Tag Archive | "President Obama"

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President Obama recognizes Navy football at White House

Posted on 18 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Remarks by the President at Presentation of the Commander-in-Chief Trophy to the U.S. Naval Academy

Rose Garden

2:02 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Everybody, have a seat, have a seat.  Welcome to the White House.  Congratulations to the Navy Midshipmen.  (Applause.)  Does this get old?

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Never.

THE PRESIDENT:  No?  Okay.  (Laughter.)  It’s good to see Coach Ken again.  And I want to recognize Vice Admiral Mike Miller for his service to the Academy and to our country.

This is the second time these seniors have come here to claim the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy.  If you guys have your punch cards with you, the next one is free.  (Laughter.)  I’m pretty sure Coach Ken would agree that this was one of the best teams yet.

First of all, you had incredible talent.  Senior captain Cody Peterson and D.J. Sargenti led the defense.  I hear that they’re known in the locker room as “the meatheads.”  (Laughter.) On a football team, though, that’s high praise.

This year, quarterback Keenan Reynolds had one of the best seasons in school history.  His 31 rushing touchdowns weren’t just an Academy record — they were a Division I record for a quarterback.  (Applause.)  He is one of only a handful of players in Division I history to rush for 30 or more touchdowns in a single season.  I think it’s fair to say that if you’re on a list with Barry Sanders you’re doing pretty good.

So this team had the leadership, it had the tools.  But this is a team that also had a knack for getting the job done under some pretty tough circumstances.  When the government was forced to shut down, you didn’t even know if the game against Air Force was going to happen.  Luckily, the Secretary of Defense stepped in, gave the green light — which tells you how important it was, because Secretary Hagel has a few things on his plate, but he personally intervened on this one.

A few weeks later, you beat San Jose State in triple overtime — with Keenan scoring seven rushing touchdowns, the most ever by a Division I quarterback in a single game.  And you kept on rolling through the games that really mattered.  In the snow, you beat Army for the 12th time in a row — they’re starting to feel bad about this — locking up the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy for the 9th time in 11 years.  You went on to beat Middle Tennessee State to win your first bowl game since 2009.

So, overall, this was a pretty good year on the gridiron.  What’s more impressive is the fact that for these outstanding young men, football isn’t even the main thing.  When these guys sign up, when you sign up to play at Annapolis, you know you’re in for a different experience.  A typical day starts at 6:00 a.m. in the training room.  Breakfast is at 7:00 a.m.  After that, it’s class, lunch and football meetings.  Then more class, football practice, dinner.  Free time starts at 8:00 p.m., which most players use to study until midnight.  And when students at other colleges are enjoying summer vacation, these guys are busy with military training and summer school and offseason workouts.

So, yes, it’s about learning to be a good football player, but more importantly, it’s about learning how to be a good leader and to be a good man.  And that’s what these outstanding Americans are and will continue to be.

Next month, 14 of these guys are going to be commissioned as ensigns in the Navy.  Another eight will become 2nd lieutenants in the Marine Corps.  Senior captain Matt Aiken will serve on a ship down in Norfolk.  And Wave Ryder — by the way, if your name is Wave Ryder, then you’ve got to be in the Navy — (laughter) — will suit up as a Naval aviator.

That’s their commitment to service.  That’s the commitment to country and to each other that sets this team apart.

Today, that commitment is as strong as ever.  Last month, I know that all of us were mourning the loss of Will McKamey.  Two busloads of classmates and teammates made the eight-hour trip to Knoxville to attend his funeral, as did Coach Ken.  I understand your motto for this season is “I Will” in memory of him.  And that’s what camaraderie is all about:  Honor.  Courage.  Commitment.  That’s what makes the Midshipmen so strong.  And that’s why I’m so proud to serve as your Commander-in-Chief — not only — in fact, not primarily because of what you’ve done on the football field, but because of your dedication to each other and your service to America.

So today it is my privilege to present you with a trophy that weighs about as much as I do.  (Laughter.)  Congratulations, guys, once again.  (Applause.)

END
2:10 P.M. EDT

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President Obama expected to attend Maryland/Oregon State game Sunday

Posted on 15 November 2013 by WNST Staff

FAN ADVISORY FOR MARYLAND MEN’S BASKETBALL GAME SUNDAY

Fans asked to arrive early for Maryland/Oregon State game at Comcast Center

COLLEGE PARK, Md.  In conjunction with the Terrapin men’s basketball game against Oregon State Sunday, Nov. 17, at Comcast Center, the White House has announced the expected attendance of President Barack Obama.

Maryland athletics is excited to showcase our outstanding University and basketball program and are thrilled to host the Commander in Chief. The game will tip off at 6 p.m.

While the majority of the gameday experience will remain unchanged on Sunday, please note that because of the President’s attendance,the University of Maryland is encouraging fans to arrive as early as possible with doors opening at 4 p.m., two hours prior to tip off and parking lots will open at 2 p.m.

Fans should expect additional security measures on Sunday. All persons and vehicles are subject to search upon entering both the parking lots and Comcast Center.

Gates B and D located closest to parking Lot 4B will be open for entrance into the arena until 5 p.m. and will not be available for fans to exit during or at the conclusion of Sunday’s game.

In addition, please be advised of the following parking changes:

  • For fans who have Lot 4B parking permit:
    • Vehicles parked in Lot 4B will not be allowed to exit until the conclusion of the game and after the President’s motorcade has left campus.
    • Parking Lot 4B will be closed beginning at 5 p.m.
    • Lot 4B permit holders who expect to arrive later than 5 p.m. or would like to leave the game early are encouraged to park in either Terrapin Trail garage or Lot 9B.
    • All Lot 4B parking permits will be honored in any lot for Sunday’s game.

Below is a list of items prohibited in Comcast Center for Sunday’s game:

  • Bags
  • Sharp Objects
  • Umbrellas
  • Liquids

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Navy honored at White House for C-I-C Trophy

Posted on 12 April 2013 by WNST Staff

Remarks by the President at Presentation of the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy to the U.S. Naval Academy Football Team

East Room

2:12 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody.  (Applause.)  Hello.  Please, everybody have a seat.  Well, good afternoon.  Welcome to the White House.

I want to start by recognizing Coach Ken Niumatalolo, my fellow Hawaiian, for being here once again — where is he?  There he is right here.  (Laughter.)  Hard to miss him.  Give him a big round of applause.  (Applause.)  I also want to recognize Vice Admiral Mike Miller, the Superintendent of the Naval Academy, for his outstanding service to our country and for keeping all of you guys in line.  (Laughter and applause.)

It is my pleasure to welcome the Navy Midshipmen back to the White House to receive the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy — again.  They have now won 19 of their last 21 games against the other service academies, making this their 8th trip here in 10 years.  (Applause.)  Michelle and I were thinking about just leaving the key under the rug.  (Laughter.)

This season, you finished 8-5, earned your 9th bowl appearance in the last 10 years.  But perhaps most importantly, after a two-year break, you achieved that very first goal you set at the start of every season:  You beat Air Force, you beat Army, and lugged this 170-pound trophy back to Annapolis.

Against Air Force, you lost your quarterback to an injury in the middle of the game.  You trailed by eight points in the fourth quarter.  But freshman quarterback Keenan Reynolds took over and led you back in overtime.  That’s when an unlikely hero — offensive lineman Jake Zuzek — gave you a –

TEAM MEMBERS:  Zu!

THE PRESIDENT:  Zu! — gave you a 28-21 win when he recovered a fumbled snap in the end zone for his first-ever touchdown.  (Laughter.)  I’m not sure Coach called the fumblerooski, but I bet that Jake will take it anyway.

That set up a winner-take-all game with Army to end the season.  Down three entering the fourth quarter, Keenan again led the comeback, driving the team down the field for 80 yards and the winning score, and showing why he was only the third Navy freshman ever to start at quarterback.  The win gave the Midshipmen their 11th straight victory over Army, which is a series record.

But at Navy, obviously it’s not just about the wins.  It’s about how you win.  This year, your team motto was INAM, which is short for “It’s Not About Me.”  And that ethic of teamwork and discipline and unselfishness was led by your captains, Bo Snelson and Brye French, and it ran through your entire season.

All season long you kept your priorities in line, your mission in focus.  Your work in the classroom helped keep the Naval Academy’s graduation rate in the top 10 of the NCAA for the eighth straight year, including linebacker Keegan Wetzel –- a first-team Academic All-American with a 3.89 GPA in systems engineering.  So give Keegan a big round of applause.  I like that.  (Applause.)

And when you faced adversity, you pulled together.  Over Thanksgiving break, freshman Rafi Montalvo was in a serious car accident and doctors pulled him into a coma.  And even though the Army game was next on the schedule, Coach was one of his first visitors at the hospital down in Florida.  And then pretty soon, his teammates started showing up.  When it came time to take the field against your biggest rival, you all put “Rafi” stickers on your helmets and gave him the game ball after your victory.

So, gentlemen, that’s why I have no greater honor than serving as your Commander-in-Chief.  You’re there for each other and you are there for our country.  In just a few weeks when I visit you all for commencement — and I always have to get ready because Midshipmen, they got strong handshakes, some of them give me chest bumps, I’ve got to just make sure I don’t tip over — 18 of you will be commissioned as ensigns in the Navy, and 10 more as second lieutenants in the Marine Corps.

And in the years to come, you will all follow their footsteps.  You’ll be leading your peers in some of the most complex, dangerous missions on the planet.  You’ll be teaching them to pull together, to keep their mission in focus, to always remember that “it’s not about me.”  And together, your victories will not simply be about football trophies — as impressive as that trophy is — but it will be about our security and our values and protecting our freedom.

So I want you to know that I could not be prouder to have each of you representing this great country of ours.  Americans all across the country feel the very same way.  And every single day, we will stand behind you and support you, and do the very best that we can in our own lives to reflect the courage and the honor and the character of the men and women of the United States Naval Academy.  So God bless you.

And with that, let’s — I understand I’ve got a little something waiting for me.  All right, that’s the official Navy helmet, fitted for me.  (Laughter.)  Pretty sharp.  (Laughter.)  Here’s the general rule:  You don’t put stuff on your head if you’re President.  (Laughter.)  That’s politics 101.  (Laughter.)  You never look good wearing something on your head.  Are we going to — we’re going to have the coach up here.

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