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Army-Navy game ... The Moment: From the Parents perspective

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I am a firm believer that parenting is godly assignment and never to be taken lightly. As parents, we are responsible for who and what goes into the lives of our children.

But as our kids get older and go off to college, our role as “gatekeepers” seems to shift more towards advisors, encouragers, and often times observers ... especially when you are the parent of a future Army officers that currently attends the United States Military Academy at West Point. Yes, On Saturday those future officers (current cadets) were all assembled together in one accord at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland as either an Army Black Knight football player or a cadet supporting their gridiron brethren from the stands.

And three parents of players on the Army West Point football team were in full transformation and support mode as Army would take on academy rival Navy in the 117th meeting between these two institutions. Yes, this would be the day that the Black Knights would attempt to end their 14 game losing streak to the Midshipmen.

Of course, this would be no easy task against the No. 25 team in the country. But as Ms. Kizzy Collins (QB, Ahmad Bradshaw’s mother); Mr. Mark Timpf (LB, Jeremy Timpf’s dad) & Ms. Charisse Smith (RB, Joe Walker’s mother) will chime and tell you, there was nothing but jubilation when the clocked start ticking down to zero and Army was finally victorious.

“We finally won and my son lead his team to victory,” said Kizzy, who also added these comments relative to her son Ahmad’s go ahead touchdown in the 4th quarter. I was overjoyed and tears of happiness started to roll down my face. Me and my family shouted and hugged each other crying.”

Similar sentiments were echoed by Jeremy’s dad, Mark.

“To be honest with you, it was almost surreal,” shared the elder Timpf. “We were in a state of disbelief because we had been through so many seasons with Army ... this was my 3rd Army-Navy game and they were so competitive. I knew from talking to Jeremy and some of the other players that I know on the team, that they literally poured it all out on the field. The heartbreak that we experienced for those young men, those soldiers it was just heartbreaking and very difficult to deal with because they tried so hard. During this game, when it was starting to happen (Army victory), like I said it was surreal. It was unbelievable that those kids were going to be rewarded for all their work, for all they did for those five years ... many had been together for five years.”

GUTSY CALL!

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Slotback Joe Walker's sister representing her brother

Article Continues Below

Needless to say, the first half belonged to Army, but you knew that Navy was not going to surrender early and during the 2nd half they began to mount their comeback and actually took a forth quarter lead.

But Army was resilient, as the offense was making their way on an 80-yard late 4th quarter drive of their own. However, reflections of a 1st quarter play, which would be run again during the Black Knights go-ahead touchdown drive had Ms. Smith on the edge of her seat.

GBK Looking Back: You see, with the scored knotted at zero in the 1st quarter (9:37), Army had the ball 2nd & 4 from their own 47. The Black Knights ran what is called the “Wide Lt King 25”, which was a forward pitch from QB Ahmad Bradshaw to slotback Joe Walker. However, the pigskin was dropped by senior running back. Luckily the refs called it a pass play, and hence an incompletion.

Oh by the way, that was first time offensive coordinator Brent Davis called that play the entire 2016 campaign

“Honestly, I saw the pitch and saw the ball go in Joe’s direction and I turned around, because believe it or not ... they kind of ran a similar play at the early part of the game that absolutely busted,” Charisse Smith honestly stated. “So, I crinched, because this was pivotal time and I could almost count Joe’s touches in the game at that point. As I turn around, the play goes under review, it was just short but it was just enough momentum, for us, Ahmad and the rest of the team to finish. You kind of get a pit in your stomach with the whole thing and I knew at that point that we were just a couple of plays away from going the distance and getting the ‘W’.”

“And one small thing and every year, but it’s always been something right at the clutch - right at the end that didn’t turn in our favor,” added Mrs. Smith. “So, selfishly I didn’t want that to be the play. I couldn’t believe that play was being called again, because I had watched it fail {quietly laughing}.”

The play was called and executed to perfection and the offense continued the march all the way to the end zone and took the lead, 24-17 followed by the ‘D’ shutting down the the Midshipmen’s final attempt to comeback ... and Army was victorious.

For all three parents, they readily admitted that the scene on the field was chaotic as cadets/fans/grads/etc. storm the field and they just went with the flow.

“He [Ahmad] was swarmed on the field, so I couldn't I even find him,” said Kizzy. “It was after the team got dressed and we picked him up from their hotel. Once he got off the bus we both took off running towards each other and I leaped into his arms. We hugged so tight and he lifted me off the ground. We both said at the same exact time they needed that win.”

Charisse Smith said that she had the same experience as Kizzy, and had to connect with her son Joe afterwards.

“We waited for over an hour (after the game) and we could never find Joe,” she told GoBlackKnights.com. “I saw a picture that someone published and he was up in the air on top of cadets, which is probably why we never found him. We got to Joe after he had showered and dress.”

“As soon as we met in the hotel, I asked him what did we say and he asked what. And I said, ‘trust the process’, which is different than believe the process. Trust me take action, believe in it and finish it and you won!”

For the Timpfs’, they were able to find their way to the field and Mark talked about that very special, albeit brief and never to be forgotten moment.

“We met with Jeremy on the field and we all knew what happen, but myself and his mother [Kim] walked up to Jeremy and we said ‘You just beat Navy’,” stated Mark. “He was in another world himself, to be honest with you. It was so good for us, and all those players to be out on the field and I know it was probably planned that way. But to be on the field where they fought it out with a real good football team and finally the realization sunk in that Jeremy, you beat Navy.”

REFLECTION & SUMMARY

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Junior QB Ahmad Bradshaw celebrating winning touchdown in the 4th quarter
Danny Wild

“So it’s player tickets, so we all tend to be grouped together, especially the senior class of parents because we aren’t that large,” explained Charisse Smith. “Literally we just looked around and there were just tears streaming. The tears starting running well before zero, because we felt it and I was chanting from about 4-minutes to just get us to 2-minutes and by that time (2 minutes), tears has started streaming.”

“I know that every parent feels like that deserve it, but I felt that this group had gone through so much and we felt like that just deserved it. We have been together ... The Timpfs‘, The Kings‘, since prep school and it’s been five years for some of us and we have loved each other from the start.”

“We were in the stands with some of the players who are no longer at West Point (grads) and tears were running down their faces and it was the best feeling that I have probably seen at a game,” added Charisse.

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LB & Captain Jeremy Timpf flanked by parents Kim & Mark


“The parents obviously after all these years, we had been there, we have been through the good-bad-ugly and just know that those young men tried so hard,” Mark Timpf added. “We as parents and although we know what those kids have to do everyday and the obligations have ... we do have high expectations for them. I mean, they didn’t get to West Point because they were mediocre. They got to West Point because they were competitive and they are just all around good people.”

“So when we see things happen like lose a fumble and things like that ... yes, we get frustrated, but we know they are pouring it all out on the field. We knew that Navy was a good team, but knew out guys were capable of coming back and they did.”

“What we did at the end was great,” declared Mark. “We marched down the field and scored and then the defense stopped them. That’s what so good about football. Offense does what that are suppose to do and the defense does what they need to do and we just beat Navy.”

**To chat with other Army fans about this article and more, please visit The 12th Knight message board**

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