Players experience life as a cadet on trip to West Point

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Photo credit/ Tommy Gilligan/Army

Senior Matt Lepri take a shot over an Army opponent.

Shane Ostroski, Sports Co-Editor

The men’s basketball team traveled to West Point, New York to play Division 1 Army on Wednesday, Nov. 16. While the outcome of the game did not go the Pacer’s way, the trip offered an experience the team won’t soon forget.

Head Coach Eric Grundman wanted the team to tour the campus and hear first-hand what a day in the life of a student at West Point is like. The Pacers were fortunate enough to be joined by former player, 2nd Lt. Nathan Hedgecock, who showed off the pristine facilities and gave the team the inside scoop of what its like to be a cadet at Army.

The first stop on the tour was Army’s famed Michie Stadium, which was named the third best sports venue in the world, behind the original Yankee Stadium and Augusta National Golf Course in Georgia. Then Hedgecock showed off the Battle Monument, which lists all the names of Army officers and soldiers that died in the Civil War.

The team also saw the Cadet chapel which boasts the largest pipe organ in the world.

“I really enjoyed the tour of the campus. There is so much history in all the buildings and monuments and it was just great to experience a place like West Point,” said senior guard Kirk Fallon.

Once the tour was over, Hedgecock explained the daily schedule of a cadet. Wake up call is 5:45 each morning. Cadets clean their room between 6 and 7 a.m. At 7 a.m., the cadets eat breakfast until 7:15. All meals must be eaten in a 15-minute span.

Classes begin at 7:30 a.m. and run until noon, which is lunchtime. At 12:30 p.m., the cadets begin their training, which lasts three hours each day. The cadets then get about an hour of free time before dinner, which is at 5 p.m.

Most cadets play on an athletic team or intramural sport, which practice from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Then, members of athletic teams have permanent study hall from 7:30 until 9 p.m. All cadets must be in their rooms by 11 p.m.

Each cadet has his or her room checked twice a semester for cleanliness and organization. They are given three mistakes each check; if they commit four violations they are punished. The punishment given by Army is the reduction of a cadet’s free time. Sundays are sacred at Army, a day where the cadets can sleep in or basically do whatever they like. That’s where the time punishment comes to play. Cadets are given a certain amount of hours based on the violation, in which they have to walk with their weapons in a designated area. Hours must be completed consecutively, and if the moderator does not think the walking is fast enough, more hours are added to the punishment.

“It was amazing to hear the discipline that each cadet has and their attention to detail,” said senior captain Brent Keyes.

As for the game, the Pacers fell to the Knights 90-45. Keyes led the Pacers with 14 points, while freshman Shane Kellaher added 7.

“It’s hard to take positives out of a game in which you lose by that much of a margin, but I think that game will really help us.” explained Keyes.