44 SportsUnion | NOVEMBER 2016 Column It has been a long time. Twenty years to be exact. Twenty years since the last time the Army Black Knights football program started a season 3-0. That was until this season. The Black Knights raced out to a 3-0 record for the first time since 1996. That was the last time Army won nine games. It was also the last time Army has seen this kind of success. It hasn’t come easy. It has been a process, a long drawn out process. They have gone through coaches, a lot of them. Each coach By Matt Ondesko Managing Editor said the right things, but just couldn’t produce on the field. Army went searching and they may have found the right man. Jeff Monken knows a little bit about academy life. He was an assistant at the Naval Academy before having tremendous success at Georgia Southern. Army took a chance on him and it finally seems to be paying off. The first two years were painful – just look at the records. The Black Knights struggled their first year under the new coach. Last year looked bad record Military edition wise, but it really wasn’t. The Black Knights were in a lot of those games last year. They just couldn’t close out the contest in the fourth quarter. This season has been different. They have been able to win the close games, except against Buffalo, and blowout other teams. In year three the offense has looked crisp. They have been able to move the ball on offense, and stop it on defense. Monken has the team heading in the right direction. The only concern moving forward is if Army can keep them. If he continues to show progress then other big time schools will be looking at his services. -----------------------------As we celebrate another Veteran’s Day, I am always asked what the military means to me. It means a lot as my grandfather, uncles, dad and friends all served this fine country. The military is near and dear to my heart and this is why I try to produce a special edition like this. This is my way of giving back to those men and women that have served this fine country of ours. Anyone you can sit there and sign up to potentially die for this country has my vote as American of the Year. -----------------------------I’m not a political person so this is a shocker to some as I write this. It doesn’t natter what I think when it comes to what professional athletes are doing when the National Anthem is played. Whether I agree or disagree with it, it is the right of every person in the country to use their freedom of speech. I may not like how they are going about it, but it is brining awereness to problems we have here in this country. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the problems of the rest of the world that we forget about home. Home is important to us and we should make sure we take care of our house first, before we start remodeling someone elses.