Army powerlifters top Air Force and Navy

Stop the presses: Army has won the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy. That's right, the Black Knights smoked service academy rivals Navy and Air Force this weekend. The Black Knights' powerlifting team, that is. Hey, we're all dying for that long awaited CIC on the football field, but we will take a win over Air Force and Navy in any sport.

The powerlifting team, coached by Rick Scarpulla, is the toast of West Point these days. In dismantling Navy and Air Force at the Military Championships in Annapolis, Army took first or second place in 11 of 14 weight classes. The only classes the Black Knights didn't finish first or second in were the ones that they had no lifters in."The military championship is always the biggest meet of the year," Scarpulla said. "We've won it five years in a row. I'm extremely proud of this team, Navy annd AF are strong teams with great athletes but our team fought hard all day." Coach Scarpulla has never lost to either Navy or Air Force in his time at West Point.

Army set an unpresedented 55 military and collegiate records in Annapolis and several lifters put up over 600 pounds in the squat or dead lift. Standouts for the Black Knights included: Team Captain Steve (Huck) Hueckel, Josh(Lazer) Pearson, Dustin (Gansta) Pope, Miriam (Bosslady) Bottrell, John (Big Wisconson) Hackman and Eric Martain lead the team with some serious big lifts.

Army powerlifting is one of the most successful and respected teams at West Point. Scarpulla, who has 20-plus years of powerlifting and coaching experience is the architect of Army's revival. It isn't a varsity sport, instead recognized as a competitive club sport, but important people have noticed what the ultra-intense Scarpulla and his team are doing. "This team means bussiness we are looking to be a top finisher again this year at Nationals, We are a solid team with some good depth. This might be our year" says Scarpulla.

West Point superintendent Lt. Gen Franklin Hagenbeck and Commadont Brig. Gen. Caslen are big fans of the squad and they should be. When Scarpulla took over in 2003, the team was one of the softest teams in the nation. Since then he's lead his team to two third-place national finishes in a very competitive sport. Last year, 40 percent of Scarpulla's team earned All-American status. " And, of course, then there's the hurting Scarpulla and the boys (and girls) put on Navy and Air Force. Top Stories