June 20, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
Army rifle coach Ron Wigger released the team's 2013-14 schedule that has the Black Knights, an NCAA participant the last 10 years, competing in 12 dual matches to include seven at Tronsrue Marksmanship Center. In addition to service academy rivals Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard, NCAA national champion West Virginia and runner-up Kentucky highlight the upcoming slate.
Coming off a sixth-place finish at the 2013 NCAA Championships, Army returns three NRA (National Rifle Association) All-Americans in rising seniors Richard Calvin, Michael Matthews and Joseph Todaro as the Black Knights usher in their 87th year as a varsity sport.
Army heads to the southern part of the country in opening the fall portion of its slate with a pair of Great America Rifle Conference (GARC) matches the first weekend in October with visits to Ole Miss and Memphis the fifth and sixth, respectively, in opening the season on the road for the fifth time in the last four years.
The sharpshooters make their home debut two weeks later hosting the Coast Guard Academy (Saturday, Oct. 19)in the Black Knights' lone match of the fall at Tronsrue. Army has a stern test the next few weeks starting with a visit to West Virginia to take on the defending NCAA and GARC champion Mountaineers (Oct. 26). The following Saturday (Nov. 2), the team visits Annapolis, Md., in its bid to reclaim the President's Trophy Match after Air Force snapped Army's three-year reign last year. Host Navy and Coast Guard round out the service-academy field.
Army puts the finishing touches on the fall slate when it heads to the Middle West to take on Ohio State (Nov. 16) before breaking for exams and the holidays. After spending a good deal of the fall on the road, the winter slate is just the opposite as the Black Knights are home for all but two matches.
Murray State, the host for this year's NCAA Championships, opens Army's slate in 2014 with a visit to Tronsrue on Friday, Jan. 17, followed two days later by GARC rival Kentucky (Jan. 19), the reigning regular-season conference champions. The Black Knights are on the road the next two weekends starting with a trip to Philadelphia for the NRA Sectionals hosted by the University of the Sciences (Jan. 24) followed by Navy (Feb. 1) the following week for the annual "Star" match as Army looks to stretch its series win streak to five against the newest member of the GARC.
Army closes out its regular-season slate on the home front starting with GARC matches the second weekend in February against North Carolina State (Feb. 7) and Nebraska (Feb. 9). A lot rides in the season finale that has Army hosting USP and SUNY-Maritime in the NCAA Qualifier (Feb. 22) as the Black Knights look to meet the standard for the 11th straight year.
Then it is off to the GARC Championships (March 1-2) where the Black Knights will be looking to finish among the leaders in a conference that features four teams - Army, West Virginia, Kentucky and Nebraska - that were among last year's eight-team field at the NCAA Championships.
That will prove to be a good tune-up for the NCAA Championships (March 14-15) being hosted by Murray State at the Pat Spurgin Rifle Range. It is the ninth time the Racers will be hosting this prestigious event and first since 2002.
"Our program reached a major milestone in 2012-13 by qualifying for the NCAA Championship for the 10th year in a row," said Coach Wigger, who heads into his 14th season at the helm. "I think that is very symbolic of a program that has maintained a high level of success over a long period of time. It speaks volumes of the success and longevity of the program to continue to bring in quality athletes."