UVA Navy ROTC Takes Tri-Service Athletics Title

March 26, 2024 By Matt Kelly, mkelly@virginia.edu Matt Kelly, mkelly@virginia.edu

In Thursday’s early morning light, the midshipmen of the University of Virginia’s Navy ROTC program triumphed over their comrades in a good-natured competition during a tri-service sports day. 

The cadets and midshipmen swarmed The Park at North Grounds on Massie Road, using three fields for concurrent contests. Each command faced the other in a round-robin competition in four sports, with the winner of the most contests declared the overall champion. 

The cadres’ events consisted of competitions in flag football, soccer, the flying disc game called “ultimate” and Spikeball. While the Army did well in flag football, the Navy and Air Force cadres excelled in soccer and ultimate.

“This event builds esprit de corps in each branch, while giving our UVA cadets a chance to build cross-organizational ties that will be the foundation for them entering a military that puts an emphasis on working seamlessly across services,” Capt. Zachary Jones of the U.S. Air Force said. “While the Navy’s midshipmen won the cup this year, Army dominated in flag football and the Air Force cadets put up a respectable showing on the soccer field.”

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The contestants, many clad in cadre-specific sweat suits, kept up the noise level on the playing field with supporters cheering on the sidelines. The unit commanders, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Elizabeth Eaton-Ferenzi, U.S. Air Force Col. Jason Bell and U.S. Navy Capt. Michael Rovenolt, also roamed the sidelines, encouraging their teams.

“Not only was this a team-building effort, but exposure to the ‘joint world,’” Eaton-Ferenzi said. “Anytime we can get together and work on projects, initiatives or have an esprit de corps events like Tri-Service Sports, it is an opportunity for cadets and midshipmen to interact. The military is more than just one service, and getting to know our brothers and sisters in arms both now and in the future are essential elements of having a synchronized, coordinated and highly lethal force.”

Navy Student Playing Football

A Navy receiver and his defender start their run down the field in a flag football game. (Photo by Matt Kelly, University Communications)

Navy Student Playing Flying Disc

A Navy midshipman reaches to snag a flying disc out of the air during a Navy vs. Army ultimate competition. (Photo by Matt Kelly, University Communications)

Navy Student Playing Football

An Army tackler pursues a Navy ballcarrier to pull off his flag in a flag football contest. (Photo by Matt Kelly, University Communications)

Receiver Sliding to get Football.

An Army receiver makes a sliding catch during the Army-Navy in ultimate match. (Photo by Matt Kelly, University Communications)

Quarterback Passing Football.

Army’s quarterback aims a pass downfield in the flag football matchup against Navy. (Photo by Matt Kelly, University Communications)

Media Contact

Matt Kelly

University News Associate Office of University Communications