Football Training course
There comes a time in the career of every student accepted to the U.S. Naval Academy when a midshipman must either leave school — no questions asked — or prepare for at least five years of service after graduation. This line in the sand is called “Two for Seven.” It comes at the beginning of their junior year, and students must sign an agreement that states they will follow through with their service upon graduation or repay the cost of their education to that point.
During the first couple years in Annapolis, midshipmen familiarize themselves with their potential assignments — aviation, Marine officer, surface warfare, submarines, military intelligence and more — through shadow days, which better inform their service selections.
But what happens if you’re an athlete in season, or training for an upcoming season? When do you squeeze in the experience at the Marine grounds in Quantico, Va., or on a submarine off the coast of Georgia? If you’re a Naval Academy football player, just about the only gap in your schedule is early June during summer school, before a short summer break and ahead of two-a-days.Sophomore safety Brandon Jones navigates a swollen creek. (Courtesy Navy Athletics)
And the image of football players swimming through a swollen creek while dressed in camo, wearing a helmet and carrying a rifle caused something of a stir on Twitter two weeks ago when the academy posted a couple photos with .
Projected senior starters Ben Tamburello (offensive line) and Lorentez Barbour (defensive back) just went through that training with the Marine Air Ground Task Force. It was two weeks of training, mostly at the Academy in Annapolis, but also four days, including an overnight in the field (and a few MREs) at Quantico.
Tamburello, who plays at 285 pounds, scrambled across a three-wire bridge over a swollen creek with three other teammates who play in the trenches.
“It’s the combat endurance course you run through during OCS (Officer Candidate School), that’s the one that got you out of your comfort zone the most, ” Tamburello said of the 4-to-5 mile obstacle course that must be completed in 46 minutes or less. “The three other guys that did it with me are all equally big guys. It was pretty tough for us.”
Tamburello, who had two grandfathers in the Navy and an uncle in the Marines, will have to lose more than 50 pounds by the time he graduates in the spring. He and his fellow linemen were given a break by supervisors due to their football weight.
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