Stephen Anderson’s Army Diary: A New Week

Army junior co-captain Stephen Anderson will write a diary for the Times Herald-Record during Army-Navy week. A season-ending knee injury will keep Anderson, Army’s leading tackler, out of the service-academy rivalry. But Anderson’s leadership is still a big part of the team’s heart beat. He’ll take us inside the locker room, practice and the West Point campus leading up to the big game on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field.

The team was relaxed comparatively to years past for the first day of Navy week. This has been described as “A Season” with a season. The music of choice was quite relaxing in the locker room before practice. A little bit of country and a little bit of upbeat rock, but relaxing. The team was very calm but focused. I have seen us prepare for games before but the locker room seemed more focused than usual. Players were talking about the game, practice and technique rather than school, Christmas break and bowl games.

We know with a win we play Temple in the EagleBank Bow, that future has been determined but all we care about is THE NAVY GAME. As the team leaves to the practice field you see the team hit their respected signs. Offense – the Attack sign, Defense – the Swarm sign, both in which lead us to victory. As practiced started you saw players excited for the week to end and for the game to start. Big Mike Gann is just excited to be on the field. Pat Mealy is on the grind working as hard as he can. Trent Steelman is controlliing the offense with a poised attack. Donovan Travis is back for the first day in practice which brings so much excitement to the team.

As practice continued, the music started playing and the crowd noise increased. One of the best noises I heard during practice was one of the songs that we have heard way too much while playing Navy. The Navy fight song played throughout practice, which is played every time Navy scores. A song we are determined not to hear once. It adds so much more to the game, the reason we play, the reason we want people to remember this game, the team. The reason that 34-0 (last year’s score in Navy’s favor) means nothing and why we want everyone to remember the Army football 2009 season and the players that “never quit”.  The underdog yet again, the team nobody believed could beat Navy, nobody except ourselves. As practicecame to an end, it was a party. It was exactly how it should be. Work untilyou cannot work anymore and then you celebrate. A feeling we are fighting for on Saturday.

Go Army Beat Navy!

Captain Army Football
Steve Anderson
Linebacker #50

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