I know this is a little long but I thought you would enjoy it.
It is with great pride and honor that I can report to you that our Army Powerlifting Team once more brought home the Commanders Cup Trophy to extend our streak to 12 straight victories against the mighty Navy squad.
This was a battle that Navy wanted badly and were sure they had as they were poised and loaded with some very strong athletes and a solid coaching staff. Their team is loaded with veterans and can boast some of the strongest athletes in our country .
Army suited up with 22 men 12 of which are first year rookie lifters along with 10 returning veterans affording us only 4 firsties (a senior cadet), an inexperienced team to say the least.
Navy brought out the big guns and began crushing huge weights. Navy's Captain Etringer at 162lbs bodyweight had a final record setting squat of well over 600lbs. The day went back and forth as each team's athletes did their job.
Army sent Firstie Cadet Bleecher out at 145lbs with a tall order of beating 6- 148lb Navy athletes and he came through on all fronts winning his weight class and finishing with just short of a 500lb squat proving once again why he is an All-American Lifter.
Not to be outdone Navy loaded up again and brought out a strong 163lb class and looked to be solid there as well with Midshipmant Etringer leading the way for them. Upon completion of the second flight we ere in a tough spot. Navy was hungry for a in and could smell victory getting closer. We were down to the final attempts.
We knew we were down in points. Every attempt call I made and every lift had to be perfect or we were done.
Cadet Asst Team Captain Anthony Rhombold was fighting mightily for Army at 163lbs but not having a great day he was down to his final lift deadlift for him. With the Army team down in points and time slipping away we knew Rhombold needed to have the pull of his lifting career. We added up the totals and realized Rhombold need to deadlift 525 lbs well over his all time best.
At this point being late in the day many cadets had come to workout but instead had gathered in Arvin to watch and support the team and the place was electric with excitement. As Rhombold prepared I told him two things first of which was that he was capable of doing this and secondly these are the times when you define yourself in your mind for years to come. 15 seconds of fight will last a lifetime one way or another. He would tell his grand children about this moment. Rhombold was ready to go. As he began to lift the crowd really was loud and that helped greatly Rhombold pulled his ass off and stood up with a huge PR and the biggest lift of his life. Securing us a second place in that class and desperately needed points. We were one step closer to a comeback.
Next up the 182 class and it was the same story only this time a young but strong sophomore lifter Cadet Tom Evans. Evans was also down in points and need to pull a huge PR as well. The call I made was 35lbs more than anything he had done prior. It was well over 600lbs.
By now all in attendance knew what we needed to do and they were solidly behind us. It was a great feeling to have that support, this team had its own 12th man and it was helping.
Evans pulled hard and the bar inched its way up and he locked it out. Good lift! Only a few more points and we had them. Cadets Barone and Wing along with Davis, Heath, Weiss, Randall and Adams were all crushing big weights at clutch times and blocking points from the Navy Team. In addition Navy missed a few clutch lifts. We were fighting hard and were real close now.
Everyone including Navy could feel what was happening. In sports we all know momentum is key and we had it big time.
It came down to Cadet Team Captain Adam (Ruby) Rubalcaba. Ruby hit his first attempt and now on his second to last lift. in all the excitement we somehow sent Ruby out of turn. I tried to protest but it was to no avail, it was a No Lift!
One lift left for us. Once again we needed to hit a huge PR and also with that came the fact that we had to take a much larger jump in poundage's than we wanted. Ruby had to jump another 50lbs to win. Hit and we win miss and we lose.
The last lift of the day and it comes down to our Team Captain. As I pumped him up we both had tremendous emotion running through us. The bar was ready the crowd was screaming and it was all or nothing. Ruby looked at me and said "light me up" meaning give him a slap on the back of the neck "Whack", it was time, for all the marbles.
Ruby went out and with a giant roar absolutely crushed a 625lb lift holding it at the top for what seemed like 2 minutes. He was smiling nodding his head to our 12th man and they reciprocated with gigantic cheer. He put it down and it was over. We had won, one more time!
We fought hard never for a second did any man give any less than 100% every man proving his worth. It was !2 wins in a row for Army Powerlifting against Navy!