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These cadets pack some punch

Apr. 14, 2011 - 03:04PM   |   Last Updated: Apr. 14, 2011 - 03:04PM  |  

Don't tell West Point coach Bobbi Scroggin that women don't know how to take a punch — or land one.

While the U.S. Military Academy celebrated Women's History Month throughout March, a group of female cadets led by Scroggin were making history of their own.

On March 7, the West Point women's boxing team made its debut at the Maryland Boxing Invitational, winning three of four bouts and creating a distinct presence in the arena of collegiate boxing.

"We went there, represented, and it was pretty flawless," Scroggin said. "I think we really showed off our talents, so I was very proud. I've received a lot of feedback from other college coaches."

A year ago, Scroggins found herself recruited by female cadets eager to lace up their gloves. Scroggin said word must have leaked that she was a former boxer who went All-Army during her active-duty career. She was the first All-Army female light welterweight champion in 2002 and trained male boxers while on duty in Germany and Afghanistan.

Her fledgling team drew a huge response by earning a bout at the 2010 Brigade Boxing Open. It featured a bloody battle between two plebes, Cadets Sarah Pendergraft and Brandi-el Cook.

This year, team tryouts were held in January, whittling down a pool of more than 30 hard-hitting hopefuls into a 12-member roster.

"They're willing to do everything I ask without hesitation. No questions asked," Scroggin said of her team. "They're very dedicated and extremely hard workers."

The team was headed into the ring April 8 for the National Collegiate Boxing Association Championships being held at West Point. Find out how they did at After Action, the Military Times sports blog, at militarytimes.com/blogs/afteraction.

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