VMI Boxing Among the Best in Nation
LEXINGTON (WSLS 10 SPORTS) - It's a team that's been around for decades but have emerged over the past few years. As part of the United States Intercollegiate Boxing Association, VMI has already made a statement in a league that's just five years old.
"You see these students really push themselves. They face adversity and it really teaches them how to overcome it and how to deal with it", said head coach Larry Hinojosa.
Hinojosa and his assistant Joe Shafer have led the Keydets to their first team title back in 2015. Since then the duo they has continued to train college champions in Lexington.
"It's a motivator for me seeing these guys and gals put it all out there. They're passionate and fighting and I really hold it dear to my heart", said Shafer.
Last weekend VMI hosted the USIBA Nationals for the first time, where they rose to the occasion. As a team they finished second in the nation with 16 All-Americans and 6 individual champions, one of which made history. Chelsea "Gatling Gun" Sias became the first female boxing champ in VMI history, after winning her 152 pound beginner match.
"The third round I said forget the strategy lets just go all out and I didn't think it was enough. Then the ref raised my hand and you can ask any cadet up there I was like 'what'?
While winning championships will always be the goal, the team says the real reward means much more than a belt here at VMI.
Coach Hinojosa explains, "I believe that the VMI boxing team is having an impact on the culture here at VMI."
"Magic" Mike Marta added, "Fortitude and how to get through hard scenarios and how to fight through everything it's just like boxing. You get knocked down you have to get back up, you get hit you have to keep going."
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