Through high school (varsity and junior varsity) and middle school athletics, MMA cadets develop leadership and team-building skills, improve health and coordination, increase self-confidence and discipline and reduce stress through a fun outlet to release energy. No one is on the sidelines — All cadets participate in athletics.
MMA fall season sports include football, soccer, JROTC Raiders, cross-country and swimming and diving.
A former Marine, new head football coach Robert Rosenbaum is working to establish a competitive, winning culture that attracts cadets and teaches more than physical skill. The team's focus on leadership and character development aligns with the Academy’s core values.
“We have a great group of young men who we feel will be a nice foundation to establish the culture for our football program,” said Rosenbaum, who is in his first year as head coach of the MMA’s Colonels football team. “Heading into year one of our program has its challenges. Getting the boys used to the day-to-day expectations, as well as the overall focus of the program, is step one."
Prior to summer break, the team built strength through off-season training, where they improved in football fundamentals and worked on offensive and defensive base packages.
“Football is a team sport that can provide so much for young athletes, so we are determined to build our program numbers so that we may impact as many young men as possible,” said Rosenbaum. “We want to produce good football players, but more importantly great people.”
“We want to be a difficult team to play against, both on the attacking side of the ball and as we defend,” said head soccer coach Elliot Goodwin. “We must show discipline across all areas and use that to our advantage in the face of adversity.”
Goodwin said they will aim to compete at their highest level at every opportunity. “We must identify ourselves as a team that will outwork opponents and not settle to be second best,” Goodwin said.
Colonels Soccer is scheduled to compete against some new schools this fall, which gives the players a chance to test their abilities.
"We have a number of returning cadets who will help the team grow this year, and I'm excited to work with them again," Goodwin said. "Having MMA soccer players receive accolades for district and regional awards last fall, I'm hopeful that we gain continued recognition on the field this year for our cadets."
The JROTC nationally sanctioned Raiders Competition is a military-style competition conducted with an eight-man team. The competition is a precursor to the JROTC collegiate-level Ranger Competition and builds teamwork and comradery between cadets.
Returning cadets expected to help lead the fall 2022 Raiders team include Cadets Gabriel Iglesias Osorio, Brett Miles, Ryan Miles, Gabriel Ontiveros, Ian Robison, Lucas Sydlewski and Samuel Way.
The MMA Raiders annually compete in national competition in November in Molena, Georgia. Each year, the Raiders strive to get stronger and improve their national standing. In 2021, they ranked 19th at the competition.
Swimming and Diving
Coach Matthias McManus expects veteran swimmers to instill the team’s “give it your all” attitude to new team members this year. The diving team, led by coach Tori Webber, looks to grow following their inaugural season at MMA last year.
McManus anticipates the team’s returners will show great strides with dropped times and improved techniques, and he looks forward to new cadets joining them. “It is great to see the natural talent cadets bring to the table and the confidence they can build in themselves as athletes," he said. "It is exciting to see new swimmers on our team. We look forward to see what these new cadets will do and what their addition will bring to our team."
The team aims to qualify for state competition this year. The past two years, the team was hundredths of seconds away from making state. To reach that goal, McManus said they will focus on leadership skills and responsibility, both in and out of the water.
“I’m expecting a very solid and competitive season this year,” said Coach Ryan Nowlin. The team began pre-season practices on Aug. 8. With his top runners returning, Nowlin is ready for a successful season. The team's goal is to qualify as a team for the Cross-Country State Championships.
Senior cadet, All-State placer and school record holder Bryson Powell will lead a strong group of returning varsity runners including junior Ryan Miles and a pair of sophomores, Malachi Imrie and Geraldo Quiroga.
On Sept. 7, MMA will host its first cross-country competition on the Academy’s 228-acre campus. Alumni, parents and friends of MMA are encouraged to attend.