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Who are these guys?

August 20, 2010

Senior Stephen Anderson led his high school team in tackles, rushing yards and touchdowns as a senior. (Danny Wild/USMA)

There are some great little tidbits in the 2010 Army football media guide (not to mention dozens of my photos) about some of the players that I’ve been meaning to highlight.

In case you haven’t gone through and read most of the 207-page guide, I have. Senior captain Stephen Anderson, for example, lists “lions, tigers and bald eagles among his favorite animals,” although no one else on the team apparently felt the need to list their favorite zoo exhibits.

The myth of LB Kingsley Ehie‘s pickle juice-drinking routine lives on in the media guide (it’s true, he once told me — he used to drink it before games in high school. No longer, though).

The overwhelming trend in the player bios, though, is how absurdly involved and accomplished basically every member of the team was before attending West Point — many of the players were two and three-sport athletes as seniors in high school, and some were captains of multiple teams. Imagine juggling your final year, tests, three sports and the looming commitment to the Army and West Point?

Brad Kelly was a four-time class president in high schoo. (Danny Wild/USMA)

Some funny or notable gems in the media guide:

Junior OG Rob Kava plays the ukulele… junior linebacker Josh Jones was a quarterback, wide receiver, punter and punt-returner in high school… senior DT Mike Gann “loves to eat crab legs” … offensive tackle Brad Kelly was class president four consecutive years, earned All-Star honors on both offense and defense, played varsity basketball, was on student senate, tutored in math and was a national honor society member in high school… senior DB LB Brown was a safety and running back in high school, led his team to the state championship his junior year, played three years of varsity basketball… Jared Hassin‘s grandfathers both were in the Army, one was part of the Omaha invasion, his sister graduated West Point in May, his father went to West Point, he plays piano, golf and is also on the Army cycling team, not to mention he got into the Air Force Academy and West Point… senior QB Chip Bowden is the king of overachievers, though — he was the captain of his football, baseball and wrestling teams as a senior in high school. How is that even possible? National honor society, prom king, water skies…

I got cut from my high school golf team.

In other news, junior linebacker Andrew Rodriguez has missed time in practice with an injury, which is not exactly promising considering he projects to be one of Army’s most consistent tacklers this year, again. Did you know, though, that A-Rod was invited to “take a closer look at the use of the Theater Security Cooperation Management Information System (TSCMIS) – a database that tracks command events across Africa, mission costs and event goals” this summer?

Unlikely you knew that. I’m not even sure what that means. There’s a big story, including a photo of Rodriguez, about his trip to Italy and Africa with two other cadets that better explains it.

Nate Combs has seen time at whip linebacker as Andrew Rodriguez sits with an injury. (Danny Wild/USMA)

What do you think the Eastern Michigan linebackers did this summer? Trips to 7-11?

To tie this all together, Nate Combs has been bumped up to Army’s first-team defense in place of Rodriguez recently as Army’s daily practice drills roll on. You know, Nate Combs, a defensive end, safety and linebacker in high school who captained his football team as a senior, lettered in basketball, was a math and chemistry tutor, coached intramural basketball, played against Trent Steelman twice, set school records for tackles and was the MVP of his All-Star game.

I’m planning on heading up to post on Saturday morning for the team’s scrimmage that runs until noon, so expect some updates shortly.

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* This blog does not reflect the views of MLB.com, USMA or anyone other than Danny Wild, it is simply a means of showcasing some of Danny’s continuously-growing photography and writing portfolio. Thanks for stopping by!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. David permalink
    August 20, 2010 10:47 am

    Hassin’s sister was on the cycling team; I seriously doubt that he has time for that particular extracurricular activity at West Point.

    http://www.usacycling.org/results/index.php?compid=251494

    Looking forward to your report on Saturday’s scrimmage!

    • August 20, 2010 11:25 am

      ah, you’re right, I misread the line in his bio about that I guess. I would not want to cut that guy off on a bike, though

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