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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Activities & Organizations

Flag football game to air during Memphis game in honor of Veterans Day


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The Army and Air Force ROTC program’s annual flag football game will be aired during the Cougar football team’s game against Memphis on Saturday. | Michael Calderon/The Cougar

In honor of Veterans Day, Saturday’s game against Memphis will air footage from the Army and Air Force ROTC programs’ annual flag football game on Nov. 5.

The Army took home the win 52-0 inside TDECU Stadium.

The game, now in its fifth year, has become a tradition for the ROTC programs at UH, but this year’s game was played on UH’s home field giving the players a little more enthusiasm.

“We usually play it on the practice fields near the Alumni Center, so it’s nice that the University, and TDECU would let us come and use the same field that our undefeated team will be playing on,” Lt. Col. Lynn Bentley, Air Force ROTC commander and professor of Air Force science said. “I know the cadets were excited.”

Many of the players were thrilled about the change of location and look forward to making it an annual part of the game.

“It’s surreal, it’s awesome,” mechanical engineering senior and Army quarterback Kevin McEnery said. “We were lucky enough to get this opportunity from the athletics department, so we are just trying not to mess it up.”

Playing on the same field as the UH football team was motivation enough for the ROTC players during the match, but having the game filmed to be shown in the game’s halftime was a thrilling boost for the players.

Regardless of the additional hype surrounding the game, many of the ROTC cadets did not need any extra motivation to get ready for the contest. A lot of anticipation had already been building for this year’s game ever since Army came away with the decisive 34-10 victory in 2014.

“There has been talking back-and-forth all year, and it’s good to come out here and show that we can…walk the walk as well,” UH-Downtown sociology senior Neil Springer said. “It’s all fun and games at the end of the day. We all respect one another and know that we are all trying to do one job, (serving) our country, but we can have fun at the same time.”

The game itself was a one-sided affair from the beginning, with Army dominating on both offense and defense. With the victory, Army has a 3-2 lead in the series and now will now have a football signed by the winning team’s players to serve as a game memento and bragging point.

Despite the competitiveness between the two programs, both sides stressed the mutual respect and view it as something of a sibling rivalry.

“This is all about camaraderie,” Bentley said. “All of the military services have a little ‘my service is better than your service, we’re tougher than you’ attitude, and that’s great. But, when it comes down to it, we all work together, and this is about some friendly banter, some good camaraderie and a little exercise too.”

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