MMA lacrosse plays and wins first-ever Varsity home game

After spending all of its initial season as a JV and on the road in 2016, the Missouri Military Academy varsity lacrosse squad finally played a home game on Saturday against St, Mary’s (St. Louis). The first Varsity lacrosse game in Missouri Military Academy history did not start as coach Kevin Bissmeyer had foreseen when the Colonels fell behind 6-1 early.

Joseph Guth scored the first varsity goal in MMA history on a doorstep dink and dunk over the goalie. Even though Guth did post the first goal ever for this team early in the first half, MMA still found itself down 6-3 at the break. That opened the door for Guff and midfielder and Donald Williams, who combined for seven goals. Sean Fitzgerald, who won 5-of-6 face-offs was crucial in the comeback.

Beginning in the second quarter MMA started fighting back after the defense began getting things figured out. The second half was similar to the end of the second quarter in which the Colonels were able to get some things going and draw closer on the scoreboard. Guth began to dominate the game and the midfield combination of Fitzgerald and Williams caused major problems for St. Mary’s defense. At the end of the third quarter, St Mary scored again and the quarter ended 8-6.

In the final quarter, the Colonels came within one on a score by Williams and trailed 8-7. With less than a minute left St Mary’s scored again and set the score to 9-7. A score by Tamir Nyamadavaa with over two minutes left brought MMA within one again.

In the final minute of regulation, MMA scored to send things into sudden death overtime. In the overtime period, the Colonels were able to strike quickly and end the game with yet another Joe Guth goal, with the final overtime score of 10-9 the Colonels earned their first victory of the season and their first as a varsity program.

“Joe Guth was simply unstoppable tonight. Give credit to their defense, they were able to lock us down pretty good for most of the game but between our speedy transition game and the dominance of #8(Guth), we were able to out edge them at the end. The defense was anchored tonight by senior goalies Max Weiss and Griffin Gilman who both played well and contributed to the win.”

Victor Leon also had two goals and five ground balls. Nyamadavaa added a goal and one ground ball and Weiss and Gilman combined to make six saves.

MMA Lacrosse Origins

The Missouri Military Academy Lacrosse Program started in 2014 When Coach Kevin Bissmeyer accepted a teaching job at the academy. He then decided to start a lacrosse club. In the first year, the program had a total of 15 players who signed up for the club. The club did not compete in any games or scrimmages and didn’t even have a goal for most of the season. It was mostly about just going out and tossing and having fun. However, there was certainly enough interest to attempt putting together a team for the next year.

The program was then permitted to have a team under the school’s athletic program but would not have a budget to buy gear, the players and coaches began chipping in and buying gear for the team. By the end of the season, the team had a goal, practice jerseys and enough equipment to begin small scrimmages.

The 2015 School year began with the intention of starting an actual team and competing with other teams around Missouri at the freshmen and JV levels. MMA also stepped in and provided a huge boost to the team by featuring the lacrosse program in the 2015/16 Maroon and Gold Raise the Paddle event.

This event was able to raise money for a second goal, game uniforms and goalie equipment for the upcoming season. While MMA didn’t win any of their 5 games in their first year of competitive play, they established themselves as a serious sport at the school ending the year with a roster of 26 players.

The 2016/17 School year was the first for MMA as a varsity lacrosse program. With 37 players and 10 games against other varsity programs from around the state, it should be a great first season for lacrosse at MMA.

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A Night of Bowling

img_0116-1Bowling has a long and rich history, and today it is one of the most popular sports in the world. A web search in WIKIPEDIA gave us this definition:

Bowling refers to a series of sports or leisure activities in which a player rolls or throws a bowling ball towards a target. It is one of the major forms of throwing sports. In pin bowling variations, the target is usually to knock over pins at the end of a lane. When all the pins are knocked down on the first roll, this is a strike. Well now that we know what it is let’s see its history.img_0111

The Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame tells us that a British anthropologist, Sir Flinders Petrie, discovered in the 1930’s a collection of objects in a child’s grave in Egypt that appeared to him to be used for a crude form of bowling. If he was correct, then bowling traces its ancestry to 3200 BC. A German historian, William Pehle, asserted that bowling began in his country about 300 AD.

There is substantial evidence that a form of bowling was in vogue in England in 1366, when King Edward III allegedly outlawed it to keep his troops focused on archery practice. And it is almost certain that bowling was popular during the reign of King Henry VIII.

Beginning as a high school student up until my 50’s I have many memories of great times at bowling alleys, so bowling has been a part of my life for more than 30 years. Now do not believe for a moment I am any good at it but once again I have had plenty of fun playing it! My highest score is 212 once while in college considering a perfect score is 300. A fluke, because since then I do not pass 160.
Now as the Interim Athletic Director at Missouri Military Academy knowing that it is a varsity sport in several states and looking for an option for cadets to enjoy leisure activities in 2017, we came up with our first Bowling Night held at Mexico Lanes Bowling Center where 18 Cadets played in teams of three.

img_0114Top Bowler honors went to Senior Ernesto Melgar Bravo Company, Second place was Phoenix Jumper a sophomore from Charlie Company with a 145. Junior Juan Pablo Cepeda from Bravo totaled 119 for third place. Freshman and Delta company cadet Alex Cohen secured fourth place with a 107.

The “I do not know what I am doing but had a blast award” went to cadets Dawson Lane and Juan Diego Silva with 37 and 44 scores respectively. Cadets attacked the concession stand like there was no tomorrow and the food was coming out from the concession stand until we left. Talking to the lady back in the kitchen we totaled 40 orders (me included).img_0113

Today, the sport of bowling is enjoyed by over 95 million people in more than 90 countries worldwide. Bowling’s top athletes regularly compete in worldwide competitions and on the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea featured ten-pin bowling as a demonstration sport.


Let’s see what comes out of this first outing.

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If Serving is Below You, Leadership is Beyond You!

The season of “Thanksgiving just ended and the season of giving just started. But at the Missouri Military Academy we keep on giving yearlong here are some of the highlights…

The Lunch Buddies Program

Our librarian, Mrs. Fran Robley after hearing that there was a need for positive male role models to participate in the Lunch Buddy program, approached the Mexico School district about allowing cadets to volunteer as Lunch Buddies. Mrs. Robley worked with Dana Keller, Director of the Mexico Area Chamber of Commerce and also a board member of the Bright Futures Mexico Program.

14711060_10153794878930723_7981326384296624701_oThe program is geared to junior and senior cadets to be mentors and in order to participate Cadets have to be school leaders who are in good academic standing and demonstrated exemplary behavior. At present, MMA has 24 cadet Lunch Buddies in all 3 of the Mexico elementary schools. They serve as mentors to at-risk first, second, third, and fourth-grade students.

Cadets visit their “buddies” two times per month to have lunch and go to recess. The cimg_1303adets affectionately refer to their buddies as their “kids” and take great pride in their kids’ accomplishments. Their kids’ teachers often help them email their cadets. In this way, cadets encourage their little friends to do well with their school work, participate in sports, and celebrate their successes.

Cadets are given community service hours for participating in the program but are receiving much more in the friendship and connections they make with their “kids.” MMA faculty members help to chaperone the Lunch Buddy visits and enjoy seeing cadets as they interact with their kids.14712482_10153794879295723_1765752813626222611_o

The Buddy Pack Program

The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri serves 32 counties, and 28 of them take p
art in the Buddy Pack Program.  ‘Buddy Packs’ is a community food relief project Missouri Military Academy has undertaken to assist those who may need ‘a little extra’ nutritionally speaking. A ‘Buddy Pack’ is a week’s supply of supplemental food that typically includes, milk, two cans of lasagna, two cups of fruit, two bags of dry cereal, and perhaps cookies packaged in a 6 liter bag.buddy-packs

MMA’s Keith Morgan recruits several cadets and staff every Monday night and gets an assembly line going in our field house and fills boxes with non-perishable food items for Mexico’s local kids to take home with them on Fridays. Each week the groups of cadets volunteer to prepare the Buddy Packs.

Currently, they are producing 550 Buddy packs. Each Buddy pack is essentially several buddy-packs2meals and supplements a family unit. So, basically, using the food provided to them, MMA’s cadets help feed 550 families in Audrain, Boone and Ralls counties.

Since Buddy Packs is a critical part of our Community Service program we are able to make a sustained impact each year on a three-county area. We are very fortunate to have a project like Buddy Packs, an organization like the Food Bank of Central Missouri and cadets like those at MMA to help our community.

Mrs. Morris Class Shoes for Haiti1_ec-1

Mrs. Cheryl Morris, our MMA Art teacher, created a program to help children in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, “The Painted Shoe Project”. The students in her class design and paint shoes to give to the kids in Haiti in the fall and the Dominican Republic in the spring. Each shoe has a distinctive design and will protect youngster’s feet in a stylish way.

75th Anniversary Pearl Harbor Mass Band Performance

The National Park Service and the United States Navy co-host the 75th commemoration of the attack on Pearl Harbor. This event also supported by the City and County of Honolulu, the State of Hawaii and the Governor’s Office, members of Hawaii’s congressional delegation, and other branches of the U.S. military.


To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, a Mass Band performance featured over 1,000 student musicians paying respect, remembering, and never forgetting the tragedies of World War II by presenting the world, “A Gift of Music” via international webcast this past December 7th.hawaii3

Freddie Lomas our Band Director took 27 cadets to join in the 75th-anniversary celebration. MMA performed in the Mass Band event with other high school musicians from the US, Hawaii and Japan, alongside the USS Missouri.


As we break for the holidays please remember those in need, especially those in need of affection, empathy and compassion and not material things. FELIZ NAVIDAD

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It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up!

In the summer of 2014 Kevin Farley took over the soccer program at Missouri Military Academy and started the reconstruction process of a struggling program that 25 years ago under coach Richard Twells (and MMA Hall of Famer) lead the school to its first district championship in 1992. The same team went on to finish fourth in the state in Class 1A-3A.

A year later he got promoted to Athletic Director. After previously working in a couple of colleges and athletic programs he put underway his plan to position the Fighting Colonels Athletic program back in the spot

The soccer program after a 5-5 record in 2013, went up to a class 2 school classification in 2014 and ended with a 10-5-1 where they amounted a winning streak of six games leading to the end of the season they were ousted in the District tournament 2-1 in overtime.


2015 brought the best record since the regular season of 1999 when the Colonels went 11-0-2,  after losing their first two games The Colonels went on a 17 game winning frenzy and took the district tournament with victories over Kirksville and Mexico. Eventually losing in the State Tournament to St. Francis Borgia 3-1.

This year the Colonels finished with a 7-8 regular season record playing mainly opponents from higher classes. They went on to the Class 2 District 8 Boys Soccer Tournament and lost to the number one seeded Christian High School 2-1.

Ifb3n 2016 a change in the football program was made after a 1-7 season were the Colonels were outscored 382-120. Mitchell Jenkins was promoted as the new head football coach and took on a program that had gone 5-45 in the past six years and at a time lost 24 games in a row.fb1

The season began with 31 young men on their roster, seven of them seniors and 12 players from foreign countries that do not play football professionally. The team led by senior quarterback Sean Fitzgerald won four and lost five averaging 27 points a game and the best record in nearly a decade.

President Grover Cleveland once said “A truly American sentiment recognizes the dignity of labor and the fact that honor lies in honest toil”.  At Missouri Military Academy we are:

                                   “Pursuing Victory with Honor”


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Yep Mexico, Missouri

6448270591_1589d559fc_zWell here I am working at Missouri Military Academy (MMA) in Mexico Missouri. In my previous blog I talked about military schools and my first week at MMA. Now let me tell you about my new home.  Well, the town was incorporated in 1857. Mexico is a city in Audrain County, Missouri. The 2010 census estimated the population at 11,543. What was once a booming city in the eighties has tumbled into a poor town. I did some “internet research” and this is what I found:new-miss-missouri

First, I was surprised to find that MMA was the host of the annual Miss Missouri Pageant in mid-June; the winner was the first openly gay contestant in the Miss America pageant early September.

Also that the town was a major source for the nation’s fire brick production since 1910, so much so, that it was called the “Fire Brick Capital of the World”. However, the industry fell on hard times and both major factory plants in the area closed in 2002.







In addition, in the 1980s, Mexico (Mo) was one of six nationwide finalists for Saturn’s new U.S. auto plant. Mexico lost out to winner Spring Hill, Tennessee because Mexico was not served by a four-lane freeway. So as not to lose future development, Mexico officials quickly lobbied state and federal officials to secure funding for a new four-lane divided highway (U.S. Route 54) which now serves the community from Interstate 70. Interestingly the Saturn plant in Spring Hill closed in 2004.

Digging more into the history of the town I found that it was also known as the “Saddle Horse Capital of the World,” now Mexico still hosts Hollywood celebrities and other visitors from around the world who come to purchase riding horses. The Simmons Stables is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.arthur_simmons_stables_mexico_missouri

Mexico was also the home of Hardin College and Conservatory of Music, a Baptist college established in 1873 for young women, an institution founded and endowed by Charles H. Hardin, governor of the state from 1872–1874. Sadly, Hardin College closed during the Great Depression and never re-opened.oldstribling1903

Now here is a little about  the school where I am teaching.  It opened in 1890. In 1896 a fire destroyed the entire MMA campus. Due to the fire the Academy was closed until 1900. In 1957 the school band was appointed by the state of Missouri to march in the parade for the inauguration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower in Washington, D.C.  The band also participated in the Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Carter Inaugurations. In 1985 the U.S. Department of Education announced its selection of Missouri Military Academy as an Exemplary Private School. One of just 65 private schools selected out of 27,000 across the U.S.  Not only that, it was the only military school to be recognized. In 2014 MMA celebrated its 125th Anniversary.

MMA also led the parade for the Annual Soybean Festival.

Now here are some important people with ties to Mexico, Mo:

-Tom Bass, a legendary rider and horse trainer. Bass was born into slavery on 1859 on the Hayden plantation in Boone County, Missouri. After freedom he trained horses for notable people including Buffalo Bill Cody, Theodore Roosevelt, and Will Rogers and is also famous for inventing the Bass bit, a mechanism designed to protect a horse’s mouth during training. It is still widely used today.tom-bass-gravestone1

-Rex McDonald was an American Saddlebred stallion who only lost three shows from 1893 to around 1910. Rex also had an influential career as a sire.He sired over 200 colts.bass03i

-Charles Henry Hardin was a politician and governor from Missouri, and one of the eight founders of Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

-Tyronn Jamar Lue,  the current head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA.  Lue led the Cavaliers to their first NBA championship and became one of the few rookie coaches in the NBA to ever lead his team to a


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I’m in the military… school that is.

After teaching at a university, a couple of private schools and a public school, I have accepted a job at a military boarding school. This blog will recount my experiences at a military school.mexmo

In the United States, there are military schools at every level: college preparatory; two-year college; and college and university.  Each offers unique challenges and great opportunities for today’s youth in many ways.

If I ask you what do actor Owen Wilson, author J.D. Salinger (Catcher in the Rye), presidential candidate Donald Trump, George Steinbrenner (former owner of the New York Yankees) and NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. have in common? If you guess they all went to military school, your guess is right.

So let us start with the term, “milmma entranceitary school.” For too long it has been a term that is used to threaten teenagers when they misbehave. I’m going to send you to military school! Though “military school” is meant as a solution in this exclamatory sentence, it definitely sends across the wrong message. Even I had a corrupted idea of a military school.

At Missouri Military Academy, you can see that contrary to popular opinion, this school is not a haven for troubled youth or a “boot camp” with rigid disciplinary systems and hazing.  Rather it is a quality, accredited, highly regarded educational institution that emphasizes academic growth and leadership development within a structured environment, which encourages self-discipline and fosters accountability.mmafor

My first week has been interesting since all cadets salute you and call you sir. After spending 16 years in the south and being called “sir,” the salute stands out. It has a purpose and feels right.
I was a part of our first football game, and our bench had 12 available players for subs while in my previous school there were more than 45 kids in the bench. fb

I also witnessed our first soccer game.
We lost to the Division 4 state champion. We are a Division 2 school that gave a great effort. Another cool thing: I have been given the rank of lieutenant, which is better than private! The dining hall food is great – I am impressed with the quality and taste of food at MMA.

Well that’s all for now. I can be reach at @eldeportologo on twitter if you have any comments.poster

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2014 wrap end of 1st Semester

Well the first semester of the school year is over and winter sports are in full swing. Football made it to the playoffs but had an early departure. Cross Country had personal bests and a couple of great performances in several races. Golf had a run at the state but fell short. Now I have to say the highlight of the fall was the intramurals, to see the participation of students and faculty support of their students was phenomenal.

The School administrators declared Tuesday January 20th as a school holiday to mark the achievement of our FUTBOL (Soccer) team by winning the State Championship, Monday, February 2, 2015 will also be a school holiday thanks to our parents who reached 95% in Parent Participation in the Annual Fund drive !! Parents, thank you for your support and for all you do for CBHS! GO BROTHERS!95

Now other things cool that happened over the first semester included Five students from Brothers on Stage competing in the Tennessee Theatre Association One Act competition this past October against 14 other schools from across the state. Jahdiel Graham received the MVP Award for Love and How to Cure It, Congratulations to teacher Kyle Schnack, Madison Alexander, Jahdiel Graham, Diego Garcia, Luca Conti, and Luisa Schroth for your work! The play was good.

Three students from Brothers of Faith Men’s Chorus made it into the highly competitive and prestigious All State TN Honor Choir. At the All State Competition, sophomore Spencer Germany made 3rd Chair Tenor II, Trevor Brown, sophomore, made 1st Chair Bass I, and senior Christopher Williams made 1st Chair Tenor I.

Cole Perry designed a chalkboard mural that covers the north wall in the Children’s Room at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis. For these and other charity actions, he received the Keeper of the Dream Award Dec. 2, in conjunction with the National Civil Rights Museum Freedom Awards. Also, Senior Jake Fleming received an American flag from the U.S. Navy that was flown on the USS Constitution in his honor for earning the rank of Eagle Scout.

600600p2184EDNmainCBHSbaseballsigning2014(3) (1)The CBHS band played in several venues including the Memphis Holiday parade the weekend of the 6th in downtown Memphis. Four baseball players committed to play ball after graduation from CBHS: James Muse (pitcher, University of Memphis), Colin Kilgore (pitcher, University of Memphis), Walker Grisanti (catcher/outfielder, Vanderbilt University), and Jeff Goodwin (outfielder, Christian Brothers University).

IMG_1333Brother Joel or better said, Brother Joel William McGraw, for the past 50 years has shined as an example of humility and hope to Christian Brothers High School and the greater Memphis community. He graduated from CBHS in 1963 and has taught at CBHS in the 47 of the 50 years that he has served as a Christian Brother. He received a very well deserved Celebration of his 50 years of service.

undThe Beginning of the winter sports had the basketball team undefeated in 11 games (now 23-0), the points leaders are William Douglas 11 PPG, Shun Alexander 10.2 PPG, & Undra Wilson 7.5 PPG.  Shun Alexander also leds the team in rebounds with 7.2 rebounds PG and playmaker Undra Wilson averaged 4.9 Assists PG. The JV ended 8-0 (now 11-0) and the freshmen at 5-1 (now 12-2). Charlie Crone led the way in scoring while Zach Hamlet led in rebounding and assists.

champThe wrestling team continued their dominance against area teams in the first four tournaments of the season and traveled to Hawaii at the end of 2014. Did you know? that they haven’t lost to a local team since Jan. 15, 2005, a streak of 128 straight victories. The Bowling team was third in the global standings with a 8-5 record. Freshman Kyle Frasure led the Brothers bowlers with a 203 average and in December ranked third in the overall standings. Currently they are at state.

At the end of the semester in the Brothers Cup the Abban House is leading the way with abbathe Schneider House second and the Bernardine house third all very close. Brothers on Stage had two great performances Love and How to Cure It and most recently She Loves Me.  They both were very entertaining.  Hey by the way here comes spring!

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