The Army-Navy game, one of the most storied games in college football history, has mostly been played in Philadelphia throughout its long history, which spans 113 years.
So, if you’re Raymond Maples, former West Catholic football star and standout running back for Army, this game is really huge. Maples will be one of top players in the Army-Navy matchup on Saturday, Dec. 8 at Lincoln Financial Field. The kickoff is 3:10 p.m. The game will be televised nationally on CBS3.
“It means a lot because we haven’t beaten Navy in about 10 years,” Maples said. “We haven’t won the CIC (Commander-In-Chief) trophy since 1996. It means a lot especially since I’m from Philly. I’ve never been to an Army-Navy game growing up, but that’s all you hear about when Army-Navy rolls around. With the (Philadelphia) Eagles not doing too hot this year, I think the Army-Navy game is one of the more popular games this year. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Maples, a 6-foot-1, 218-pound junior, has put together another great season for the Black Knights. He is one of two 1,000-yard runners on the team. Senior quarterback Trent Steelman leads Army with 1,152 yards, a record for Black Knight quarterbacks. Maples is the Black Knights’ second leading rusher with 1,059 yards. He averages 5.4 yards a carry.
“I’m very excited for my offensive line,” Maples said. “We haven’t had the best season record-wise (2-9 overall), but I think individually they actually done a good job of creating holes for me, Trent (Steelman) and Larry (Dixon) to run through. Larry is close to 800 yards (778). Trent is over 1,000. I’m over 1,000. Our offensive line has done a real good job. We’re really looking forward to finishing the season strong.”
Maples lives near 52nd Street and Baltimore Avenue. There are a lot of people in his neighborhood who will be watching the game. In addition, there will be several coming down to see the former Catholic League standout play in person. He feels very fortunate to be able to play football and receive his education at Army.
“It never crossed my mind growing up,” said Maples, a systems engineering management major. “When West Point offered me during my senior year late in January, I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t see myself in the military. I’m more excited now that I made this choice. It’s opened my eyes to a lot of opportunities after I graduate.”