As we celebrate Division III week this week, we will feature a pair of cadet-athletes that are excelling in the Division III environment.
Ryland Chapman is a senior defender on the men's lacrosse and a leader among the corps of cadets as he serves as the Hotel Company Commander, he leads a group of approximately 130 cadets within that company.
The Mechanical Engineering major from Hampstead, Md. was informed of the Coast Guard Academy during his senior year of high school and the minute he visited the campus, he instantly knew he wanted to attend. "The mission and atmosphere of the Academy and Coast Guard fit the values I was raised on and what I wanted in my career while pursuing engineering and hopefully one day aviation," said Chapman.
The men's lacrosse team set a school record with 14 wins last season, beat the eventual national champion Wesleyan in overtime at home and earned a first ever New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) tournament championship game appearance.
"The overtime win over Wesleyan at last year is easily the most memorable lacrosse moment at the Academy for me," said Chapman. "The excitement and the feelings the team felt after the game and the recognition that we received will last forever, it was unforgettable."
Chapman will be a student engineer aboard the USCGC TAHOMA in Kittery, Maine, upon graduation in May and his experience this past summer at Coast Guard Air Station Savannah in Georgia was a memorable one.
"It was an amazing experience and I absolutely loved it," said Chapman. "Being around the aircraft, the pilots and getting to ride in the helicopters solidified that I wanted to become a Coast Guard aviator."
There have been many memorable moments for Chapman while at the Academy, but his favorite part of the Academy … being a Division III athlete.
"Being a DIII athlete has been my favorite part of the Academy. There is a lot of stress involved with academics and the military obligations and aspects of Chase Hall, but as soon as I would get to the field, everything else would fade away and it was just lacrosse," said Chapman. "The team dynamic and my teammates made those two hour practices every day and all the games and trips amazing. The coaches and the team are always there for each other on and off the field. It is a lot of work balancing the different loads, but every second of participating in a DIII sport has been worth it."
For more info in DIII Week -- http://www.ncaa.org/about/division-iii-week-2019