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Around the Yard: Walker to stay at Air Force, Oklahoma AD ‘optimistic’ about Army game, Navy’s Song in limbo

A round-up of Army, Navy and Air Force links, stories and more for June 10, 2020.

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NCAA Basketball: Wyoming at Air Force Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Sports are off. School’s out. It’s June. There’s a pandemic.

Things in the world of Service Academy sports are slow, but there’s been a few things of note crawling around the internet that are worth your attention.

It’s time for Around the Yard.


  • What’s going on with Noah Song? Bill Wagner of the Capital Gazette is wondering that too and penned a column on the former Navy baseball pitcher this past Sunday. Wagner says that “no one is talking” — not Song, or the Red Sox or the Department of Defense. And so, Song’s future seems to be in limbo. According to a letter the Capital obtained, Song wants to serve, but would prefer to do so during baseball’s off-season. The DOD quickly approved for former Navy quarterback Malcolm Perry to suit up for the Dolphins, but seven months and counting, Song is still waiting.
  • 2020 Naval Academy graduate and former sprint football player Ramesh Nagarajah wrote an essay at Medium, “Reflections from a Token Black Friend.” It’s personal, deep and important. A snippet: “I‘d emphasize that most white people do not understand their level of ignorance — especially the good ones, who mean well, and that negligence is part of the problem.”
  • Fun fact: Navy’s Ivin Jasper is the longest tenured offensive coordinator in the country, entering his 13th season in the position with the Mids.
  • Malcolm Perry made the Liberty Bowl’s All-Decade Team. He totaled 270 yards of offense in the 2019 game, a 20-17 win for Navy over Kansas State. Speaking of Perry, the Dolphins published a meet-the-rookie feature with him here. PressBox wrote about Perry recently too


  • Former Army football player Brett Toth is under contract with the Arizona Cardinals, but he’s fulfilling his military commitment too by mentoring students, teaching classes and promoting Arizona State’s ROTC program. “It just shows that he’s all-in on the Army.” ESPN has more.
  • Army track and field athlete Calli McMullen writes about her experience at Army and how it came to an end.
  • Kristen Skiera, the head coach of women’s lacrosse at Army, has a message for players in the 2020 class.
  • I’ve been hurt, I’ve been tired and sore before… Having that background of getting up in the morning when you don’t feel like going to work out, and you are doing it on a consistent basis, because that’s what you have to do to be competitive. That goes through your mind. No way I’m going to stop.” A story from the Indianapolis Star about how college football prepared two former Indiana players for life in the Army.
  • Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione remains optimistic that the Sooners will be able to travel to West Point this football season to play Army, according to Sooners Wire. That game is set for Saturday, Sept. 26, the third game of Army’s 2020 slate.
  • Speaking of Oklahoma, Army picked up a linebacker recruit from the state in 2021 prospect Emaud Triplett. According to 247sports, Iowa State and Baylor had expressed interest.
  • Troy has agreed to a four-game series with Army football, beginning in 2022 and ending in 2031. UTSA announced a two-game series with Army, happening in the 2022 and 2023 seasons.

Air Force

  • AJ Walker was in the transfer portal, but will return to Air Force basketball, according to Jon Rothstein. It’s a big save for new head coach Joe Scott, as Walker averaged 11.1 points per-game last season and was considering transferring to Texas Tech, TCU and Tulsa, among others. Walker will be entering his junior season for Air Force. He also averaged 3.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists per-game last season while shooting 44.8 percent from the floor, 40.3 percent from three and 75 percent from the charity stripe.
  • Isaiah Sanders graduate transfer to Stanford is official. He graduated from Air Force with a degree in systems engineering and a minor in Spanish. He is looking to earn a master’s degree from Stanford in management science and engineering, and he will have one year of eligibility for the Cardinal football team. In three seasons at Air Force, Sanders totaled 1,709 yards of offense and 13 touchdowns in 16 games of action.
  • Col. Otis Jones will be the next Vice Superintendent of the Air Force Academy. He is a former basketball player for the Falcons, he is the second-highest scorer in their history with 2,003 career points.
  • Demonte Meeks, a senior linebacker for the Falcons, was named to the watch list for the Lott Trophy. Meeks was an All-Mountain West Second Team selection a year ago.

Around SB Nation

  • Banner Society: “Power imbalances have made it nearly impossible for college athletes to talk honestly to the media without risking their careers.”
  • All For XI: “Black NWSL players are tired, anxious, and still training amidst national turmoil.”
  • Cheer up and look at these Disney-inspired NBA logos chronicled by Whitney Medworth at the Mothership.