Football Players. The Army Football Association
Most of the football players of the Class of 2004 spent the summer of 2002 doing their CTLT—cadet troop leadership training—while the others honed their officer skills supervising at either Beast Barracks or Camp Buckner. If part of the Buckner summer was something of a job fair to expose the cadets to the army’s various branches, CTLT was a progression in the process that would hopefully help the participants decide which branch to pursue when they became seniors.
Josh Davis did his CTLT at Fort Sill, getting a taste of the field artillery’s big guns, part of the base’s “Big Red One.” Tom Farrington, Ryan Kent, Peter Stewart, and Anthony Zurisko completed theirs at Fort Hood with the 4th Infantry Division under the ultimate authority of General Ray Odierno. The general seemed to always take a liking to Army football players. He played tight end for the Cadets during the 1972–73 seasons, acknowledging years later that his primary motivation for enrolling at the academy was to play football. One of their more hands-on mentors was Brody Howatt, a former Army hockey player whose father (Garry) played with the Stanley Cup champion New York Islanders.
During CTLT, football players were permitted to eat as much as they wanted in the chow hall and provided with plenty of time to work out. The football players became acquainted with the abundant nightlife in Austin, located about an hour’s drive south of Fort Hood, and Stewart was able to make a couple of visits home to Houston. In addition, they participated in the various games held as part of the post’s “Ironhorse” competition. Zurisko proved to represent something of a ringer in Fort Hood’s version of the NFL’s long-time Punt, Pass, and Kick competition for youngsters; he finished first across the entire base. After completing CTLT, the players moved on to PIAD before the summer came to an end; that was a course in “physical individual athletic development” that was often offered to corps squad athletes beginning with their third West Point academic year (but not limited to them).
Brian Hill, Brad Waudby, and Clint Woody deferred their CTLT to 2003 and spent the summer giving orders to the incoming plebe hopefuls or rising sophomores. Juniors-to-be served as squad leaders, platoon sergeants, or 1st sergeants for Beast or Buckner. Seniors-to-be were the platoon leaders, company commanders, executive officers, and brigade commanders. Cadets in both classes submitted requests online listing their preferences. Both Beast and Buckner were broken into halves with the supervising cadets switched out at “halftime.” Woody, who worked Beast, enjoyed having a captive audience that hung on his every word and that most of them absorbed his commands and took their first baby steps toward becoming cadets. He didn’t enjoy dispensing discipline to those who didn’t immediately catch on.
The West Point-to-Danbury runs for Hill and Davis continued late in the summer of 2002, when Tarek Reslan subleased an off-campus room in a house that was rented out by a local woman named Misa Froehlich. She was a 1997 graduate of nearby Brookfield High, the daughter of a former Boston College football player, and a three-sport athlete herself (soccer, volleyball, and softball). When her father helped coach Brookfield High’s football team, she begged him to be the “water girl” and eventually became a cheerleader. The relationship between Froehlich and Reslan was essentially sister-brother, and he pretty much advised visitors like the two Army football players that she was untouchable. As Hill and Davis were leaving for the academy following one weekend, Davis asked if he could call her. Davis and Froehlich struck up a conversation soon after a barbeque held elsewhere in Danbury. Their first date was the following weekend at a restaurant named Amberjax, and the relationship blossomed quickly.
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