Seven Missouri Military Academy cadets recently participated in a workshop dealing with international issues with other area students. Those seven, who all hail from different countries of the world, shared their experiences of being an international student studying in the United States, and also educated the others about the culture and background of their home nation. Dean of Academics LTC Frank Giuseffi said the event was an opportunity for MMA cadets to share a global experience with their peers in the community.
Congratulations to those Missouri Military Academy middle school wrestlers who recently posted fantastic results! The Junior Fighting Colonels traveled to Centralia to take on other area squads in a tournament over the weekend. Top MMA finishers included Charlie Norman ’17 (2nd place) and Carlos Ramos ’17, Clayton Ebert ’17 and Pablo Garza ’19 (3rd place). Norman finished the day with three pins and Ramos recorded two pins. Ebert and newcomer Garza each had one pin on the day. Head coaches MAJ Richards Boyce and LT Edsel Baker added that the team represented MMA very well on the road. Way to go, middle school grapplers!
While the Missouri Military Academy varsity soccer Fighting Colonels may have come up short during this year’s postseason run, the team earned accolades for another type of performance on the field.
At its first annual banquet Saturday, January 5, members of the Missouri State High School Soccer Coaches Association (MSHSSCA) awarded the 2012 Fighting Colonels the Team Sportsmanship Award after displaying outstanding examples of honorable and respectable play on the pitch.
MMA was one of four finalists for this year’s award, which is voted by high school soccer coaches from all around the state. Canton High School, Duchesne High School, and Lutheran South High School were also nominated. The finalists receive votes by member schools from all member schools from Missouri Classes 1, 2, and 3.
Head coach CPT Eric Reynolds says he received numerous compliments about his players from a number of coaches at the banquet.
When receiving the award, Reynolds said Chris Miller, head coach of Colonels’ district rival Southern Boone approached him and said, “I faced this team three times this season and I have seen them win with dignity, lose with dignity, and treat their opponents with the utmost respect every time they set foot on the pitch regardless of the outcome. MMA’s soccer program is a class act and stands out more than any team in the state.”
Fatima head coach Kirby Keith added, “[the] boys have done an amazing job turning around the soccer program at MMA. They are very deserving of this award and represent everything the sport of soccer is about. Please congratulate them on my behalf.”
The honor is just the latest public recognition of MMA soccer players. Last month, the MSHSSCA named seniors Jose Garcia ’13 and Jesus Gonzalez ’13 as honorable mentions to the Missouri Class 1 All-State team.
Each year, Missouri Military Academy cadets compete as companies to see who can show the most spirit for the holidays through barracks decorations. After a few weeks of continuous additions to the displays, Echo Company was voted by the Commandant’s staff as the Best Decorated Company. Echo cadets celebrated all the ways different cultures observe holidays around this time of year. Signs of “Merry Christmas,” “Feliz Navidad,” and “Joyeux Noel” adorned the front lawn of Echo Company, as well as a menorah crafted to show the importance of Hanukkah to the Hebrew and Jewish culture.
A new feature of this year’s contest included Missouri Military Academy’s Facebook page and the school’s fans online. Students in the Eagle class posted photos of each barracks on the page asking fans to ‘like’ their favorite holiday decorations. After three days of cyber deliberations, Bravo Company’s photo album tallied 126 ‘likes,’ earning them the People’s Choice for Best Decorated Barracks.
For more holiday photos from the MMA campus, head to our Flickr page.
Cadets spent the month of December collecting food donations for the less fortunate of mid-Missouri. The Corps ended up gathering 3,000 cans of food, or roughly 2,700 pounds, for the Central Missouri Food Bank.
Seven Missouri Military Academy Fighting Colonels football players were recognized this week for being named to Missouri’s All-Academic Team. Just under 2,000 Missouri football players won awards for their performance on the athletic field. Only 300 earned the Academic All-State Award – with seven being MMA Fighting Colonels. Congratulations!
Academic All-State Award winners include (pictured left to right):
Front row: Aubrey Davidson ’14, Guangning Wei ’15, Paul Petit ’14
Middle row: Nick Mabbs ’14, Jesus Herrera ’14, Blake Bibles ’13, Jacob Priester ’14
There may be a new cross-town rivalry in the making in Mexico. Missouri Military Academy‘s Junior Fighting Colonels basketball team defeated the St. Brendan’s Irish for the second time this season, the latest being a 32-26 overtime victory for the Jr. Colonels at the Centennial Gymtorium.
Juan Hernandez ’17 topped the scoresheet with 17 points and Juan Leal ’18 added eight points.
Head coach MAJ Mike Pemberton said the game was very physical and the Jr. Colonels came out sluggish, having trouble converting chances. Help from the bench came in the form of Eugenio Barrera ’17, Tan Pongsuea ’17, and Tajae Blue ’17, who all provided a much-needed spark. Pemberton said the story of the second half ended up being the MMA defense.
“They did an outstanding job and really kept us in the ball game,” Pemberton said.
The Jr. Colonels forced a couple of timely turnovers that turned into fast break opportunities in the extra frame, giving them the six-point victory. MMA posted a 32-28 win over the Irish December 11.
Two Missouri Military Academy seniors have been named to the Missouri Class 1 All-State Team with Honorable Mention.
Jose Garcia (JO) ’13 (right) spent the first half of the season playing at midfield for the Fighting Colonels, but made a mid-season switch to sweeper. He scored just one goal all season, but provided leadership in the defensive third. He recorded 168 steals during the 2012 campaign, including 22 in his final game against Southern Boone.
Jesus Gonzalez ’13 (left) also began his season at a different position than the position at which he finished. He started out as the team’s attacking midfielder, but head coach CPT Eric Reynolds called on Gonzalez to play forward. The move paid huge dividends for Reynolds and his team, as Gonzalez netted 31 goals and assisted on nine. He peppered opposing keepers all season with 123 total shots. Six of Gonzalez’s 31 goals came in the season opener against Elsberry.
MORE: See the full list of state winners in this St. Louis Post-Dispatch article
Gonzalez finished 2012 as one of the top 100 players in the state, according to maxpreps.com. He averaged 4.4 points and 2 goals per game, both good for third in Missouri’s Class 1.
It should also noted that Reynolds (below) was named Co-Coach of the Year in the All-Central Region of Class 1 private schools. Forward Patricio Herrera ’13 and goalkeeper Greg Reding ’15 were also named to the Class 1 District 7 All-District first team, with defender Jacob Priester ’14 recognized as All-District Honorable Mention.
A Missouri Military Academy senior continues to add to his impressive collection of accomplishments as a fall athlete playing for the Missouri Military Academy Fighting Colonels.
Nick Vanatta ’13 has been offered a full athletic scholarship to Bacone College in Muskogee, Okla. to play football. The offer brings the MMA Class of 2013 to a total of $767,000 in scholarships earned so far this school year.
Vanatta was also recently named to the Missouri Class 3 District 6 First-Team All-District squad after his performance this season.
The honor was the culmination of an already outstanding 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. But MMA coaches were not the only ones to notice his gridiron skills. He has also accepted an invitation to play in the 2012 Offense-Defense Can-Am All-American Bowl in Houston. 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.
As residents of the northeast continue to rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Missouri Military Academy cadets are doing their part to help out in the recovery effort. Assistant Commandant MAJ Brian Galarza currently lives in Mexico, Mo., but originally comes from Bell Harbor, New York, an area affected by the storm. Galarza collected donated items from the Corps of Cadets before making a trip to his home state to visit family. The items donated consisted of dry socks, rubber gloves, and other items of clothing.
by Blake Gorman ’13, Eagle Columnist
“Criticize in private, praise in public.”
I, as an MMA cadet leader, can sometimes feel that the way I run my platoon is the wrong way to do it. I try to run my platoon according to the ways that I feel is the right way but I wanted to take the initiative to find out what is truly the right way of running a platoon or a unit in general. Now, what I mean by the correct way is not by the book, though there is a lot of helpful advice in the book. But there are times when a leader is going to be put into situations where “by the book” isn’t going to cut it. Everyone has their own styles of leadership but there are times where it just goes a step to far. What I mean by this is that a leader merely focuses on the negative things, which is not a good way to motivate your unit. If a leader wants to motivate their unit they have to “praise” them. Let them know they are doing the right thing, so they can continue doing it. When you use positive motivation results will always show.
Criticism is necessary but not in front of everybody else. First of all, you lose respect of that individual and the unit. You’re going to criticize an individual’s performance do it one on one instead of screaming at them in a formation. My company commander always tells me “If someone in your platoon gets a check then it’s technically your check too.” So if you’re yelling due to their poor performance, you’re yelling at yourself. It’s a leaders job to teach until they know that their unit knows. After that if they mess up discipline them.
With a large enrollment of new boys and a small enrollment of old boys, there is going to be a lot of inexperience in the core. But having a lot of new boys is not necessarily a bad thing because there is also a lot of potential for re imaging MMA. Now, it is on us leaders to do this. If we do, we can form a responsible, respectful, attentive, and successful battalion.
However, there are concerns that the military department of MMA brings up about leadership, like dedication for example. Sometimes they fear leaders are “half stepping” their positions. This means leaders have to take their positions seriously and always set the example. Dedication is essential to success. One important position that requires such dedication is squad leader. They have to be the ones that are most involved with their subordinates. Squad leaders are supposed to be the last person to be delegated too. He also mentions that squad leaders are the ones that are supposed to know the most about their subordinates.
An overall leader is a leader that finds a solution to a problem and he doesn’t point fingers at anyone. He has to know his weaknesses before he knows his strengths. He is not selfish but he is selfless. For example, my company executive officer, Cadet Master Sergeant Nguyen, dedicated his time every day just to make sure that the entire company is motivated and everyone is in check. One day he even looked up a quote for every cadet in the company, even leaders. There are many ways to motivate a company and it can be as simple as doing things like sticking quotes on everyone’s door.
Right now in the core, leaders are still learning different styles of leadership. There is no specific way to lead. Everyone has a unique style of leadership: one person could lead with a strict disciplinary style while the other one is more reserved and leads with positive motivation.
This is also one of the worst times of the year to be a leader because it’s close to Christmas break and everyone just got back from Thanksgiving break. This is going to make everyone act up and cadets are going to be lacking a lot of discipline. There are many external conflicts like keeping everyone under control and make sure that they are in line but there is a major internal conflict too. I as a leader right now is struggling to keep myself in line and to still keep my authority. The only thing that crosses my mind though is what I’m going to do when I get home and it is tough to keep my MMA state of mind. I’m having a difficult time just keeping myself disciplined and I’m also trying to keep the platoon disciplined.
Old boys know how to cope with this issue but the new boys have no idea what they are getting themselves into. In times like this we need to warn them about how it’s going to affect their performance because they probably don’t even notice it and they won’t until it has affected their company with checks. It is important to warn the new boys about what’s going to happen throughout the year so they can perform at their best potential. The more that we keep the new boys informed the more they feel like they are a part of something. The new boys that we are leading now are very important to keep motivated because they could one day be the Battalion Commander. Now, wouldn’t that be something special to know that I was the first one to impact on the way he leads now. A new boy’s first leader is the leader that is going to impact him the most. That impact could be a positive one or a negative one. That new boy can either lead like the way you do because he respected you as a leader or he can lead the exact opposite way that you did because you were a poor leader that didn’t give anyone respect but you still demanded them to respect you. This is not the type of leadership we should promote to them.
Responsibility is a key to being a successful leader. Sergeant Major Suddarth states that, “Leaders need to take their positions seriously always set the example that their subordinates can follow.” If a leader sets a poor example their subordinates will follow that example which will make that subordinate a terrible cadet, which will affect the overall performance of the Corps. Leaders make a big impact on the core, and it is up to us to maintain and improve.
There are many ways to put yourself in a position to lead at MMA. If you apply yourself early and often, it will become clearer which style of leadership is the best one for you and your unit. But always keep in mind that your leadership can affect everyone around you. If it is a positive effect, the corps will continue to produce effective, responsible, and strong leaders for the future.
Blake Gorman is a senior cadet from Wentzville, Mo. He is interested in attending colleges such as The Citadel, University of Missouri, and Missouri State University.
Cadets, faculty, and staff convened in the Missouri Military Academy Centennial Gymtorium Thursday for the second all-school assembly of the year. After the Color Guard posted the colors, Battalion Commander John Dillon ’13 introduced school officials for the award presentations.
They recognized outstanding performers among both faculty and the Corps of Cadets for the month of November. Award winners include:
Student of the month: Rodrigo Marroquin ’17
Athlete of the month: Patricio Herrera ’13
Teacher of the month: MAJ Mike Shoemaker
The Honor Award, created to be awarded to the cadet who most exemplifies the MMA Honor Code, was presented by LTC Greg Seibert to Dallas Lopez ’14. Seibert also announced that Echo Company mentor LT Murrell Adams was the recipient of the Mentor of the Month award. Rifle coach 1SG Randal Jacobson also announced the achievements of several of his shooters, who continue to advance through the ranks of marksmanship.
1SG Alan Hakes then honored a handful of cadets who participated in the Wounded Warrior 10K/5K Run in Columbia, Mo. recently. The group that ran in the 10K, including 1SG Hakes, took first place overall in the race. He presented the victory plaque to the Academy, which will be displayed.
Academy president Mr. Charles A. McGeorge took time to recognize Greg Morton and the MMA maintenance staff and present them with the Presidential Gold Star for their hard work making sure things run smoothly in the Academic Building, Barnard Hall, Stribling Hall, and the rest of campus.
MAJ Richards Boyce introduced the director of the Central Missouri Food Bank, who spoke about the importance of the cadets’ involvement with the food bank. She expressed her gratitude for the cadets’ ongoing commitment to serving the mid-Missouri community.
The meeting also featured a performance by the MMA Band and Choir, who tried to kick off the holiday season with some Christmas-themed selections.
The Preliminary SAT test is offered to high school sophomores and juniors (and some freshmen) as a sort of practice for the SAT exam taken during their senior year. The scores also give an indication of where the student’s test-taking skills before taking the SAT.
The highest junior scores were posted by Jack Solls ’14 and Connor Wilkinson ’14, who ended up in the 86th percentile of test takers. This means that Solls and Wilkinson scored better than 86% of students who took the test. Chad Cardott ’14 finished in the 84th percentile and Noah Agne ’14 tested better than 82% of PSAT students.
Wilkinson’s best performance came on the Comprehensive Reading section of the test, scoring in the 89th percentile. Solls led the way in Math among cadets, scoring in the 85th percentile.
As for the sophomores, Kane Anderson ’15 was at the top of the MMA Class of 2015. His overall score was better than 89 percent of students who took the PSAT. Anderson also posted a very impressive score on the Writing portion of the exam, scoring in the 99th percentile of students who completed that section.
Freshman Nishan Khanal ’16 was also present for the PSAT this year. His math score was better than 92 percent of students who took the exam.
Many men and women have contributed to the course of history, especially in the world of literature. One hundred famous works of Western civilization by those men and women will soon be added to the Missouri Military Academy library as part of the “100 Greatest Books” program.
Alumnus Clay “Tex” Dodson ’56 of Amarillo, Tex. donated the funds to purchase all 100 of the books, which will be organized in a section of the library and also incorporated into the school’s curriculum.
“While Missouri Military Academy is always exploring new and productive ways to educate our cadets, we also recognize the necessity of a liberal arts education,” said Dean of Academics LTC Frank Giuseffi. “An education that ideally stirs the mind and heart toward elevated and noble things.”
Giuseffi added that this liberal arts tradition finds its home with the “Great Books” – the canon of texts in literature, philosophy, politics, history, mathematics and theology that have stood the test of time and shaped the thoughts and events of western civilization.
“As a college preparatory school, we will require several of these books to be read and analyzed in our Literature classes,” he said. “As part of our commitment to a 360-degree education, these books will be intertwined in our curriculum since they are recognized as texts that develop the mind and strengthen the will.”
Giuseffi concluded by saying that with the right teaching, facilitation and, guidance from MMA instructors, our cadets will grapple with the ideas and questions that have challenged humankind throughout history and come to understand how these writings are relevant to their lives.
Students in MAJ Peggy Reynard's Algebra class ventured out to take a look at rise and run of steps on campus and the resulting slope. She then asked the cadets to ponder the question, “Is there a correlation between the slope of the steps and the ease of climbing the stairs?” Below, cadets Andres Vidal ’16 (left) and Julien Mugabo ’16 measure the rise and run of the steps in front of Stribling Hall.