Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Harvard Football Year-End Updates

Although Harvard’s season ended in November with a second consecutive come-from-behind victory over Yale, December has contained a number of newsworthy notes for the Crimson. Here’s a round-up of the end-year and offseason highlights:

  • Harvard came into the first game of the 137th season of Crimson football having lost junior starting Quarterback Collier Winters to a preseason injury. Injuries would be a storyline throughout the season for Harvard, as a number of other players—including key wide receivers Chris Lorditch and Marco Ianuzzi and backup quarterback Andrew Hatch—would miss time. Nonetheless, the Crimson finished the year with a 7-3 mark, including a 2nd-place 5-2 record in Ivy League play. Victories came against Holy Cross, Lafayette, Dartmouth, Cornell, Columbia, Princeton, and Yale, while Harvard dropped contests against Brown, Penn, and Lehigh. With the 2010 season, Harvard becomes the only Ivy League team ever to amass a stretch of 7 consecutive 7+ win seasons.
  • Perhaps the highlight of the year was Harvard’s come-from-behind victory against Yale. Down 14-7 at the half, the Crimson never looked back after Marco Ianuzzi’s 84-yard kickoff return for a touchdown at the start of the 3rd quarter. The Crimson would go on to defeat the Bulldogs for the fourth consecutive time, 28-21. The graduating class of 2011 became the fifth in school history to go undefeated against the Yale Bulldogs.
  • Senior runningback Gino Gordon was the 2010 co-recipient of the Asa S. Bushnell Cup Award. Gordon shared the honor for Ivy League Football Player of the Year with Dartmouth sophomore tailback Nick Schweiger. Gordon and Schweiger both had outstanding seasons on the ground, amassing 1,059 yards and 1,133 yards respectively. Gino Gordon, who is originally from Bonito, California, now sits at fourth among Crimson career rushers with 2,643 yards, and is first in career yards per carry, with 5.3. He is now the fifth Harvard player in the last ten years to be named as Player of the Year, and sixth all time in Crimson history.
  • Senior Wide Receiver Zar Zavala became the sixth athlete in the history of the Harvard football program to be selected for a Rhodes Scholarship. One of four Harvard students to receive the prestigious award this year, Zavala learned of the selection committee’s decision via text message after coming off of the field at the end of The Game. Speaking in the post-game press conference, the Texas native deadpanned that November 20th was probably “the best day of my life.” A joint Engineering Sciences and Neurobiology concentrator, Zavala is one of only two walk-ons that will graduate with the Class of 2011. Zavala was also awarded a Marshall Scholarship, which he will turn down to pursue the Rhodes.
  • Runningback Gino Gordon, Safety Collin Zych, and Junior Defensive Tackle Josue Ortiz were named by the New England Football Writers’ Association to the All-New England Team. Gordon, Zych, and Ortiz were also tabbed as Harvard’s representatives on the All Ivy League first team. Zych and Ortiz joined Princeton WR Trey Peacock and Dartmouth return man Shawn Abuhoff as the league’s only four unanimous selections. Zych—in addition to serving as the 137th Captain of the Crimson—finished the season tied for the team lead in tackles, with 79. Ortiz, meanwhile, led the Crimson with 7.5 sacks for 59 total yards, and was third on the team with 54 tackles overall.
  • Rounding out the All-Ivy League second team for the Crimson were OL Chris LeRoy, OL Brent Osborn, OL Kevin Murphy, RB Treavor Scales, DL Chuks Obi, LB Alex Gedeon, LB Nick Hasselberg, and DB Matt Hanson. TE’s Nicolai Schwarzkopf and Kyle Juszczyk received honorable mentions.
  • Seniors Zar Zavala and Collin Zych were two of ten Harvard athletes recognized as members of the Academic All-Ivy League Team.
  • Among intrasquad honors, Gino Gordon received the Frederick Greeley Crocker Team MVP Award at the year-end banquet.
  • Also at the year-end banquet, rising senior linebacker Alex Gedeon was named the 138th Captain of the Harvard Football Team. Gedeon, who hails from Hudson, Ohio, was fourth on the squad with 49 tackles in 2010, including 5 for a loss. The future captain was also called upon in 2010 to handle some duties as a punter after freshman Jacob Dombrowski suffered an injury in a minor car accident, booting 8 punts for an average of 34.6 yards.
  • Finally—and most importantly—rising senior Alex Sarkisian will serve as co-host for WHRB’s venerable halftime production, Kicking a Touchdown, during the 2011 season. Sarkisian, a wide receiver, will replace graduating senior Nick Hasselberg, who anchored the show for 2010. Charlie Hobbs, WHRB’s color commentator during the 2010 campaign, will serve as co-host with Sarkisian, in the stead of WHRB’s Kara Hollis, who will be graduating in May.

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