Adam Weissenfels defended the Richland High School football team’s end zone for the past three years. Now he’s looking to protect something of a little greater magnitude.
The Richland senior accepted his appointment into the United States Naval Academy on Wednesday, making official his commitment to the prestigious school in Annapolis, Md., and to the U.S. military.
“It’s not just a regular school, it’s kind of setting me up for my career for the rest of my life,” Weissenfels said. “Sometimes thinking about it gets kind of scary because I know what’s on the table and I know what it means to go there, but just that I’ve got my life planned for the next 25 years is super exciting.”
To gain admittance to the academy, Weissenfels was one of 13 high school students in Central Washington to be nominated by congressman Dan Newhouse to the nation’s military schools in January. He also met the academy’s rigorous academic requirements.
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Weissenfels said he hopes to serve as a Naval Pilot, which puts him on almost the identical path as his dad, Bob, who graduated from Hanford High School, earned a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the academy, and had a storied career in aviation, eventually taking command of Tactical Air Control Group ONE in 2012.
Adam Weissenfels could also try equaling some of his father’s athletic success, as Bob was the co-captain of the 1989 Navy football team, the 1991 Navy Athlete of the Year, and co-captain of the 1992 U.S. Olympic bobsledding team. While Adam doesn’t have much experience at the controls of a bobsleigh, he said he may try to parlay his stellar high school football and baseball careers into a walk-on spot with the Midshipmen.
“I’m trying to contact the baseball and football coaches, so we’ll see how that goes,” Adam Weissenfels said. “I’m just going with the flow for now.”
After moving to Richland from San Diego before the start of his freshman year, Weissenfels made the All-MCC football first team twice, and was integral in all three phases for a Bombers team that won 39 games over the past three seasons and earned a trip to the state semifinals in 2015, the state championship in 2016 and beat Woodinville for its third state title in school history this fall. Weissenfels was the All-MCC Defensive Player of the Year, and the Herald’s All-Area and AP All-State 4A Player of the Year during his senior season.
He had received baseball and/or football offers from the College of Idaho, Redlands University, Pacific Lutheran, Puget Sound, Eastern Oregon and other small schools, but had said early in the recruiting process he would likely attend the Naval Academy if admitted.