Hot Topic Navy football

President Obama presents Navy with its seventh straight Commander-in-Chief's Trophy

Navy captain Osei Asante, right, presents President Obama with a Midshipmen jersey Monday in the East Room of the White House.
Navy captain Osei Asante, right, presents President Obama with a Midshipmen jersey Monday in the East Room of the White House. (Charles Dharapak/associated Press)
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By Gene Wang
Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Navy football team made its seventh straight appearance at the White House on Monday afternoon to accept the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy, and for the second time in a row, President Obama was there to present it.

"There they are again," Obama said as he entered the East Room, where players, Naval Academy officials and dignitaries had gathered for the ceremony that lasted approximately 15 minutes.

The Commander-in-Chief's Trophy is awarded annually to the service academy that wins the season series among Navy, Army and Air Force. Last season Navy beat Army, 17-3, and Air Force, 16-13.

"Does it ever get old?" Obama asked before he began his more formal address. "I do have to warn you that I consulted with the White House counsel, and according to the 22nd amendment, you're only allowed to come back here one more time before it's somebody else's turn."

Among the players Obama mentioned specifically was Ricky Dobbs, who set an NCAA single-season record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback last season with 27. The senior had knee surgery in the offseason and participated in a limited role with the team during spring practice.

Dobbs ran for 1,192 yards last season, and his 35 career rushing touchdowns are second all-time at Navy. Dobbs became the third quarterback in school history to run and pass for 1,000 yards in the same season.

The president also joked about Dobbs's political aspirations. Dobbs has said he wants to run for the presidency in 2040.

"I know people are announcing early these days," Obama said, drawing hearty laughter from the room, "but Ricky, that's a bit much."

Following Obama's address, last season's captains, Osei Asante and Ross Pospisil presented the president with two keepsakes.

First, Asante gave Obama a Navy football jersey with the No. 44. Then Pospisil handed the president a ring commemorating Navy's Texas Bowl victory. The Midshipmen beat Missouri, 35-13, in that game to finish 10-4 and tie the school record for victories.

Obama acknowledged Pospisil not only for his efforts on the field but for organizing a toy drive during a snowstorm last year that raised $1,700.

Navy opens this season Sept. 6 against Maryland at M&T Bank Stadium.

"It never gets old," Navy Coach Ken Niumatalolo said after the ceremony. "It's our number one goal every year to come back here. We don't have any other goals. This is our number one goal to come back to the White House to win the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy."

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