KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Sept. 21, 2020) – The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Athletic Departments are pleased to announce that the rivals have agreed to compete during the Fall 2020 season in women's volleyball, men's soccer and football. The Mariners and Bears will meet three-out-of-four Saturdays from late October to mid-November.
"This is extremely exciting news for our student-athletes, coaches, fans and the entire Academy community," said USMMA Athletic Director Kristofer Schnatz. "The health and safety of our Midshipmen have always been of the utmost importance throughout the entire COVID-19 pandemic, and our campus has been working hard to maintain a healthy "bubble" for several months, isolating our community to the best of our ability. We recently introduced fall team practices following CDC recommendations and institutional safety protocols and they have been going well. We are excited to begin preparing for competition again and we are thrilled that we were able to find a way to keep this rivalry going, these are important games for both academies"
The first contest will be a women's volleyball match up at Coast Guard in New London, Conn., on Saturday, Oct. 24. Merchant Marine will be in search of its first victory over the Bears since 2015, though two of the past four meetings have gone five sets. The Bears came out on top, 3-0, last season in Kings Point.
Then, on Halloween - Saturday, Oct. 31 – the men's soccer team will make the trip up I-95 to meet their arch-rivals. The Mariners and Bears have played close affairs in five of the last six meetings – USMMA last won, 1-0 at home, back in 2015, followed by a 0-0 tie in 2016 and then a 1-0 decision in the Coast Guard's favor in 2018. The Bears won last year's meeting, 3-0, at KP.
The annual Secretaries' Cup football game will be held on Tomb Field at Brooks Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 14 - its originally-scheduled date. The Mariners hold a dominating 26-13 lead in the series since the Cup was first awarded in 1981. Since Head Coach Mike Toop '77 took over at KP in 2005, USMMA has gone 11-4 against Coast Guard, including a 56-41 victory up in New London in 2019 – the most points ever in the history of the rivalry game.
The two academies will closely follow the NCAA's guidelines for "Resocialization of Collegiate Sports" in the weeks leading up to the contests, including testing strategies for each athletic activity, and the appropriate use of face coverings and social distancing during training and competition.
"USMMA is pleased to be able to participate in fall sports this year," said Superintendent Rear Admiral Jack Buono. "While there were a number of obstacles to overcome, we look forward to the annual USMMA-USCGA rivalry games and matches, especially this year's 40th Secretaries' Cup football classic, to be held right here on Tomb Field at Kings Point. Go Mariners! Beat Coast Guard! Defend the Cup!"
These three games will count towards the overall standings for the 2020-21 Superintendents' Trophy. One point is awarded for each sport competition between the two academies. At the conclusion of the academic year the institution with the most points is presented the Superintendents' Trophy. This year, the Mariners will look to take home the trophy for the first time since 2013-14.
One point is awarded for each sport competition between the schools. At the conclusion of the academic year the institution with the most points is presented the Superintendents' Trophy.
Start times for each contest will be announced at a later date. All events will feature live stats and live video feeds. Live links, as well as full previews for the three meetings, will be available on www.USMMASports.com much closer to game days.
The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, located in Kings Point, N.Y, educates and graduates leaders of exemplary character who are inspired to serve the national security, marine transportation, and economic needs of the United States as licensed Merchant Marine Officers and commissioned officers in the Armed Forces. President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Academy, which was established under the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, as the United States Merchant Marine Academy in 1943. It is administered by the Maritime Administration under the auspices of the Department of Transportation.
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