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Around the Yard: Air Force Falcon Aurora Still Recovering

Let’s take a look at what’s going on in Colorado Springs this week!

NCAA Football: Wyoming at Air Force Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Falcon live mascot recovering from injury:

In news that overshadowed Army’s success on the gridiron last Saturday, Air Force’s live Falcon mascot, Aurora, was critically injured when she was taken by cadets from West Point, stuffed in a sweatshirt and thrown into a cage. Eventually, she was returned after she started thrashing with a bloodied wing and the diagnosis did not look good initially.

However, as was mentioned on ESPN yesterday, she is now resting and expected to make a full recovery from her injuries after flying around her pen on Sunday once she returned from New York.

This is exactly why the service academies have tried to stop the live mascot pranks in the past. This isn’t some vile attempt at causing harm and destruction to your rival and opponent like poisoning the trees at Toomer’s Corner, but it is just plain dumb and USMA should absolutely take seriously the punishments they dole out to the cadets responsible for this occurring.

Troy Calhoun hasn’t voted but once in 25 years:

Look, I wouldn’t normally mention little tidbits like this, but Air Force beat writer Brent Briggeman asked the Falcons head coach Troy Calhoun about the elections across the country yesterday, and he said that not only was he not making time to get to the polls yesterday, but that he has only voted once in the last 25 years.

While some would argue that a service academy graduate who is now the head football coach of a service academy would make it a point to encourage the voting process and civic duty of determining who is elected in our democratic republic, it is absolutely within his right to decided that he doesn’t want to take part in the process.

Really, there is nothing to see here, but it was without a doubt an interesting point made by Coach Calhoun regarding his stance on the political process.

Air Force hockey sweeps Army:

While there was nothing for the Falcons to celebrate on the football field on Saturday, the Air Force hockey team came away with two victories against Army, each of them by the score of 4-2.

After a slow start to the season, sweeping your conference and service academy rival at their place to get back to .500 on the season was just what the doctor ordered.

Goalie Billy Christopoulos was named AHC Goalie of the Week for his efforts, and the Falcons, who started the season 1-4, have now won three straight to get back to 4-4 and are now in first place in the AHC.

Look for more content on Air Force hockey from contributor Scott Lopez in the weeks to come!

#13 Air Force Soccer set for WAC tournament:

After finishing the regular season as WAC Champions for the second year in a row, Air Force heads to Seattle for the conference tournament hoping to win the tournament and secure themselves an NCAA berth.

Though they are more than likely good on the NCAA bid regardless of the outcome of the WAC tournament, they believe that winning the tournament or perhaps just making it to the championship game could net them the ability to host an NCAA tournament game which would be unique and special for a service academy program without a doubt.

Air Force also racked up some season awards with Tucker Bone getting the nod as WAC Offensive Player of the Year and Andrea Seazzu winning Defensive Player of the Year during the awards ceremony last night.

This is definitely a team to keep your eye on over the next few weeks as they are one of the few service academy programs capable of making a deep NCAA tournament run this year!

Air Force men’s basketball opens with win against Johnson and Wales:

The Falcons men’s basketball team kicked off their season with a dominant 90-65 win against NAIA opponent Johnson and Wales at Clune Arena last night.

Following an exhibition loss to Division II Western Colorado over the weekend, the Falcons came to play when it really mattered in dismantling their in-state opponent on Tuesday.

Head Coach Dave Pilipovich didn’t sense any panic following the exhibition loss to a lower division opponent, and his team responded with a balanced attack that saw contributions from some bench players that will be relied upon this season.

Air Force shot 57% on the night, including a solid 7-9 from beyond the arc in the first half as they built a 50-32 lead at the intermission. Sophomore Chris Joyce led the way with 15 points off the bench including being 3-3 from three point land. Lavelle Scottie who sat out the exhibition with pneumonia was back on the court and contributed a dozen points and seven rebounds. Junior guard Sid Tomes led the way with five assists to go with 11 points and junior forward Ryan Swan pulled down eight rebounds to go with 10 points to round out the double digit scorers.

The Falcons will travel to San Marcos, TX to take on Texas State on Friday before heading off to the Bahamas for the Bimini Jam next weekend!