Reality started sinking in for Noah Knapp earlier this week.
Knapp will play his final game at Michie Stadium Saturday. Army’s offensive lineman will be one of 27 senior players honored in a pregame ceremony before kickoff against UMass.
“This week I’ve really taken a step back and realize it’s starting to come to an end,” Knapp said. “It’s bittersweet. It’s crazy to think that this will be our last game at Michie. I remember my first time coming to West Point just like it was yesterday and just looking back on how fast everything has gone.
“I’m looking forward to it. It’s the next chapter of life. I’m really going to savor this last game at Michie with my teammates and family.
The senior class is looking to finish up an impressive run at Michie Stadium. Army has a 22-3 home record in the seniors’ four years. Senior Kwabena Bonsu said he gets reminded of the memories every time he lines up alongside classmates Nolan Cockrill and Ryan Duran on the defensive line.
“Those are guys that have been here with me from the start when I was a lonely plebe who didn’t anything,” Bonsu said. “Now, those guys are two of my best friends on the team and being able to finish it with them, I’m very thankful for the experience and thankful I was able to meet those guys and all of the seniors in general.
“Just the bond and relationship that we built over the last four years is something that I’ll cherish and treasure the rest of my life. I’m going to be connected with guys long after football.”
Army’s senior class includes captains Cockrill, Cedrick Cunningham and Arik Smith.
Senior Day will be emotional for offensive lineman Dean Powell.
“It means the world,” Powell said. “I’m so grateful to be a part of this program and so grateful to be at this institution. This program, these coaches, my teammates have poured in so much into me and I’m so grateful for the opportunity I’ve had the past five years here.
“I’m looking forward to the future but I’m definitely going to miss being around here and definitely going to miss playing at Michie. I got one more shot at Michie, which is sad, but I’m glad I’ve got this opportunity of a lifetime.”
Senior cornerback Julian McDuffie said that big part of memories he’ll have at West Point were made at Michie Stadium and on the football field.
“Just being through this program, there are a lot of faces and names that bring up emotion for you because you are so connected,” McDuffie said. “This is such a tight program and it’s such a great program to be a part of and Senior Day, with this last game at Michie, is a bittersweet type of feeling to it. You are sad to see it go but it’s good to reflect all of the people and the memories that you’ve made. It will definitely be a good that I cherish.”