nearly every day allows us to get to know some of them on a personal level as collegiate athletes. But when hearing about how well-respected these cadet-athletes are by their peers, it really makes you step back and realize how special these young men and women are, not only as athletes, but as leaders.

I know I can speak for the entire department when I say we are all extremely proud of these five athletes and all of the cadets we have the opportunity to interact with on a daily basis.

Along with begin chosen as the Deputy Brigade Commander, Boldt was named to the Hermann Trophy Watch List as one of 32 Division I men’s soccer selections. The Hermann Trophy, which is presented annually by the Missouri Athletic Club, is as the highest individual award in intercollegiate soccer and is the official National Soccer Coaches’ Association of America (NSCAA) Player of the Year award in Division I.

The list of 32 players will be narrowed down to 15 toward the end of the regular season, with three finalists being selected from the group of 15. The winner will be announced in January. For more information on Boldt’s selection to the watch list, click here.

The men’s basketball team announced its Patriot League schedule on Wednesday after unveiling its nonconference slate earlier this summer.

Army is set to open its conference schedule on New Year’s Eve when the Black Knights welcome Lafayette to Christl Arena for a 3 p.m. tip. Prior to beginning Patriot League action, Army plays an 11-game nonleague schedule which includes the season opener against Air Force (Nov. 14) and road contests at Duke (Nov. 30) and at USC (Dec. 13).

For the full Army men’s basketball schedule, click here.

The summer is a great time to do some relaxing and take a more low-key approach to life. As much as I enjoy the summer, I always find myself looking forward to the first game of the fall and everything that comes with it. The 2013-14 season was certainly one to remember and we can only imagine what the upcoming year will hold.

That’s all for now, thanks for checking in to the Black Knights Blog this week and be sure to come back next week for more updates surrounding Army Athletics.

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2014-15 Season Rapidly Approaching

Welcome Army fans to the first full week of August! Summer is quickly winding down, which means the fall sports season is right around the corner.

The Army football team opened its 2014 preseason camp yesterday afternoon, as 155 players took part in the two-and-a-half-hour session under first-year head coach Jeff Monken. For a photo gallery of Monday’s practice, click here.

The entire football squad will undergo a media training session on Aug. 14 as part of next Thursday’s Media Day. Players will also have their team headshots taken among a series of additional media requirements.

The Black Knights open their 12-game slate on Sept. 6 when they welcome Buffalo to Michie Stadium at 12 p.m.

Among the other Army teams beginning their respective seasons this month are the men’s and women’s soccer teams.

The women’s soccer squad opens on Aug. 22 at home against Fairfield to mark the official beginning to the 2014-15 Army sports calendar. Second-year head coach Marcia McDermott guided the Black Knights to an 8-7-4 record in her first season with the team.

The men’s team begins regular-season competition one week later, hosting Fairfield on Aug. 29. Russell Payne, who enters his fifth season as head coach at Army, led the team to a 12-3-3 finish in 2013. Last season marked just the fifth time the Black Knights recorded at least 12 wins in the 93-year history of the program.

Both teams welcomed their respective recruiting classes earlier this summer. Check out the following links for information on the men’s and women’s incoming freshmen.

The volleyball and men’s and women’s cross country programs also begin competition in August, all starting play on Aug. 29.

The volleyball squad travels to Smithfield, R.I., for the two-day Bryant Invitational on Aug. 29-30. The Black Knights are scheduled to play four matches over the two days, including contests against St. John’s, Bryant, Towson and UMass Lowell.

Head volleyball coach Alma Kovaci, who enters her seventh season at the Academy, led Army to a 14-13 record last season and brings in a nationally ranked recruiting class to join the 2014 Black Knights.

The men’s and women’s cross country teams kick off the 2014 season by hosting the Army Open on Aug. 29.

Have a good Tuesday Army fans and be sure to check back later in the week for more updates.

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Army Picks Up Two More Sports, Now At 28

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July is over and today is the first of August, the opening month of several of Army’s fall sports. Here are a few important release as our fans get ready for 2014-15.

The Army Athletic Association announced on Friday the coverage of two more sports in men’s and women’s rugby, which boosts the Black Knights’ sports coverage this year to 28 teams.

Rugby is an exciting sport and played in all kinds of weather. The sport is not new to West Point, as it has been around at the club level for a long time, and many of the old pictures in the Pointer View show the players caked with mud. So check out the release and also don’t forget to earmark the men’s and women’s schedules for an exciting first year as a varsity sport.

Also, a big welcome to new Army head wrestling coach Kevin Ward as he becomes the 10th head coach in the grapplers’ storied history. Ward is the 2014 NCAA Division II Coach of the Year.  So fans, just click here to read about Army’s new coach.

Baseball head coach Matt Reid announced the hiring of Tyler Cannon to his staff. Cannon comes to West Point after being on the staff of nationally-ranked Virginia, where he helped the team to runner-up honors at the recent College World Series. I watched the series at the ECAC Convention in Troy, N.Y., and I was a Cavalier fan.

Just to remind folks, there is a lot of news on www.goARMYsports.com. Earlier this week, the men’s and women’s swimming and diving schedules were announced.

Don’t forget Army football fans that camp opens Monday as first-year head coach Jeff Monken starts preparation for the opener. Howze Field will handle the bulk of the workout, along with Michie Stadium. So don’t forget to check out the story.

Congratulations to golfer Robby Hill, who was named a Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar for 2013-14. Golf season opens Sept. 6-7.

Do you know what Army Strong Day at Michie Stadium is about ?  Read the explanation on the website – here is a teaser – it is about the football opener.

Social media folks, in case you didn’t know it, there is a Black Knight Digital Network with Twitter, some YouTube, some facebook and some shopping.

Women’s soccer once again will be the first team to usher in 2014-15 when the Black Knights host Fairfield under second-year coach Marcia McDermott at Clinton Field on Friday evening, Aug. 22, at 7 p.m.

Enjoy the weekend, and GO ARMY!

 

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Forbes released its annual Top 100 American Colleges List today and Army was ranked ninth overall. The No. 9 spot puts Army ahead of its service academy rivals (Navy-27, Air Force-34), while also earning the highest ranking among Patriot League institutions.

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A Lot OF New Folks In ODIA

There have been several staff changes in ODIA to include the office of Athletic Communications or AC. In addition to Bob Beretta still overseeing us, Ryan Yanoshak runs the office which has several newbies. No one, expect myself (Mady Salvani) has more than 10 years in the field, while the majority have one to five at the most.  Congratulations to Shak who just received his 10-year certificate this summer from ECAC. 

So let me introduce you to our new staff just in case you missed their bios on our website. Also returning from last year is Harrison Antognioni, who worked with women’s basketball and men’s soccer last year, and adds women’s lacrosse to his repertoire for 2014-15.

Matt Faulkner and Mark Mohrman came to us from the Patriot League. Matt is from Colgate and will be the secondary football contact, along with being the new guy for hockey and men’s lacrosse. Mark, who worked at Lafayette last year, is the contact for men’s basketball, volleyball and baseball.

Kelly Dumrauf, from IUP, has a busy slate with cross country, track and field along with gymnastics and women’s tennis. Nick Lantz, who joined out staff after working at Post University (Conn.) last year, is the primary contact for sprint football, wrestling and men’s tennis.

Ally Keirn spent the last two years at Bloomsburg University and is this year’s coordinator of Army-Navy social media, and will also be handling men’s and women’s swimming and diving along with golf.

With new folks come new ideas and I think Army fans will be loving the Social Media aspect as as the group of newbies, along with our Marketing Staff, are bringing some fantastic new ideas and networking sites that you will enjoy this season.

Army’s new recruits are still in the midst of Beast Barracks learning to cadet, but also enjoying mass athletics. I was at mass athletics for softball last week and everyone was loose and having a great time.

Don’t forget to keep up with changes on Army’s website at www.goarmysports.com. Congratulations to rising junior Jesse Glenn, a gymnast who will be heading to the P&G Gymnastics Championships in Pittsburg in late August. He is just the second Black Knight to qualify for this prestigious event.

The Army-Air Force football game on Nov. 1 will air live on CBS. Check out the info and game time.

The fall schedules are on-line and you can check out the home games if you are in area or maybe you can catch a road game and tweet it.

Season Ticket Renewal Prize Winners were announced, so take a quick look to see if you or one of your friends were one of the lucky ones.

A couple of weeks ago, I took photos at a 50-year reunion of the 1964 Army football team that defeated Navy. The MC was Army Hall of Famer Rollin Stichweh, who was the quarterback of that game. Check out the photo to see if you recognize the former players.

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Patriot League Roots

Hello everyone,

My name is Mark Mohrman and I am one of five new additions to the athletic communications staff at West Point. Last week Matt Faulkner introduced himself, and now it is my turn to tell you a little bit about myself. Like Matt, I come to Army from a Patriot League institution so I have a familiarity with the League after working at Lafayette the past three years. At Lafayette I worked with almost every sport, but primarily with basketball and baseball for the last two years. Here at Army I will work with both of those teams as well as volleyball in the fall.

When I accepted the position one of the first things I did was begin reading Joe Drape’s book, Soldiers First; Duty, Honor, Country and Football at West Point, which gave me some much-needed background on Army football, some of the things to expect on post and insight on the Army-Navy rivalry. I’d recommend reading it, if you haven’t already.

Speaking of Army-Navy football, I have never attended the game in person despite growing up 25 minutes outside of Philadelphia in South Jersey. Going to the game was always on my bucket list and I knew I would attend at some point, and now thankfully I will have the opportunity to see the rivalry firsthand. The moment that sticks in my mind the most from watching the game over the years was the 2012 game. I won’t go into detail because unfortunately we all know how that one ends, but I will never forget seeing the reaction from Trent Steelman and the rest of the team when the game was decided.

But, none of that matters today. From my perspective of the Army-Navy game, Army is 0-0 and I think the general consensus around West Point and the program is similar. With Coach Monken ushering in a new era, having a fresh coaching staff on board and a new mindset, it’s easy to forget about the past and look ahead to 2014.

I am certainly enjoying my first summer at West Point, but I can’t wait to get the games started.

Go Army!

MM