Coast Guard to Conduct Goal Flag Ceremony Before SCSU Game

NEW LONDON, Conn. - Coast Guard Academy will conduct its traditional goal flag remembrance ceremony at Cadet Memorial Field prior to the first home game against Southern Connecticut State University on Friday, 18 March at 7:00 PM.

The ceremony is open to the public and serves to formally recognize the ultimate sacrifices made by Coast Guard Academy graduates. The ceremony will occur before the game and two commemorative flags will be attached to the goals. They will be displayed at every home game throughout the season.

The navy blue flag with 61 white stars commemorates the 61 names on the WALL OF REMEMBRANCE which honors Academy graduates who have perished while carrying out operational missions. In September 2008, Coast Guard lacrosse player CAPT Thomas D. Nelson, Class of 1988, was added as the 61st name on that list after he perished aboard Coast Guard helicopter 6505 off the coast of Hawaii. Teammate and classmate CAPT Nick Bartolotta remembers CAPT Nelson as a, "dominant defender who loved to clear the crease."

The white flag has the initials JMS and the Class of 1983 crest to commemorate LT John M. Senyard '83 for his contributions to the Coast Guard Lacrosse program. John Senyard was one of the key figures in the founding of the Coast Guard Academy Lacrosse team. A member of the Coast Guard Academy Class of 1983, John was a Baltimore kid that grew up with an intense love for the game of lacrosse. As a cadet, John was often seen roaming the decks of Bravo Company in Chase Hall (the cadet barracks) with a lacrosse stick in hand. He attempted on several occasions to start a Men's Lacrosse team.

His persistence and example to junior cadets sparked launch of the during the spring following his graduation. One of those junior cadets, Charlie Turner, CGA '86, remarked "I'm convinced that the Coast Guard Academy Lacrosse program would never have come to fruition without John Senyard. We underclassmen were emboldened by a small, but loyal group of seniors who kept playing lacrosse because of John." Unfortunately, LT Senyard was not able to witness the Men's Lacrosse team grow into the highly competitive team that exists today. He was killed in an aircraft accident while conducting a humanitarian service project in Ilhithi, Kenya in 1989.

"This ceremony reminds us of our heritage as guardians" said LCDR Brian Krautler, Head Lacrosse Coach. "It also reminds us of just how dangerous and unforgiving the Coast Guard's operating environment can be. Our Coast Guard crews constantly train and hone their skills to perform challenging maritime missions. And, because they routinely perform them so well, it is easy to forget their complexity and danger."

"It's also important for us to remember that our players will be performing these challenging missions in just a few short months. In May, the first-class cadets that will be on the field tonight will be stepping forward to serve and go into harm's way. This ceremony reminds them of their link to the operational service."

2011-03-16



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