WEST POINT — Four scorching days of sunshine and humidity at Army preseason camp have players hot under the collar.
As temperatures climbed back into the 90s, a few fights broke out during Saturday’s camp activities, which the coaches and players immediately took care of.
“Oh, it happens,” said head coach Jeff Monken. “It’s a physical match and the emotions are sometimes strong. Sometimes guys fight. I don’t have much patience for that. It’s just a waste of time so we took care of it. It wasn’t a problem the rest of the day.
“We’re getting competitive,” linebacker Leo Lowin said. “It’s the first time we’ve been in competition for a long time. It’s hard not to have that competitive edge when you’re out there attacking. You know, it’s just something that happens in football.
“It’s something we need to work on and do to not waste anyone’s time and keep working on the football.”
Going through exercises in intense heat was difficult.
“It was really tough,” Lowin said. “It’s hard work, it’s good. That’s what we all signed up for. I think that to best prepare for the first game, that’s what you have to do. I think we are in much better shape.
Monken said earlier in the week that his freshmen entered camp in varying degrees of fitness, with some losing 10 to 12 pounds during intense summer military training at Beast Barracks, and some actually gained weight. He said newcomers probably need some time to get back into shape.
Wide receiver Isaiah Alston made headlines in January when he announced he was heading to the NCAA transfer portal. Within days, he reversed his decision.
“I’m very excited to be back on the court in general,” Alston said, “especially with the guys I’ve spent this whole offseason with, working hard, training and training in weight room, all that.
“I’m just grateful to be back and I’m grateful that they’re accepting me back into the team. I had to prove my loyalty to them and that won’t change. I told them that’s where I was going to graduate. I’m just glad to be back.”
The Carteret, New Jersey product dazzled with a few shots as a rookie in 2020 but got injured. The 6-foot-4 receiver, who would love to play in the NFL one day, has made 22 catches in 2021 for an average of 20 yards per catch, giving the running-oriented Black Knights a legitimate deep threat.
Notes and choice of bowls
Sporting News magazine has published its bowl predictions. Given the military already has a connection to the bowl, it’s no wonder the Black Knights were chosen for the December 23 Independence Bowl, with writer Bill Bender predicting a game with Central Florida. .
Bender also released his coaching rankings, from 1 to 131. He pegged Monken at No. 65, down eight spots from a year ago but still two spots ahead of Rutgers’ Greg Schiano and Scott Frost of the Nebraska at No. 57. Former Buffalo coach Lance Leipold was No. 59 for his new job. in Kansas, a position Monken was supposed to be considering. Additionally, Air Force coach Troy Calhoun went from 74 to 67 and Navy’s Ken Niumataolo went from 75 to 71.
Bender said he looks at the overall record of a coach and his current school and uses a three-year record. Monken has taken Army to five bowl games in his last six seasons, missing only in 2019.
No major decisions have been made by the coaches regarding personnel, although Monken mentioned earlier in the week that he would like to have a much better idea of who will be on the travel roster for the season opener. September 3 after next Saturday’s scrum. … The team is dressing in full cushions starting Tuesday, but Monken said the 11-on-11 scrimmage will be kept to a minimum to protect against injury.