Sprint Football to Host Sixth Annual Alumni Weekend

Mark West

Mark West

July 29, 2014

WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army sprint football (former 150s) will host its sixth annual Alumni Weekend on Aug. 21-23. The theme for this year's event is "For the Love of the Game" to honor all sprint football alumni who played this unique sport by making a personal sacrifice to cut weight.

When asked about this year's event, current Army head coach Lt. Col. Mark West stated, "I've explained Sprint football to a lot of people over the years, and when I told them we had to cut weight to play the game, they looked at me like I was crazy. Perhaps we were a little crazy, but we did it for the love of the game."

He went on to add, "I can think of no other team sport that prepares a cadet for battle better than sprint football, and I believe that is another reason why alumni loved the game so much. Our team represents a unique brotherhood because of the adversity we went through together on the gridiron, which translates well to the adversity we faced with our troops in the Army."

In addition to a full weekend of events, this year's Alumni Weekend will feature former Oakland Raiders Pro Bowl linebacker Phil Villapiano as the guest speaker at the alumni dinner. Phil was a member of the Oakland Raiders' Super Bowl XI winning team. As National Vice President with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Phil founded the annual Phil Villapiano Field of Hope Gala, which raised over $3 million over 16 years for research being done at ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) to find a cure for ALS. In 2002, he received "The Jimmy V Don't Ever Give Up Award" from the Jimmy Valvano Foundation for the inspiration he gives to others.

The sprint football program represents excellence at the U.S. Military Academy, across the country and around the globe. Of over 1,600 alumni, almost 500 have gone on to serve full military careers, with over 30 of them serving as General Officers. Once the alumni retire from the military, they continue their outstanding service to the nation. Almost 40 have gone on to serve as CEOs of major corporations, and countless alumni have served in local, state and national government positions. The 57th USMA Superintendent, Lt. Gen. Buster Hagenbeck (USMA '71) is also an alum.

"Numerous alumni who have attended in the past tell me this is by far the best West Point event they have ever attended," continued West. "Putting on the pads again and playing against cadets is quite a rush. But more importantly, friendships are rekindled and old teammates get to share war stories again."

"As for the Army sprint football program, I can think of no better way for these young cadets to witness excellence than to actually meet and play against the former players who made this program so special. What former players represent and model both on and off the fields of friendly strife make an immeasurable contribution to what I want our program to stand for, which is to be the model athletic program at the U.S. Military Academy that consistently wins championships the right way and produces outstanding leaders for our nation."

If you would like to attend the Alumni Weekend, click HERE. If you have questions or require more information, please contact coach West via email at mark.west@usma.edu or by phone at 845-938-0062.

Thursday, August 21

8:30-11:30 a.m.  Local Alumni and “Friends of” Equipment Draw

7:00 p.m.  “Fly-in” Social at the Thayer Hotel (Zulu Time Rooftop Lounge)

Friday, August 22

7:00 – 8:00 a.m.  Sunrise Memorial Service at Trophy Point

8:00 – 11:30 a.m.  Equipment draw at Arvin Gym

12:00 – 6:00 p.m.  Golf at West Point Golf Course  *Lunch served 11:30 – 2:00

7:00 – 8:00 p.m.  Benny Havens at Kimsey Center

8:00 – 10:00 p.m.  Alumni Dinner at Kimsey Center  *Casual Attire

10:30 p.m.  Zulu Time Rooftop Lounge

Saturday, August 23

8:00-9:00 a.m.  Breakfast with the Head Coach, Thayer Hotel

9:30-10:00 a.m.  Alumni Suit Up at Shea Stadium

10:00-10:30 a.m.  Alumni White Board Sessions

10:30 a.m.  Alumni Practice at Shea Stadium

11:45 a.m.  Pre-game Ceremony

12:00 p.m.  Alumni Game at Shea Stadium

1:30 – 3:00 p.m.  Post Game BBQ at Shea Stadium

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