From The Neutral Corner: Eddie Weichers, Jr.
April 11, 2002
It is always rewarding when you see hard work, persistence and a great mental outlook payoff.
That explains how the 2002 Boxing Team won the National Collegiate Boxing Association title. It was our fourth consecutive national title and all the credit goes to these cadets that showed a lot of heart and courage.
In the final count, the Falcons took the team title with three gold, three silver and five bronze medals. Ulysses Linares (147-lbs.), Joe Harding (165-lbs.) and Dustin Brown (195-lbs.) won national titles to lead the way for the team. Darren Smith (119-lbs.), Tommie Cisar (156-lbs.) And Justin Pendry (heavyweight) won silver medals while Eamon Murray (125-lbs.), Dathan Salgado (132-lbs.), Vaughn Brazil (139-lbs.), Rodney Ellison (175-lbs.) And Chris Hart (185-lbs.) came away with bronze medals.
Brown won his third consecutative national title while Linares picked up his second. Harding, senior co-captain, defeated Army's defending national champion Boyd Melson to win his gold. Harding showed guts and perseverance getting back to the finals and winning this season.
The Falcons tallied 44 points followed by Navy (34), UNLV (31), Lock Haven (29), Penn State (14), Army (13) and Nevada (10).
In my mind, the keys to the national tournament were getting a good draw and the discipline our boxers displayed throughout the three-day event. We won all of our quarterfinal bouts which enabled us to advance all 11 boxers to the semifinals. We also matched up against some of Navy's boxers in the early rounds and won decision.
The team was extremely disciplined working twice daily during spring break in preparation for nationals. In addition seven Army boxers and their coach Chris Hart joined us during spring break here at the Academy for training. The Army team made us better prepared.
Our routine was constant throughout both regionals and nationals -- 0615 wake up, 0700 weigh in, 0730 breakfast, 0800 walk, 0900 back to hotel and chill. 1200 lunch and out to movie or leisure activity, 1500 back to hotel and off feet till 1730, 1745 meeting prepare for competition, 1800 depart for competition, 1900 matches.
Our battle cry was simple, "Together Everyone Achieves More!"
During the regular season the team had several competitions in Annapolis, New York, Reno, Las Vegas and Berkeley. Several of our boxers gained valuable experience leading into the Wing Open, regionals and the national tournaments. It appeared we were rested and ready. The 2002 Wing Open was also special because we had our first ever boxing alumni reunion and formed our boxing alumni association. --- Thanks for all your support, Eddie Weichers, Jr.