News: Misawa Soldiers Edge Sailors in Annual Flag Football Game
Story by Chief Petty Officer Daniel Sanford
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan – In a prelude to the big Army-Navy college football game the following day, Misawa Air Base Navy and Army service members renewed their own rivalry with a flag football game here, Dec. 10.
Sailors from Naval Air Facility and its 12 tenant commands took on Soldiers from Misawa Air Base’s 708th Military Intelligence Unit; 1st Battalion, 1st Space; and the Shariki Communications Site.
While temperatures dipped into the 30's, the rivalry quickly heated up once the pre-game coin toss and hand shakes were out of the way.
Those in attendance were treated to a chippy, defensive battle that featured more turnovers than the recent Misawa Cub Scout Troop 18 Bake Sale.
After taking a 0-0 tie into the final minute of the game, Army was able to cash-in with a two-yard touchdown catch by Army. Capt. Kirby Atwell. Navy couldn’t answer back and Army marched away with a 6-0 victory.
Navy’s quarterback and co-organizer of the game, Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Williams, a cryptologic technician (collection), lamented the sloppy field and play by his team, but was quick to point out the true reason for playing the game.
“Hey, regardless of the outcome, we’re one team, one fight,” said Williams, who works at Navy Information Operations Command Misawa. “We have a lot of friends on the Army team and at the end of the day, we’re just proud to be a part of this great tradition between the two oldest services.”
Atwell, the hero of the game, echoed Williams remarks.
“Sports correlate to the battlefield and with us working tactically with the Navy these days, there’s no better way to build camaraderie,” said Atwell, who serves as the commander of the Shariki Communications Site in northern Japan.
“A game like this helps build up hype toward the real game this weekend, which hopefully will have the same outcome as ours,” he smiled, and quickly exclaimed, “Go Army, beat Navy.”
Sadly for Atwell, The Naval Academy ended up drumming the Army Black Knights, 31-17, in their weekend matchup to make it nine victories in a row for the Navy Midshipmen.
Perhaps next year …?
For more news from Naval Air Facility Misawa, visit https://www.cnic.navy.mil/misawa/index.htm or check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nafmisawa.