PHILADELPHIA — They walked through the dank hallway on Saturday evening, heads down, cleats clicking against the concrete, the silence deafening. A few yards away on the field, the members of the Navy football team were being presented the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy by Vice President Biden, drinking in the cheers from the Navy fans who didn’t want to leave Lincoln Financial Field until they were absolutely certain the trophy was returning to Annapolis.
Trent Steelman was one of the last Army players to walk up the tunnel, in large part because so many Navy players and coaches stopped him for a hug, a handshake or a word of encouragement after the playing of the alma maters. One of the first to find the Black Knights senior quarterback was Navy Coach Ken Niumatalolo, who told him: “You’re as tough as any player I’ve ever competed with or against. I’m proud of you.”