Army-Navy hoops; McNary wins Tillman honors

Army's Nathan Hedgecock, of El Paso, Texas, takes on Navy. (Danny Wild/USMA)

Last weekend was the much-anticipated Army-Navy (or should we start referring to it as Navy-Army) basketball doubleheader at West Point — two more wins for the Mids in front of an enormous crowd at Christl Arena and a national TV audience on CBS College Sports. I stopped by for the games plus a bit of the Army-RMU hockey game at Tate Rink.

West Point cadet Mike Hull scored one of Army’s two goals in a tie against Robert Morris last Saturday. (Danny Wild/USMA)
A cadet makes a sign on the court before Army's game against Navy. (Danny Wild/USMA)
Army hosts Navy at Christl Arena in the Holleder Center at West Point. (Danny Wild/USMA)
Army football fullback Jonathan Crucitti (left, in combat helmet) cheers on the corps squad against Navy. (Danny Wild/USMA)

Here’s a photo gallery of my images from the men’s Army-Navy game. I shot the women’s game as well, check out that photo gallery here.

There’s still some football news in the aftermath of the Armed Forces Bowl victory (Trent Steelman recently had shoulder surgery), most notably senior captain Josh McNary’s award-winning effort at the East-West Shrine Game that now has him potentially positioned for the NFL Draft. According to my man Sal at the Record, NFL scouts have projected McNary as an outside linebacker in the league, a position he played in the East-West game under head coach Dan Reeves on NFL Network.

Army senior captain Josh McNary. (Danny Wild/USMA)

McNary won the Pat Tillman Award, which is presented to a player who best exemplifies character, intelligence, sportsmanship and service. The award is about a student-athlete’s achievements and conduct, both on and off the field.

McNary, who finished as Army’s all-time leader in sacks and tackles for loss, will graduate this spring and spend at least two years in the Army before he can request an early release to potentially join an NFL team. Would be pretty cool to see Houston give him a shot.

McNary’s storyline was told over and over during bowl week in Texas — ignored by many schools in high school, he was a walk-on at USMAPs and went on to probably see his number retired at Michie some day. He was also named an ECAC Football Bowl Subdivision All-Star last week … a distinguished career for a good guy who had an enormously clutch touchdown in Army’s bowl win.

Before I forget, if you have not seen the football team’s new website, it’s worth checking out:

It features a ton of my photos, including Malcolm Brown front and center. See if you can find little Navy boat on the Hudson that is just asking to be sunk.

Sal has also been going hard on the recruiting beat — I don’t know who any of these kids are, but it sounds good, and I’d like to think the team’s winning season and bowl win has given the program a boost over the last month. Derek Sanchez sounds like someone from the McNary mold, a quick defensive end that has also seen time at linebacker — Sal reported on Wednesday that he committed to USMA.

Another DE, Dalton Mendenhall, spurred Boise State and Utah for West Point.

Meanwhile, to put that into perspective a bit, West Point Superintendent Lt. General David Huntoon stopped by Kabul, Afghanistan a week after celebrating the bowl win in Texas. He signed an agreement with the Afghan army to continue a relationship between West Point and the Afghan military academy.

Army and Navy battle in a women's basketball game on Saturday. (Danny Wild/USMA)

Hope you enjoyed following my photos of Army’s football season this fall, it was a a great experience from Day 1 back in summer camp and August scrimmages to the on-field celebration in Dallas in December. To be apart of the entire journey is something really remarkable. If you haven’t yet been to a game at West Point, you are really missing out.

My camera and super telephoto lens need some repairs, though, after all the miles I put on ’em this past summer and autumn. I actually shot those basketball games last weekend with a busted camera that was impossible to look through. Once (if) the snow clears, I’ll be heading to CPS in New Jersey.


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