Army-Navy Media Day Blog

Army coach Jeff Monken said the intensity of the Army-Navy rivalry, “can’t be put into words,” when he took the podium for Army-Navy Media Day.

“To watch it, to be at the game is one thing,” Monken said. “To be a competitor on the field and feel the energy in the stadium is indescribable.”

Every accomplishment that Army have achieved this season with a 9-2 record and No. 23 ranking in the Associated Press poll points to the Army-Navy game, Monken said.

“It’s the pinnacle of our season,” Monken said. “It’s the most important game of the year. It’s the biggest game of the year. There are very few rivalries that you can get away with talking about 365 days of the year. But for 365 days of the year at our academy and Navy, this rivalry is talked about. We have signs up. It’s a goal of ours and we are looking forward to the game.”

Senior fullback and captain Darnell Woolfolk did not attend the media day due to two group projects Wednesday.

“He wants to do a good job,” Monken said of Woolfolk in the classroom. “He can’t control the grade he gets unless he’s there. He wants to be in the game and be in the fight and that’s just the way he plays football.”

Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo recounted receiving a call from Monken on the eve of his hiring at Army.

“I think I have a chance to get a job,” Monken said to Niumatalolo.

“Sweet,” Niumatalolo replied. “Where are you going?”

“I got a chance to go to West Point,” Monken said.

“Where?,” Niumatalolo jumped.

“I don’t know a lot of things but I know it’s hard to win football games,” Niumatalolo told the people in attendance on Media Day. “So what coach Monken and West Point done is really, really remarkable. Congratulations on your season because it’s really hard to win football games. What they have done is amazing.”

Army’s effort at Oklahoma earlier in the season didn’t surprise Navy senior safety and co-captain Sean Williams. The Black Knights took Oklahoma, currently ranked fifth in the country, to overtime before the Sooners pulled out a 28-21 win on Sept. 22.

“Option style of football is a very hard style to play,” Williams said. “For them to compete at that level, I’m sure it surprised a lot of people but I wasn’t too surprised especially with how good they (Army) are. When you don’t play option football a lot, it’s very hard to play. You have to be careful with teams like us. Our personalities are the same, very hard-nosed and tough. It was actually fun to see.”

The Black Knights are bowl eligible for the third straight year. Army athletic director Boo Corrigan said he talked to 15 bowls on Tuesday.

“ESPN owns 13 of them so that’s one group and two other people that we are talking to all of the time and have been for 10 months,” Corrigan said.

“I think a lot of people are really interested in talking to us. But, they got those contractual obligations and they are going to be able to fill their allotment.”

Corrigan said Army will find out its bowl destination/fate Sunday

Asked Corrigan about the progress of the Michie Stadium renovation project. Corrigan said project is. “still in fund-raising phase. We’ve been able to raise a good amount of money. We still need to raise a better amount of money to get there.” Corrigan said 2019, “is certainly too early” for the project to begin. I’ll have more on this topic and 2020 schedule in a future blog.

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    Sal Interdonato

    Award-winning writer Sal Interdonato has been on the Army football beat since 2007. He'll take you inside the huddle and into the lives of the Black Knights. Read Full
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