By Melanie Williamson
The United States Coast Guard Academy and the Merchant Marine Academy will face off in the Secretaries’ Cup football game on Saturday, November 11, Veteran’s Day. The game will be streamed live from Cadet Memorial Field at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT on ESPN3 with kickoff at noon.
These two schools played each other in the final game of the regular season every year from 1991 to 2005 until the Coast Guard joined the New England Football Conference, and the makeup of the schedules changed. This is the first year they are back to facing each other in the last game of the season. This is also the first year the game will be aired on ESPN.
According to the United States Coast Guard Academy website, “The Secretaries Cup is an annual college football game between the United States Coast Guard Academy and the United States Merchant Marine Academy. The Secretaries Cup is the biggest rivalry game of the season for both schools.”
Once known as the “Secretary’s Cup” when both academies resided in the U.S. Department of Transportation, the name of the contest was pluralized when the U.S. Coast Guard moved to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2003. The game alternates between Cadet Memorial Field and Captain Tomb Field in Kings Point, New York, at the Merchant Marine Academy.
Playing in this game for the Merchant Marine Academy is 2014 Vermilion High School graduate Aaron Rice. Rice is currently a 1st Classmen “Senior” and a running back on the football team.
His father, David Rice shared, “I have never missed a single game all four years he has played football at the Merchant Marine Academy. It’s been tough with all the games being played on the east coast. I am flying to NY, NY this weekend for his final home game.”
ESPN released that statement in 2016 that in their effort to “visibly extend and deepen its commitment to honoring America’s veterans” they would now be airing the Secretaries’ Cup game each season.