Army-Navy game fuels Neville family rivalry

Posted at 11:25 PM, Dec 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-11 23:47:36-05

Saturday's Army-Navy Game dates back to the year 1890, but only recently did it become a matchup that has one local family divided on game day.

In the 1990s, Capt. Tommy Neville was a defensive lineman for the Navy Midshipmen. In 2015, it came time for his son, Trey, to choose where he would play football and he opted for his father's rival, Army.

"I told Trey, you have four years," said Tommy, Commanding Officer of DLA Norfolk, Virginia. "I was gonna stick with my blood for the four years while he was at West Point.”

During each Neville's time at their respective academies, Army had a 3-1 record against Navy.

"Only year we won was my plebe year, which is your freshman year," Tommy said. "Those next three games we lost by a total of five points."

"My plebe year was the first time we beat Navy in like 13, 14 years," said Trey, a 2nd Lt.

Longer than the streak that Navy held for so many years is the series' streak of being played at a neutral site. This game typically takes place at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, but because of the state's limit on crowd size, the Midshipmen and Cadets would not have been able to attend.

As a result, Army's Michie Stadium plays host for the first time since World War II.

"It’s without a doubt a huge advantage for Army to have this thing up on the dark, gloomy, grey Hudson River up there," Tommy said. "It’s gonna be good for them."

"I only graduated a year ago so I still have friends on the team and friends that coach now," Trey said. "They’re all pretty jacked that it’s at West Point so they don’t have to travel."

When Army and Navy face off at 3 p.m. on Saturday they'll want nothing more than to beat one another, but, "At the end of the day we’re all on the same team.

"We want to beat Army's like nobody's business and they want to beat Navy like nobody's business, but we do respect each other," Tommy said. "There's no question about it."