In the Year of the Woman, Sophie Lekas, a 1st Class Midshipman is on the cusp of being the first female ever to win the Tony Rubino Four-Time Brigade Champion Award. She is only the 2nd female to be eligible.
The Naval Academy’s 79th Annual Brigade Boxing Championships will be held Friday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. in Alumni Hall. The event is open to the public and admission is free.
As part of the academy’s physical education program, all midshipmen are required to participate in boxing, and boxing is also offered as a club sport at the Academy. The boxing team participates in invitational competitions in the fall and spring, as well as in ongoing intramural bouts. The Brigade Boxing Championship showcases the most elite midshipmen boxers, each performing in three-round matches within their weight class.
The boxing program at the Naval Academy started in 1865, and today the Naval Academy’s Brigade Boxing Championship generates hundreds of spectators and fans. In 1967, future Secretary of the Navy James Webb and future Marine Corps Lt. Col. Oliver North, fought each other in the welterweight category during the competition. The event also gained national attention in 2006 when the movie “Annapolis” hit theaters.
The best boxers from the competition go on to a regional competition in order to qualify for the National Collegiate Boxing Association (NCBA) Championships held each spring.
Two Navy boxers are eligible for the “Tony Rubino Four-Time Brigade Champion Award” this year:
- Midshipman 1st Class Sophie Lekas (first female)
- Midshipman 1st Class Jake Clary
Boxer Sophie Lekas is the second female Navy boxer to be eligible for the “Tony Rubino Four-Time Brigade Champion Award.” If she wins her fight, Lekas will join an elite group of just 20 previous recipients since 1970, making her the first female to win the award in Navy Boxing history.
For more information on Brigade Boxing at the Naval Academy and this semester’s tentative boxing schedule, please visit http://www.usnaboxing.com/.
For more information about the Naval Academy, visit http://www.usna.edu or the Naval Academy’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/USNavalAcademy