I’ve been the Navy football beat writer since 2002 and it’s a real grind. It begins with August training camp and does not end until the Army-Navy game the second Saturday in December. In years the Midshipmen qualify for a bowl, the season extends until late December.
Covering Navy football is pretty much a 24/7 proposition. There are almost no days off during a typical season. I look forward to the occasional bye week because those provide an opportunity to catch up on other news of interest. Navy’s only bye week this season came during the third week of September. Since then, the Midshipmen have played nine straight games without a week off.
With this news and notes column, I will clean the slate of several items that fit into the better-late-than-never category.
Hall of Famer
Former Navy men’s lacrosse head coach Richie Meade received a deserved honor in October when he was chosen for induction into the Intercollegiate Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Meade will be formally inducted on Dec. 10 at the Omni Orlando Resort in Florida.
Meade’s coaching career spanned nearly five decades and included stints at six different schools, including three as head coach. The Long Island native played lacrosse at North Carolina and got into the business shortly after graduating in 1976.
Meade served two seasons as an assistant at Duke and another at his alma mater before landing his first head coaching job at the University of Baltimore in 1980. He led the Bees to a 27-23 record before the school dropped men’s lacrosse as a varsity sport.
By far the most fortuitous decision of Meade’s career came in 1984 when he was hired as Navy defensive coordinator under head coach Bryan Matthews.
Following a second stint at North Carolina under Hall of Fame head coach Willie Scroggs, Meade moved on to Army and spent five seasons with another legendary head coach, Jack Emmer.
In 1995, Meade was named head coach at the Naval Academy — a post he would hold for 17 years and which ultimately defined his career. He led Navy to seven NCAA appearances, including six straight from 2004-09.
Meade oversaw the Midshipmen’s transition into the East Coast Athletic Conference and the Patriot League where immediately became the dominant program, capturing five Patriot League Tournament titles and five regular season championships.
Meade, who was named Patriot League Coach of the Year twice, amassed 142 wins while at Navy, second-most in program history behind Willis Bilderback. His 239 games coaches is more than any other Navy men’s lacrosse coach.
Navy’s finest season under Meade came in 2004 when it compiled a 15-3 record and advanced to the NCAA national championship game. Despite a close loss to Syracuse, Meade received the Morris Touchstone Memorial Award as National Coach of the Year.
After departing the academy, Meade was appointed head coach of the United States men’s national team, which he led to the silver medal at the 2014 world championships.
Furman hired Meade to lead its program into varsity status and he was named 2017 Southern Conference Coach of the Year during a seven-year tenure that ended when the South Carolina school eliminated men’s lacrosse amidst the pandemic.
Meade, who served as the inaugural president of the IMLCA, becomes the fourth former Navy men’s lacrosse head coach inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame. Bilderback (1959-72), William “Dinty” Moore (1936-58) and Dick Szlasa (1973-82) are already enshrined.
In many ways — and for all the right reasons — Rick Forney is coming home.
In late October, the York Revolution announced that Forney had been hired as the independent professional baseball team’s new manager. The Annapolis native, who is one of the most successful managers in American Association history, will now work closer to his home in Frederick.
Forney spent 26 seasons with the Winnipeg Goldeyes, including 17 as skipper with a 887-753 record. He had 13 winning seasons, 10 playoff appearances and three American Association championships (2012, 2016, 2017). He was also a two-time American Association Manager of the Year (2011, 2020).
“The opportunity to bring someone of Rick’s caliber to York is very gratifying — not just for his winning record and approach to the game, but to keep alive the tradition of great people in the organization well beyond baseball,” Revolution President Eric Menzer said.
Forney said the Revolution position was the ideal win-win situation.
“I knew if I was going to leave Winnipeg, it would only be for one of the best opportunities out there, and the Revolution position is certainly that,” the Annapolis graduate said. “This is a great club in a terrific league, and managing in York is better for me and my family.”
Forney and his wife, Erika, live in Walkersville with their three children, one of whom has cerebral palsy. They lost a fourth child in February 2020, when former Navy football player David Forney died in his dormitory room.
Forney was a 26th-round draft pick of the Baltimore Orioles in 1991 out of Anne Arundel Community College.
Forney reached the Triple-A level in 1995 and made three starts for the Rochester Red Wings of the International League, but left affiliated baseball and joined Winnipeg in 1997, becoming one of the greatest pitchers in the club’s history.
As York manager, Forney joins a team founded in part by Orioles legend Brooks Robinson, who began his pro career in York and is honored by a statue erected on the ballpark plaza. The Revolution was first managed by Orioles Hall of Famer Chris Hoiles, who was succeeded by Robinson’s teammate Andy Etchebarren.
Three Anne Arundel County runners were members of a Union Athletics track and field team that captured a national championship this past summer.
Jasmine Cook, Bryce Hatcher and Jasmine Sharps were part of the quartet that took first place in the 4x100 meter relay at the 2022 Amateur Athletic Union Junior Olympics, held in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Hatcher was the Class 4A state runner-up in the 100 and 200 as a sophomore at Arundel this past outdoor season. He was the county and region champion in the 100 and was named first team All-County by Capital Gazette.
Cook earned second team All-County honors as a freshman sprinter at Meade. Sharps, a Glen Burnie resident who attends Archbishop Carroll, is one of the top sprinters in the Washington Capital Athletic Conference and qualified for the New Balance Indoor Nationals.
Completing the relay team was Gabrille Millwood of Atholton.
Anne Arundel residents Luke Corey and Nathan Decker were invited to the USA Swimming 2022 Boys National Select Camp. Selections are based on top times for Olympic events in their age group.
Corey and Decker attended the four-day camp, held at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, in mid-October. They were among 48 swimmers from across the country chosen for the camp to learn about race strategy, post-race recovery, nutrition as well as drug and supplement rules.
Corey is a junior at Crofton , while Decker is a junior at Broadneck. Decker is currently ranked top 10 nationally among 16-year-olds in the 200-meter backstroke, while Corey is top 10 in the 1,500-meter freestyle.
Corey and Decker have both qualified for the 2022 US Open Swimming Championships and the Speedo Junior National Championships.