The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl champion Army football team was recognized on Saturday, February 5th at West Point at halftime of the basketball game versus Colgate.
Head coach Rich Ellerson spoke briefly, followed by co-captain Patrick Mealy.
The bowl victory over SMU in Dallas gave the West Point football team a 7-6 record, its first winning season since 1996 and first "bowl" victory since 1985. The seniors will be long remembered for this achievement that brought "Winning Football" back to West Point.
The trophy was made with actual military parts melted in. Senior Anees Merzi from Oceanside, CA proudly holds the trophy. Merzi was the starting left tackle on the offensive team. Junior linebacker Chad Littlejohn from Houston, TX stands just behind him.
Senior Zach Peterson from Sharpsburg, GA was the starting center for the Black Knights. Another senior, Kingsley Ehie from Springfield, MO, was a fullback for the Black Knights in 2008 and 2009 and then switched to linebacker for his senior year.
Carson Homme from Kennewick, WA, just to his right, was the long snapper and a defensive lineman.
Pat Mealy filled an important role both as a running back and as a mentor to younger players on the team. He will be branching to Air Defense Artillery in the Army.
Coach Rich Ellerson stressed avoiding turnovers all season and embraced the Army culture at West Point. This can be the focus on mission demonstrated in Army winning all five road games it played at campus sites.
Against SMU, Jonathan Bulls from Fairfax, VA made a critical fourth quarter 57 yard punt from the Army 11 yard line. The kick pushed the Mustangs back to their own 38 to start their last drive of the game which resulted in a missed 47 yard field goal attempt.
Jonathan will branch to Field Artillery training after graduation at Fort Sill, OK and then be assigned to the First Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, TX
Probably no school will value winning a trophy like West Point. The Black Knights' victory in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl made their alumni serving in the Army around the world very proud. It is amazing how meaningful football is at the Academy.
The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl trophy held at West Point. Junior quarterback Max Jenkins from Houston, TX looks on from the right.