In the news…

Christian Swezey, settling into his new gig at Inside Lacrosse, updates us on the UNC coaching search and tells us that Richie Meade has, in fact, been contacted. Bad news?

Meantime, UNC officials contacted Navy Athletic Director Chet Gladchuk for permission to talk to Meade about their opening, Gladchuk said. Gladchuk said he met with Meade on Tuesday.

“I met with him just to have some dialogue,” Gladchuk said. “His heart is at Navy, he made that perfectly clear. But North Carolina is his alma mater. Even if he’s not talking to them about their opening, at least he might be able to advise them.”  

I certainly hope that’s all there is to it. I maintain my state of nervousness.

In other lacrosse news, the long-rumored addition of lacrosse as a Big East-sponsored sport has finally come to fruition. Georgetown, Notre Dame, Providence, Rutgers, St. John’s, Syracuse and Villanova will begin play as a conference in 2010. Providence and Villanova better step up their games in a hurry.

Finally, there’s some more news on the Ohio State game. USA Today is reporting that Navy will earn $1.4 million for its 2009 date in Columbus. That’s one hell of a payday. There’s no mention of how much Navy will pay for the return trip in 2014, but we might have more of a clue about the ’09 schedule:

Ohio State’s Gene Smith calls the Navy payout a “special situation” and says he doesn’t plan to pay that much at least until after 2014 because his schedule is set till then. The Navy payout came because another school pulled out of a contract with Ohio State, leaving the Buckeyes with a hole in their schedule. But Navy had to buy its way out of a contract in order to come. Ohio State’s guarantee will in effect cover Navy’s buyout as well.

But which game is it? Hawaii was originally supposed to be the season opener, but we already know that the game against the Warriors was moved to November and not bought out. Regardless, we know that Western Kentucky is replacing someone as well. So it appears that Chet is making good on his promise to lighten the load a bit in ’09. Depending, of course, on who exactly is getting replaced.

Loose Change, 3/28/08

Odds & ends you may have missed over the past week:

– Unfortunately, this week’s Loose Change leads off with news of the passing of Ben Carnevale. There is nothing that I can say that will possibly do him justice. Carnevale is in many ways the father of Navy basketball, and brought the team to the national stage during his 20 years in Annapolis. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1970, and the work that he did after being inducted was just as impressive. The game, and our school, owe him their gratitude.

– Lacrosse is the big story this weekend as Navy will try to get the Georgetown monkey off of its back Saturday in a game that will be shown on CBS College Sports. The Inside Lacrosse preview of the game is here. Navy fans in the know have been reading Christian Swezey’s lacrosse blog and learned that Tommy Phelan will be the starting goalkeeper, with Matt Coughlin still nursing his hamstring injury. The Fastest Blog on 2 Feet also has a scouting report on the game from former Navy player and DeMatha coach Dick Long. Pete Medhurst will be calling the game for WNAV with the pregame show starting at 4:45 ET.

– One of the side stories in the Navy-Georgetown game is the matchup of the Mirabito brothers.

– Tony Barnhart made the startling discovery that Navy fans like Paul Johnson. No wai!!!11!1

– You Pitch Right expatriates that only stomach this blog because you don’t have a choice anymore will be pleased to see Adam again as he talks about independents’ spring practice news and notes while guest blogging at In The Bleachers.

– David Flores of the San Antonio Express-News catches up with David Robinson, including his take on this year’s tournament, here.

– A somewhat unusual blog about historical markers has a recent entry on the Bill the Goat statue by Gate 1.

– Another blogger ranks Alumni Hall as the venue for one of his favorite pre-game media buffets.

– A Kentucky paper has a column about an upcoming college boxing tournament being hosted by UK, with a couple mentions of Navy.

– Something I talk about regularly on this blog is the value of intercollegiate athletics to a university.

– Marine Captain and former Navy footballer Brian Stan won the WEC light heavyweight title on Wednesday night with a first-round TKO of defending champion Doug Marshall. There was a brief moment when it looked like Stann was in trouble, but he survived a flurry of punches and landed a haymaker of his own, and that’s all it took. You can watch the fight here.

– The Congressional Bowl found a conference partner: the ACC. That’s good news for Navy:

The NCAA requires prospective bowls to have guaranteed opponents, a TV contract, venue and a letter of credit. Metcalf said all those elements are in place, including documents proving the proposed Congressional Bowl can meet its mandate of paying $1 million to each participating school.

Now that everything’s in place, six wins should be enough for the Mids to find a home in the postseason. No word yet on whether the game will be at RFK or the new Nationals’ ballpark. 

– And finally, the football post-practice presser makes its glorious return! Those changes in the passing game that Niumat talked about in his presser on Monday? Not exactly an overhaul.

We aren’t making any drastic changes. There might be some technique changes, the way we run our routes, the depth at where we run our routes, what foot we lead with, what shoulder we are looking over, real small intricate details that might help us become a little bit more efficient.

Other than that, Niumat says that practice is going OK and that he’s looking to get Jarod Bryant as many reps at slot as Kaipo’s knee will allow.

Wagner: When he was in at quarterback last year it seemed like you ran a package for him with a lot of inside runs and draws. Running the ball as a slot back is different. Do you think he can be as effective running the ball on the outside?

Niumatalolo: I don’t know. That remains to be seen. We are going to find out. All I know is he makes people miss.

Damn skippy.

I think he’ll be OK.

Loose Change, 3/21/08

I’m even mailing it in on my weekly links. Holy crap I suck…

  • Here’s a Q&A with Lehigh’s women’s lacrosse coach, who seems to hold the upstart Navy team in fairly high regard.
  • The Richmond Times-Dispatch had a nice little article about Chris Harris.
  • A wrestler at NAPS, Aaron Kalil, won a national title.
  • Speaking of wrestling, three Navy wrestlers have advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament.
  • Inside Lacrosse has their analysis of Navy lacrosse’s 4-3 OT win over Bucknell here. One point here… Sean Burns says, “I don’t know exactly how a team that has made four straight NCAA tournaments and came into the season ranked No. 9 in the country can play the ‘no respect’ card, but Navy seems to be doing just that in ’08.” He then follows that up with a heading of, “Patriot League: no longer Navy’s playground.” Gee, I wonder where Navy’s getting that idea?
  • And in non-sports news, some duty driver is probably in a lot of trouble right now.

Again, I apologize for my recent funk. One day I hope to write something worth reading.

Loose Change 3/7/08

Odds & ends you may have missed over the past week:

  • Spring football practice is beginning around the country, and has three sentences on Navy. You may not have heard, but we have a new head coach!
  • Sadly, Tom Marryott will not be returning next year as the women’s basketball coach. Given the decline of the program since its mid-’90s heyday, this news isn’t much of a surprise. But the inevitablility doesn’t make it any less depressing. The son of a former superintendent, Marryott has been a part of the Navy family his entire life. Marryott was an assistant with the men’s program when he took over the women’s team on an interim basis following the sudden resignation of Joe Sanchez five years ago. After showing some promise in that interim season, Chet awarded Marryott the permanent gig. But the team never seemed to gather much momentum, even in a conference that, frankly, isn’t very good. The rise of the Army program probably didn’t help matters. It’s a shame that things didn’t work out. I think Navy fans everywhere wish Coach Marryott all the best in the future. His staff remains in place for now. We anxiously await word on a new coach!
  • This has been making the rounds in the national news, but since schools selling their souls for athletic success has been a hot topic on this blog, I thought I’d mention it here. Harvard is now under the microscope.
  • In the “no-brainer” category, David Robinson has been nominated for the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.
  • Bad news keeps pouring in for the Air Force basketball program as freshman Mark Summerfield has left the Academy. Nothing sinister about this one, though. The kid just decided the military wasn’t for him. It happens.
  • Remember the Patriot Bowl? The game that was supposed to be between a service academy and a MAC school, held in Cleveland each year as part of a festival of military demonstrations and whatnot? Well, it’s still happening. Just without a service academy.
  • Remember the AAFL? The new professional football league centered around major college football hubs? There were reports of that league’s demise yesterday, although those appear to have been a little premature. But the league is facing some problems right now, and may have to postpone their inaugural season until 2009.
  • Army’s home opener against Temple has been moved to Friday night. I don’t care any more than you do, but there was a line in the press release that I found interesting:

    It will mark the only non-Saturday football game of the year for the Black Knights, home or away. Each of the Army’s remaining 11 contests, including all five home games, will remain on Saturday. Kickoff times for all of those games will be announced later in the year.

    I thought that part of Army’s ESPN contract was that they would play 1-2 games per year on either ESPN or ESPN2. That means Thursday or Friday night, since ESPN usually leaves their Saturdays free for BCS-conference games. Does this mean that Army could be geting a game on the Mothership on an actual Saturday? OK, so maybe that wasn’t really interesting either.

  • The women’s lacrosse team won again. This time they pitched a shutout, beating St. Francis (PA) 24-0 in a game that was originally supposed to be the season opener. Maybe the right baseball analogy would be a perfect game, since the Mids prevented the hapless Red Flash from even taking a shot. OK, now this is getting ridiculous. Navy’s newest varsity team has a slightly more interesting matchup tomorrow with fellow Division I newcomer Cincinnati, followed by what will probably be another snoozer on Sunday against St. Mary’s. Fortunately, Patriot League play starts next weekend, with Holy Cross coming to town.
  • Not sports related, but now mids can do part of their summer cruise at a U.S. Embassy? Really? How cool is that?
  • Hold your nose before you read this love-fest for Air Force coaches. It’s nothing that you’d otherwise care about, but it includes a Paul Johnson quote.
  • says, “Bucknell senior John Griffin tapped into all his experience to hit a 40-footer to beat Navy.” Experience? Do they practice that shot at Bucknell or something? I guess “John Griffin gets lucky” isn’t as good of a read. Anyway, our friend Gary Lambrecht weighs in on Navy basketball, too.
  • And finally… The first one was so massive, it changed my life forever. And now it’s happening again! I’m talking, of course, about the Sale of the Century, the greatest idea in the history of human thought. Last time, there were all kinds of jerseys, sweatshirts, t-shirts, duffel bags, ballcaps, and enough equipment to outfit a small lacrosse league. This time, if the retired Under Armour lax jerseys are on sale, there may have to be contests of strength and skill just to determine who gets the chance to buy them. The SOTC will be held before the Hopkins game. The weekend’s fun actually begins the night before with the annual Blue & Gold spring football game. is sponsoring a tailgater before the game, sponsored by Red Hot & Blue. David Ausiello is coordinating the event, and has announced that any proceeds will go to the Fallyn Zembiec Educational Fund:


    All Proceeds to Benefit Education Fund for Daughter of Former Navy Wrestler

    (Annapolis, MD) – GOMIDS.COM will be hosting its first-ever tailgate party on Friday, April 18th prior to Navy football’s annual Blue & Gold spring game at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland.  The party will begin at 5 p.m. and food will be available until 8 p.m. – one hour after the game begins.

    All proceeds from the tailgate will be donated to the Fallyn Zembiec Educational Fund established to honor the memory of her father, Doug, who was killed on May 11, 2007 in combat operations in Baghdad, Iraq.

    Zembiec, 34, a career Marine who held the rank of Major, graduated in 1995 from the United States Naval Academy where he was a two-time All-American wrestler.

    The Annapolis eatery, Red, Hot & Blue is catering the event, and the cost (which includes drinks) is $25 for adults and $10 for children, 12 and under.   Tickets must be purchased by April 4th.  Click here to buy your tickets today.

    Most of you probably already know the story of former Navy All-American and “Lion of Fallujah” Doug Zembiec. If not, you should. You can start here.

Loose Change 2/29/08

Odds & ends you may have missed over the past week:

  • There’s some speculation about Kyle Eckel’s future in Foxboro. Here’s one guy’s take on the state of the Patriots’ backfield, guessing that they may add a running back in the draft.
  • Navy basketball’s rise to the top of the Patriot League has meant added coverage from local papers, including this great writeup in the Times on Greg Sprink.
  • To the dismay of Maryland and Georgetown fans, one local hoops blogger thinks that David Robinson is the area’s all-time greatest basketball player.
  • Things are so bad at the Air Force Academy prep school that they’ve cancelled the rest of their basketball season.
  • The University of South Alabama is starting up a football team, with the goal of eventually moving into I-A in a few years. Once they do, they’re looking into lining up “quality opponents like Tennessee and Navy.”
  • The University of North Alabama already has a football team. A very good team, actually– one of the annual poll-toppers in Division II. They’re coached by former Navy offensive coordinator Mark Hudspeth, and one of the local papers published a story on him here.
  • A couple of lacrosse tidbits: first, the Tewaaraton watch list is out, and it includes Navy’s Jordan DiNola. In other news, a Big East lacrosse conference is in the works.
  • Former Navy baseball coach Bob MacDonald had a stint with the Mariners as a volunteer batting practice pitcher, among other things.
  • Former Navy football player turned cagefighter Brian Stann will be fighting for the WEC light heavyweight title on March 26th. I’ve seen a couple of his earlier fights, and they didn’t exactly last long. One guy took one punch from Stann, got an “oh God what did I get myself into” look on his face, then went down with the second punch. Still, there’s more to this stuff than just punching. We’ll see if Stann’s skills have developed beyond striking.
  • And finally, read this.

Loose Change 2/22/08

Odds & ends you may have missed over the past week:

  • Admit it. You go to eBay once in a while just to look at old Navy football program covers like this one:

If you do, you’ll appreciate this blog entry about Army-Navy covers of years past.

  • The Patriot League lacrosse coach interviews continue with Army’s Joe Alberici and Colgate’s Jim Nagle.
  • UConn football coach Randy Edsall talks about Big East expansion and his desire to play Army here. No comments about why he dropped Navy, though.
  • Wrestling recruit Bailey Whitaker was in the finals of the Tennessee state tournament, as was football recruit Jabaree Tuani-McKissack.
  • Bill Wagner wrote about 3-point rainmaker Chris Harris.
  • Navy baseball starts up this weekend with the Mids taking on Air Force in Millington, Tennessee. The preseason Patriot League favorites will unfortunately have to go a few weeks without the services of all-world pitcher Mitch Harris, who jammed his shoulder in an intra-squad scrimmage last week. If the Supe wants to can Herndon because he’s afraid of injuries, maybe he should consider banning home run trots, too.
  • The lacrosse season is underway, which means that the Sun’s Faceoff blog has finally come out of hibernation. The Sun also talks about Navy’s 2-0 start here. “Well-rounded” is a nice spin, I guess.
  • If you haven’t seen our new lacrosse uniforms yet, you can get a look here.
  • Last weekend, Delaware crunched UMBC in a lacrosse doubleheader held here in Jacksonville to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project. Next year, event organizers want to make it a “service academy challenge.”
  • The ESPN mothership is going to show a regular-season lacrosse game for the first time. AKA an ESPNU infomercial.
  • Don’t tell Chet, but Paul Johnson says that he did “all he could do” at Navy.

Loose Change 2/15/08

Odds & ends you may have missed over the past week:

  • Ron Snyder wrote a great piece on Jordan DiNola.
  • Speaking of the lacrosse team’s defense, Inside Lacrosse says that Navy has the 4th best defense in the land. Why? Because they’re always good! Expert analysis! It won’t be enough, though, according to Lacrosse Magazine; they think that Army beats Navy this year.
  • Ron Snyder was busy this week, as he also previews the first Navy women’s lax team. Those of you excited to see them in action will have to wait an extra week, as the season opener against St. Francis was postponed. The team will begin their season at home next weekend against Longwood.
  • More women’s lax: the Patriot League released its preseason poll, and surprisingly our upstart Navy team isn’t picked to finish last. That dubious distinction belongs to Lafayette. How bad do you have to be to get picked behind a team that’s in its first year of existence? Try 1-15, which was the Leopards’ record last year. Don’t be surprised if the season plays out as the SIDs and coaches predicted, too. Cindy Timchal brings instant credibility to the Navy women’s lax program, and she can find a way to coach the team out of the cellar.
  • Logan West is a lacrosse recruit.
  • Some of you may not have known this, but a professional soccer team made its home at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium last year. Crystal Palace USA, a developmental squad for Crystal Palace FC of The Championship (England’s second division for you soccer noobs), played in Annapolis. You’d never have known it with their lack of marketing. Well, now the team has decided to actually market themselves a little, but they’re moving to UMBC.
  • Press Box has an article on the state of youth football in Maryland. It probably isn’t anything you’re interested in, but it does mention Ben Gabbard.
  • Mike Wahle, formerly of the class of ’99, was cut by the Carolina Panthers in a salary cap move. It didn’t take him much time to find a new home in Seattle.
  • Bill Wagner wrote about the Touchdown Club of Annapolis awards banquet, where Reggie Campbell received the Tony Rubino Memorial Silver Helmet Award.
  • More lacrosse: An interview with Lafayette head coach Terry Mangan.
  • The Sun has a good writeup on the new faceoff rules in college lax this year, including quotes from Richie Meade. And check out the video highlights of the VMI game.
  • And finally, there’s the proposed rule changes in college football. My opinions on these changes more or less echo those of EDSBS. In case you were wondering, here’s the current definition of a chop block:

Chop Block

ARTICLE 3. A chop block is:

a. An obviously delayed block at the thigh or below against an opponent
(except the runner) who is in contact with a teammate of the blocker, is
in the act of disengaging from the first blocker or has just disengaged
from the first blocker but is still confronting him. When in question, the
contact is at the thigh or below (A.R. 2-3-3-I-V).
b. A high-low, low-high or low-low combination block by two nonadjacent
linemen with or without a delay between contacts occurring in the
neutral zone.
c. A high-low, low-high or low-low combination block by any two
offensive players with or without a delay between contacts when the
initial contact clearly occurs beyond the neutral zone (i.e., all involved
players are beyond the neutral zone) (A.R. 2-3-3-III and IV).

Loose Change 2/1/08

Odds & ends you may have missed over the past week:

Loose Change 1/25/08

Odds & ends you may have missed over the past week:


Lacrosse already? That’s right. Don’t look now, but Navy’s first scrimmage is this weekend against UMBC. Time to start getting ready. Inside Lacrosse has presented their 10 Burning Questions for ’08, and there’s plenty of Navy talk in there. Make sure you read up.

Not content to rely on Inside Lacrosse, a team of our favorite lacrosse experts came together for their own discussion of the upcoming season. Joining me in this roundtable is Pete Medhurst, the Voice of Navy Lacrosse (and a blogger himself); Joe Miller, Pete’s co-host on the Navy Football tailgate show and radio play-by-play voice for Johns Hopkins lacrosse; and Christian Swezey, writer of all things lacrosse for The Washington Post.

The Birddog: To me, this looks like a really interesting season coming up. Hopkins is bringing back that midfield, Duke players are getting an extra year, and I think this might be the year that someone other than Navy finally wins the Patriot League. What do you think? What questions do you have about this season?

Miller: It should be interesting, especially with most of the top guys returning for Duke. I’m already looking forward to the trip down to Durham for the Hopkins-Duke game on April 5th. My questions for the upcoming season would be, can Gvozden step right in and replace Jesse at Hopkins? For Virginia, how will the much talked about freshman class perform? Plus they have to replace their GK Turner, but they do return their entire attack unit.  For Duke, I don’t know if there is much to wonder about. You know that they are extremely talented, but I thought last year their biggest question mark was their depth. It should improve this year. I understand they have had some injury concerns in fall ball but they should for the most part be ready to go.  Really the question marks don’t start for Duke until May. Can they handle the pressure of making it to another championship game after losing two straight?  For Navy, besides Mirabito and Daratsos who is going to score?But I would still put them as my Patriot League favorite. For Maryland, I’ve heard a lot of good things about their freshmen and they are going to need it. Young, Reed, and Catalino will have a lot of pressure on them to produce; will they?  It seems like the general consensus from everyone leading up to the season is that Hopkins, Virginia, and Duke are the top three teams, and a bunch of other teams will battle it out for that 4th spot. But it hardly ever seems to play out that way.

Swezey: What strikes me about this year is how many top teams are going to be better than they were last year. Johns Hopkins won the national title last year and there’s no question they have a chance to be a lot better this year. I agree with Joe that Gvodzen in goal is a concern; my best guess is he will be much more consistent than Jesse Schwartzman, but will he play as well in the big games? Schwartzman was such a good goalie in the playoffs; I believe he lost only one playoff game in his three years as a starter.

Duke won’t be better this year initially; it had too many injuries to top players in the fall. But the Blue Devils will be fantastic by April and May. Coach John Danowski’s philosophy has always been to be good in March, great in April and at your best in May. So he won’t rush people back for early-season games.

Virginia will be so much better than last year, especially at midfield. And Georgetown has everyone back.

I don’t know what to make of Navy, and I doubt I’m alone. They have talent; the guys we have been hearing about behind the scenes for a couple years (Higgins, the youngest Lennon, etc.) have to show up on offense. I can’t see any player scoring more than 20-25 goals this year. What Navy needs is eight guys to score one or two goals each in every game.

The rest of the Patriot League is really good, no question. What makes it so interesting is that Bucknell and Colgate are heavy on offense and Army and Navy are heavy on defense. It should make for some amazing matchups. The Army-Navy game this year might finish 4-3.

The Birddog: It’s funny about Schwartzman… At the beginning of the year, Hop fans can’t wait for him to graduate. By the end of the year, they don’t know what they’ll do without him!

With Navy I think it’s a question of how many 7-6 type games they can win.

Miller: The Schwartzman storyline was prevalent all of last season; he struggled at times and Gvozden replaced him and played well in his brief appearance. But give credit to Coach Pietramala for sticking by Schwartzman, because he was absolutely fantastic in the 4th Quarter of the National Championship game.  Gvozden was known as a pressure goalie in High School, a guy that would play his best at the most important time. Only time will tell how it does at the biggest stage.

I agree with Christian as far as some of the bigger teams maybe having improved during the off season. Don’t forget that Hopkins gets back Matt Dreenan; before he got hurt last season, he was everyone’s pick to have a break out season for the Jays.  Dreenan returns with Michael Evans, who BTW you could make a case he should’ve been the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, he was that good down the stretch.

Navy seems destined to play a ton of close games this year; my question is how much will it hurt to lose John Tillman?

Medhurst: We know the commodities that are JHU, Duke, and Virginia.

The stock that everbody is waiting for to skyrocket is Georgetown. Yes, they return everyone. Yes, this group is mega-hyped. Can they produce the results on the field?Sometimes you need a go-to guy. JHU has it. Duke has it. Who will emerge for Georgetown as THE guy, when the going gets tough against the big boys, that will get them a goal?

Navy has toughened its out of conference schedule with the Cornell test. The question for Navy is, will they score enough goals? Defensively they are fine.

The Patriot League schedule has Navy playing Bucknell and Colgate within a four-day period. In the past Navy has had the depth to withstand this. By then, they will have played enough games to know if they have the same depth. They have the league’s best coach and leader, and until they get beaten, my money is in their camp. Bucknell and Colgate have shown some improvement in the regular season of late. Now they must prove they can take the next step in the post-season. The Bison have tons of returning fragile talent; fragile in that they have had more injuries than anyone in the country the last couple of seasons. If they stay healthy, they will be a major factor.

The Birddog: Navy has their own injury issues, too, now that Nechanicky is lost for the year again.

I’m sure everyone expected an adjustment period after Dingman left, but this is a whole different deal without Tillman. With Richie running the offense, how conservative will he be? How conservative will he have to be? Georgetown isn’t the only team looking for a go-to guy… Mirabito was the team’s leading scorer last year, but that was because of how he dished the ball as much as his goal-scoring.

Stan Ross is as good of a defensive coach as we’re going to find. Plenty of returning talent on defense, too.

So there you go. A BIG thanks to the panel for their time and effort. The UMBC scrimmage is Saturday afternoon in Annapolis. The Mids will scrimmage Virginia the following week before opening the season at home against VMI on 2/9.