Fort Gordon wins fourth regional cup
February 1, 2013
By Nathan Deen
FORT BENNING, Ga. (Jan. 30, 2013) -- The total points favored Fort Benning, but the rules favored Fort Gordon, Ga.
Fort Gordon won its fourth consecutive Four Post Games, hosted by the Fort Benning Warrior Transition Battalion, which began Jan. 22 and concluded Friday.
Fort Benning would have won the Games' regional cup -- on its own turf, no less -- had it not been for a technicality. Fort Benning finished with 41 total points, Fort Gordon had 38.5, followed by Fort Jackson (11.5) and Fort Stewart (8).
Fort Benning officials determined that out of the four installations competing, none were allowed to field more than 20 athletes to participate throughout the week of events, which included cycling, archery, track and field, swimming, sitting volleyball, shooting and wheelchair basketball.
However, Maj. Matthew Morgan, Fort Benning WTB commander, said Fort Benning unintentionally breached that limit by one athlete during Friday's wheelchair basketball game, the final event of the Games.
Going into Friday, Fort Benning had just a half-point lead over Fort Gordon and dominated wheelchair basketball with a 20-6 win. Morgan announced the cup would be going back to Fort Gordon after he realized the rules had been broken.
"The intent is to make sure there's an even playing field," Morgan said. "If each unit shows up and brings as many as 200 participants, that obviously changes their chances of winning. We didn't scrub our own rosters as clean as we should have."
Going into the basketball game, Fort Benning had 18 athletes who had competed in at least one event.
"We didn't catch it until the game had already started," Morgan said. "We had three guys who played basketball who didn't play any other sports this week. We could have pulled them … and then been under the cap."
The Four Post Games are a prelude to the 2013 Warrior Games May 11-17 in Colorado Springs, Colo., Morgan said.
"Unfortunately, this year, we don't have anyone from Fort Benning eligible," he said.
"We had some guys who we thought had the potential to get there, but through the natural vetting process, they got weeded out. The intent of this is for those who are weeded out. You still get to play, participate and have a good time, you just don't get to go to the big dance."
The events of the Four Post Games took place in various places throughout the tricommunity area. The track and field events took place at Lakebottom Park, while Columbus State University hosted swimming and Archery Connection (in Phenix City) hosted the archery competition.
"I think it was a success," Morgan said. "We spent nine weeks planning this out. We had one technicality that we can easily fix. In the big scheme, all the events were awesome."
Competing in track and field for the first time Thursday, Fort Benning's Hamed Sikandary won the men's 200-meter sprint and finished second in the men's 100.
"I was surprised how well I did," Sikandary said. "I looked to my sides to see if anyone was close to me, but they were nowhere close."
Fort Benning proved its strong suit was basketball, while Fort Gordon dominated archery and shooting, placing four of the top six slots in archery, and the top two in shooting, Fort Gordon WTB commander Lt. Col. Brian McCormack said.
McCormack said he expects to send more athletes this year to the Warrior Games.
"Everyone wants to win, so we've kept our competitive edge," McCormack said. "No one knows for sure yet. I had one make it last year, but I think this year will probably be three."