Big smiles at West Point graduation

A great thrill today to see many great men and women graduate from West Point, including a bunch of the academy’s outstanding athletes that I’ve covered over the last few years. 1,031 cadets were commissioned officers today at the U.S. Military Academy’s historic Michie Stadium following a speech from the highest ranking uniformed officer in the U.S. military, Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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In focus: Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper.

Know the name? He’s the most hated, most adored and certainly the most well-known Minor Leaguer taking the field every night this spring.

The 18-year-old Las Vegas, Nev., native was the No. 1 pick in the 2010 Major League Draft, going to the Washington Nationals on a record $9.9 million contract thanks to Scott Boras. A converted outfielder with power and speed, Harper is riding the bus in Class A Hagerstown these days, about two months after declaring his intentions to make the Nats’ Opening Day roster.

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Army’s Ellerson: ‘Lots of work to do’

Army is only a handful of years removed from their forgettable losing campaigns — they went 3-9 three straight years from 2006-08 — but heading into the fall, third-year head coach Rich Ellerson has reason to smile.

“The good news, is people aren’t as excited about playing us as they used to be,” Ellerson told earlier this month. “We’re one of those programs now.”

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Army hockey photos in West Point Magazine

I recently worked with West Point Magazine, the new official publication of the West Point Association of Graduates, on two sports stories. One, which followed the Army hockey team for a weekend in February, was published in the April/Spring edition of the magazine, which is sent to over 50,000 West Point alums.

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Army LAX ends season

Army lacrosse celebrates a goal in 2010. (Danny Wild/USMA) Army’s lacrosse team, ranked No. 19 in the nation following their loss in the Patriot League playoffs, will host Johns Hopkins (No. 3/4) at Michie Stadium on Friday.  The game will be televised live by CBS Sports Network. Click here to see more Army lacrosse photos from 2011

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Photos: Sandhurst 2011

Company F-3 West Point cadet Dustyn Ruble '13 competes in at Site 3 Rope Bridge, Camp Natural Bridge, during the 2011 Sandhurst Competition, sponsored by the West Point Department of Military Instruction, a two-day military training course at Camp Buckner at the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. (Danny Wild/USMA) April has been a busy month as usual …