Tag Archives: LT Marc Wilson

Senior Cadet Signs Letter of Intent for Football

One Missouri Military Academy senior will be suiting up as a student athlete when he attends college this fall.  Nick Vanatta ’13, of Monkey Island, Okla., signed his commitment paperwork to play football for Northwestern Oklahoma State University.

Vanatta has been recruited as a wide receiver by the coaching staff of the Alva, Okla. college, where he is planning to major in criminology.

He built up an impressive collection of accomplishments this fall as a Fighting Colonel.  Vanatta was named to the Missouri Class 3 District 6 First-Team All-District squad after his performance during district play.  The honor was the culmination of a very complete season for Vanatta, who hauled in 31 catches for 514 yards and two scores in 2012.  In addition to leading the team in total offense, he also recorded 36 tackles, 24 assisted tackles, and two interceptions on the defensive side of the football.

A versatile, two-way player, Vanatta was selected by head coach LT Marc Wilson as the team’s most valuable offensive player for the 2012 season.

“It’s been a pleasure to coach and mentor Nick,” Wilson said.  “I’m excited to see him reach his potential both as an athlete and a young man at Northwestern under Coach [Alan] Hall.”

Missouri Military Academy Athletics

Vanatta (left center) signs his letter of intent alongside head coach LT Marc Wilson and Athletic Director CPT John Noel. His mother, Vicki (left), made the trip from northeast Oklahoma to be there for the signing the morning of Wednesday, February 6. His signing comes along with National Signing Day, the deadline for high school athletes to commit to a college.

MMA coaches were not the only ones to notice his skills on the football field.  Wilson accompanied Vanatta to Houston after he was selected to play in the 2012 Offense-Defense Can-Am All-American Bowl held in December.  After participating in several camps leading up to the invitation, his offensive bursts and defensive prowess earned him a spot to play alongside the best high school players in the nation.

Athletic Director CPT John Noel was right there with Wilson and Vanatta as he carefully inked his signature on each document.

“Nick had not really played football until last season, but through hard work and determination both in the classroom and on the field, combined with the guidance of our football staff, Nick achieved his goal of playing football at the next level,” Noel said.

“We want to continue the tradition of putting our athletes in a position to achieve their highest potential, but more importantly the tradition of training our athletes to be great men, citizens, husbands, and fathers.”

Just two months later, Vanatta’s focus is now on conditioning for the fall.

“I’m excited to get started,” he said.  “I’ll do training this spring and over the summer when I’m back in Oklahoma, but once August comes around I’ll have to really step up my game and work hard in camp.”

Vanatta was congratulated by his fellow cadets after the announcement was made at lunch Wednesday.


Military (and MMA) Mom’s Advice to Cadets: “Be Ready”

In the season of campaigns, stump speeches, and whistle-stop tours, Americans are talking about the upcoming election. Missouri Military Academy recently welcomed one visitor with a unique political distinction.

LT Marc Wilson organized an appearance by Mrs. Elaine Brye, a mother of five children, including Luke Lowry ’14.  Mrs. Brye was given the opportunity to introduce First Lady Michelle Obama at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.  However, she and her husband say they are registered Republicans.

“Why did she want me to do this?” Brye said during her presentation to Wilson’s social studies students.

Mrs. Brye (pictured above) and her husband currently live in Ohio, but traveled to Mexico for a visit to MMA.  She addressed LT Wilson’s fifth period social studies class in the library.  

Her reasoning behind accepting the First Lady’s invitation, she says, came after writing a Christmas card to the White House last winter thanking President Obama and Michelle Obama for their support of veterans and their families through programs.  Brye’s four oldest children currently serve in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.

She added that it took a lot of thinking and prayer to come to her decision, but she ultimately elected to go through with the introduction.  Brye said Mrs. Obama and her staff made several attempts to convince her to attend the convention, with the final attempt including an invitation to be special guests of the First Lady.

VIDEO:  See a clip of Mrs. Brye introducing Mrs. Obama at the DNC

After her emotional introduction, Brye said she was contacted by nearly 40 news organizations for interviews.  But the advice she reiterated throughout her presentation to MMA cadets called on them to be prepared.

“Always be ready, because you never know what is going to happen in your future,” she echoed a number of times.  “I never expected anything like this to happen to me, but I felt it I was called to do it, and I did.”

Busy Weekend for Football Colonels

With the University of Missouri just under 40 miles from Mexico, Mo., it is common for cadets to make a trip to campus for an MU football game.  Head coach LT Marc Wilson and assistant coach LT John Noel coordinated a trip for the varsity football team to Columbia, Mo.  The team enjoyed a matchup between the Missouri Tigers and Arizona State Sun Devils Saturday, September 15.

The visit came after a Friday night home loss to the Grandview High School Eagles of Hillsboro, Mo.  John O’Leary ’13 returned a Grandview kickoff 65 yards for a touchdown in the game.  Ivan Quiroz ’14 led the way defensively with two sacks.  Wilson said his team has improved with every game.

“They played their best and most impassioned game of the year so far,” he said.  “The effort and enthusiasm were excellent despite a few execution errors.”

The players were able to recover with their trip to Columbia.  The team had a chance to meet Missouri coach Gary Pinkel, offensive coordinator David Yost, and Missouri athletic director Mike Alden.  They were also given a tour of the athletic facilities at the university, including the academic support center, weight training center, and nutrition center.

For photos of Friday night’s game against Grandview, click this link.  To see photos of the cadets’ trip to Columbia, click here.

Nick Vanatta ’13, Jon Johnston ’14, Chris Nguyen ’13, WR/DB coach Dr. Greg McDonald, Luke Lowry ’14, and D.T. Owens ’15 show their tough sides at the Tigers’ training facility in Columbia.

Athletics Recap, August 24-September 10

Here’s a roundup of Missouri Military Academy‘s fall athletics from August 24-September 10:


The 2012 season began with a few rough patches for the varsity football Fighting Colonels.

Despite a 0-3 start, head coach LT Marc Wilson has noticed significant improvement in many of his players.  In the season opener against West Hancock (IL), the Colonels succumbed to a fast start by their opponent.  West Hancock capitalized on several Colonels’ turnovers.  But the team was without many of its offensive and defensive starters due to ineligibility.  Players in Missouri must participate in a certain number of practices before they can take the field.

The team returned several players after gaining that eligibility Friday, August 31.  The Fighting Colonels went on the road for the first time this season, and brought the remnants of Hurricane Isaac with them to Van-Far.  In what turned out to be a very wet and sloppy game, the Colonels held their own in the first half, trailing 18-6.  But fatigue set in and weather conditions did not improve as the Colonels let the second half get away from them.  The team fell to 0-2 on the season and awaited Winfield in their second home game of the season.

The Colonels defense lines up for the snap against West Hancock Friday, August 24. (Photo by Eagle reporter Jacob Taylor ’13)

All of MMA’s players gained eligibility in time for the Winfield game, which turned out to be another defensive struggle for the Colonels.  Turnovers were an issue in this game, allowing a short field for the Winfield offense.  Wilson said after the game that center Juan Carlos Aguirre ’16 and senior wide receiver John O’Leary ’13 both showed outstanding performances.  He added that those two, along with defensive end Ivan Quiroz ’14 showed great improvement and could benefit from more playing time.  The Fighting Colonels are back in action this Friday night at home against Grandview (Hillsboro, Mo.).

Athletic Director LT John Noel added that seven middle school students have also been on the football field this fall, as they are teaming up with Mexico Public Schools to be a part of Mexico’s team.  Tajae Blue ’17, Sean Fitzgreald ’17, Juan Leal ’18, Lucas Moore ’18, Charles Norman ’18, Dakota Prewitt ’17, and Carlos Ramos ’17 will suit up for games with the squad this season.


MMA’s cross country team has returned after a one-year absence.  The Colonels runners participated in the Linn Invitational Saturday, September 8 against 15 other mid-Missouri schools.  The team’s average time for the 5K race was 23:10.  MMA’s top performers included Cyrus Coble ’15, who finished in 21:34, and Dallas Lopez ’14 completed his race in 21:58.

“Many of our runners are new to the sport this year,” head coach MAJ Lawrence McClarey said.  “For them it was their first taste of competitive racing. We are excited to get back to practice and prepare for Saturday.”

The Colonels will run next at the Fulton Invitational September 15 at Fulton High School.


The Fighting Colonels head to the pitch Tuesday for their first soccer match of the season.  The squad kicks off 2012 against Elsberry at 5:00 p.m.  A couple of new faces have taken the reigns this year as coaches.  LT Eric Reynolds and LT Christopher Bain are the team’s head coach and assistant, respectively.  MMA returns eight players from last year’s team, who finished with a 10-3 record in 2011.  The Corps of Cadets will enjoy a cookout for tomorrow’s game, but will also pause for a moment of remembrance before the game begins in honor of the victims of the September 11th attacks.

New Colonels goalkeeper Greg Reding ’15 looks on as the squad practices a drill.  MMA comes off a 10-3 record in 2011.

Fighting Colonels Set to Kick Off 120th Football Season

Crisp air.  Brisk breeze.  Crunching leaves.  The aroma of delicious barbecue.  All of these occurrences can only mean one thing – time to get ready for some football.

Missouri Military Academy’s varsity football squad is heading back to the gridiron for its 120th season in school history.

Head coach LT Marc Wilson has been prepping his team since August 6 with the help of his assistants – LT John Noel and Tim Gooch will work with the offensive and defensive lines, Dr. Greg McDonald is the wide receivers and defensive backs coach, LT Rob Olive is in charge of running backs, and LT Annette Meinheit will provide technical assistance throughout the season.

The Fighting Colonels square off against West Hancock (Illinois) in the team’s season opener Friday evening.  That game will be held on MMA’s campus.

Here’s a look at the team’s 2012 varsity schedule:

Fri. 8/24 vs. West Hancock (IL), 7:00 p.m.

Fri. 8/31 at Van-Far, 7:00 p.m.

Fri. 9/7 vs. Winfield, 7:00 p.m.

Fri. 09/14 vs. Grandview (Fall Family Weekend), 7:00 p.m.

Sat. 09/22 at The Principia, 1:00 p.m. 

Sat. 09/29 vs. Kansas City Central (Homecoming), 2:00 p.m. 

Fri. 10/05 at Fr. Tolton, 4:00 p.m. 

Fri. 10/12 vs. Lutheran St. Charles (Senior Night), 7:00 p.m.

Fri. 10/19 at St. Paul Lutheran, 7:00 p.m.

A copy to print is available by following this link – varsity and junior varsity games are listed.

The returning MMA lettermen are thrilled to show off their toughness this season.

Vanatta ’13 Selected for Football All-Star Game

A Missouri Military Academy senior football player is set to represent his school at a high-level all-star game this winter.

Nick Vanatta ’13 of Monkey Island, Okla. will sport his Colonels gear January 1, 2013 at the Offense-Defense (O-D) All-American Bowl at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Head coach LT Marc Wilson suggested Vanatta attend a football camp during this year’s summer break, and ultimately decided on an O-D camp taking place at Cowboys Stadium in June.  The four-day camp brought about 180 young men from all over the United States.

“The camp was rugged, tough, and long,” Vanatta said. “But it was a ton of fun.”

Wilson said there are 46 O-D camps in the U.S., and this particular camp was coordinated by former Dallas Cowboys head coach Bill Bates.  With his assistance, camp directors would choose 200 of the 800 to participate in an Elite Camp, held in four locations in the U.S.

“We did a lot of drills during this camp,” Vanatta said. “It wasn’t full contact, but we learned and ran a lot of different plays.”

Vanatta worked hard during that camp to be one of the 200 selected to one of the four Elite Camps.  He traveled to Denton High School in Denton, Texas for the Elite Camp July 21-22.  The two-day camp consisted of 36 athletes.

However, there was one more camp Vanatta had a chance to attend – the O-D All-American Bowl – but that game is reserved for selected players who were “all-stars” of the previous camps.  Wilson received word from O-D officials this week that Vanatta was one of the players chosen to go to Cowboys Stadium for the O-D All-American Bowl.

The game has featured NFL talent such as Dez Bryant, Cam Newton, and Rolando McClain.

Vanatta will represent MMA January 1 along with other outstanding players from across the country.

Middle School Replicates Ancient Roman Aqueduct

One Missouri Military Academy instructor introduced a project to Middle School cadets this spring, and their hard word has finally shown.  LT Marc Wilson and his sixth and seventh grade Ancient World History and Geography classes constructed a 45-foot long working model of a Roman aqueduct.

The Romans engineered these structures to move water throughout the ancient city.  Wilson says the project helped cadets understand the basics of carpentry and masonry skills, and how people back then used those skills to improve their cities.

PHOTOS:  Cadets construct a replica of a Roman aqueduct

“I thought it was important for them to understand how people committed to this type of construction and what a feat it was for those cultures to build structures as grand and well-engineered as they did. Working together and learning the basics of some carpentry, masonry and engineering skills can do nothing but benefit our boys.”

Unlike the Ancient Romans, Wilson says cadets were allowed to use modern tools including drill and hammer drill, reciprocating saw, circular saw, jig saw, and others.  They learned how to measure, cut, level and support structures and mix, and lay mortar. Then they completed aqueduct runs water not just down a trough, but though a junction box with baffles to divert water to multiple places, just as Rome transferred water throughout the city from one source to many.

Overall, Wilson says the project took approximately 100 man hours to build and develop.  Cadets used a half-ton of reclaimed stone, a quarter-ton of mortar, and 6,000 board feet of lumber.

Plunging for a Purpose

Missouri Military Academy is proud to support causes that benefit the community, even by jumping into icy waters on a Saturday afternoon.

A group of MMA representatives including head football coach and social studies instructor LT Marc Wilson, cadets Orshikh Bilegdemberel ’12 and Ethan Rachell ’13, and Stephanie Schnarre of AmeriServe coordinated fundraising for the Special Olympics of Missouri so it could take part in the organization’s Polar Bear Plunge February 18.

LT Wilson leads the charge into a chilly Kiwanis Lake.  The MMA team went on the final plunge of the afternoon.

The Polar Bear Plunge is held every February in Mexico, Mo. at Kiwanis Lake.  Hosted by the Northeast Missouri chapter of Special Olympics, donations support local Special Olympics athletes.

The MMA group rose over $525 in online and cash pledges for the event.  In order to participate in the Polar Bear Plunge, teams must raise at least $500 in donations.

Pictured (L to R):  Bilegdemberel, Rachell, Schnarre, Wilson

A total of 160 Mexico residents plunged that Saturday, raising over $15,000 for local Special Olympics athletes.

Afterward the MMA team enjoyed a homemade soup and chili bar at St. John’s Lutheran Church before returning to campus.

Colonels Wrap Up Fall Sports Season with Awards Banquet

Missouri Military Academy honored the school’s football and middle school basketball teams at a banquet Thursday night.  Cadets and a handful of parents gathered for dinner and an awards presentation in the atrium of Barnard Hall.  MajGen Robert M. Flanagan was in attendance to assist in presenting the awards.

A number of seniors, among other cadets, earned recognition for this year’s football season from coach LT Marc Wilson and Athletic Director LT John Noel:

Most outstanding offensive player – Samuel Udeh ‘12

Most outstanding defensive player – Clayton Workman ‘12

Best linemen – Reese King ‘12 and Eric Strauss ‘12

Senior Leadership Award – Clayton Workman ‘12

Best Back – Samuel Udeh ‘12

Best JV Player – Marcelo Gomez ‘14

Medals for Captainship – Landon Smalley ‘12 and Travis Skinner ‘12

Colonel’s Sportsmanship Award – Landon Smalley ‘12

Most improved player – Nathan Hollinger ‘12

Best newcomer – Luke Lowry ‘14