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Andrew Starr has taken the team captain position that Sean Sweeney took from Brian Krause in 2013. Brian Krause had guided the U.S. Army team through the 8-way comeback in 2009 and won the first FAI gold medals for the Golden Knights since 1997 with the 2012 lineup.
Team Captain Kurt Isenbarger defended the 8-way title successfully in 2014 before Sean Sweeney guided the similar 2016 and 2018 lineups to the next gold medals. Andrew Starr first won a gold medal on the 8-way camera for the Golden Knights in 2012 and then as the alternate in 2014. Next he was selected for the active lineup and won his gold medals in 2016 and 2018.
The last step could become the most challenging one for Andrew Starr. He is in a similar situation as Brian Krause was in 2009. The new Golden Knights 8-way team has only three members who continue with the new lineup (Andrew Starr, Jennifer Davidson, David Flynn). It is probably even more difficult than in 2009, as there is also serious domestic competition (Paraclete XP8) this time.
FAI World Meet 2012
FAI World Meet 2014
There is still a question mark behind Matt Davidson. He and Andrew Starr are trying to get an extension for his U.S. Army service, so he can stay on for at least two more years. For the moment, he will be in the alternate position, and the team will train without him until the decision has been made.
Jeshua Stahler, 8-way world champion of 2014 and 2016, came back this year to help out when Larry Miller left and won his third gold medal in Australia. However, he will go back to the 4-way VFS team of the Golden Knights that he had joined at the end of the 2016 season.
The three remaining 8-way world champions were also the newer members of the previous lineup. Jennifer Davidson became the first female member of the Golden Knights 8-way team after winning a gold medal in 4-way Women in 2016. Now she added her first 8-way gold medal to the collection. David Flynn was on camera for the Golden Knights before he started turning points with the 2018 lineup.
FAI Mondial 2016
FAI World Meet 2018
Andrew Starr said that the four new members were selected in May this year, after several interviews with eight candidates and indoor tryouts. Keith Pierce, Nik Grimm, Rico Sifuentes and Andy Sippl are all coming from the U.S. Army's demo team. Andy Sippl will be the new team videographer. One of the three new members may have to switch to the alternate slot if Matt Davidson gets permission to continue with the team. This is currently the new lineup: Andrew Starr (Team Captain), Jennifer Davidson, David Flynn, Joe Bradshaw, John Clavenger, Keith Pierce, Nik Grimm, Rico Sifuentes, Matt Davidson (Alternate), Andy Sippl (Camera).
Andrew Starr said that he wants to get the exit training done with the new team this year, before starting with comprehensive 8-way in March. He plans to attend the Paraclete XP indoor competition in February for the first confrontation with the XP8 team, and he looks forward to running training meets with the strongest opponent on a regular basis in Raeford. It will be an exciting 8-way year in the United States...