Academic Year / Army Navy Week

 Ball Run to Game / Part 1

It started  a long, long time ago. It is know known exactly when, but probably between 1968 and 1972. Lt. Col Clay Nolo, a midshipman from 1968 to 1972, remembered the run. However, he says it only happened once. Stripers had run it. However, the plan was apparently way too difficult to carry out—-and was abandoned. At that time it was organized by the Brigades Activities Committee, who focused on spirit –related activities. Runners from every company were included.

In 1981 Nolo became the 13th company officer. Part of his reason for making another attempt at the Ball Run was to change the perception of the 13th company as being “unlucky.” His company was company 13. He revisited the issue of the difficulty of planning the event. He recanted his earlier statement that the task was too difficult.  One company could do it if supported by the Brigade.

Nolo’s goal seems to have been accomplished as every since the tradition began. In 2017 Navy has won 60 games—Army 10. Seventies. In 2017 they were also going for their 11th Commander-in-Chiefs Trophy win in 15 years.

Nolo  #2Nolo #2

So the task was taken on, with the planning falling on the shoulders of Tim Thomas Class of 1982.The original game ball is still in the possession of Tim Thomas. It was signed by many dignitaries. The Secretary of Defense, Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations.

Thomas Tim #3Thomas Tim #3


The run reveals the spirit, teamwork, and enthusiasm of the Brigade.

Only one year it was not run. That was the year the Army-Navy game was held in California. A little too far to run, I guess.


The experience, according to Midshipman First Class 2018 Jessica Velez, of Chicago, is a bonding experience. The members of the 13th company wear matching t shirts.

Matching T SHirtsMatching T SHirts

End of Part 1 / More To Come