Tag Archive: Football

  1. FOOTBALL | Reno era begins with win over Georgetown

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    As far as opening games go, this one was certainly not lacking in drama.

    New head coach Tony Reno, rookie quarterback Eric Williams ’16 and a clutch performance by the new-look defense helped Yale (1-0, 0-0 Ivy) escape Georgetown (2-1, 0-0 Patriot) with a wild 24-21 victory this afternoon.

    After the Elis and Hoyas traded fumbles to start the game, Williams led a 14-play, 90-yard drive that was capped by running back Tyler Varga’s ’16 two-yard run into the endzone, putting Yale up 7–0.

    That lead lasted until Georgetown’s Kevin Macari returned punter Kyle Cazzetta’s ’15 punt 79 yards for a touchdown. And the Hoyas didn’t leave the game tied for long. They struck again just three plays later when defensive back Jeremy Moore jumped between a Williams pass and wide receiver Cameron Sandquist ’14, its intended target. Moore returned the interception for a touchdown, giving the home team a 14–7 lead.

    But the Bulldogs wasted no time responding, as Williams led a 51-yard drive into Hoya territory. Kicker Philippe Panico ’13 capped the possession with a 36-yard field goal that cut the deficit to 14-10.

    As the half wound down, Hoya quarterback Aaron Aiken appeared to be on his way to a touchdown and an even wider lead for Georgetown. But with the Yale defense’s backs to the endzone, linebacker Brian Leffler ’13 forced a fumble that defensive back John Powers ’13 recovered at the Yale two-yard line. With just 45 seconds left in the half, Reno decided not to settle for just preventing the Hoya score. He decided to go for a big play — and that is exactly what the Elis got.

    On the next play, Williams wound up and fired a long pass 40 yards downfield towards Sandquist. The ball appeared to be underthrown, until Georgetown defensive back Malcolm Caldwell-Meeks tipped it into Sandquist’s waiting hands. The wide receiver ran untouched into the end zone to give Yale a surprising 17-14 lead at the half. The 98-yard bomb was the longest play from scrimmage in the history of Yale football.

    The second half opened on a high note for the Elis, when linebacker Will McHale sacked Aiken to stop a Hoya drive at midfield. But a wild shotgun snap by center John Oppenheimer ’14 on the ensuing drive gave Georgetown the ball back, and the Hoyas capitalized with a 32-yard rushing score by tailback Dalen Claytor, giving the home team a 21–17 lead.

    Yale’s defense stepped up on the next drive, however; with defensive end Kolu Buck ’14 forcing a fumble that end Allen Davis ’13 recovered at the Georgetown 14. It took the Elis just two plays to capitalize on the defense’s work. Varga scored virtually untouched from nine yards out to take the lead back, 24-21.

    The Bulldog defense then took over the fourth quarter, stopping the Hoyas on two straight fourth-and-one plays before the final drive.

    With just 2:23 remaining in the game, Aiken began leading Georgetown down the field to try and tie or win the game. His pass on second-and-four from the Georgetown 46 appeared to fly harmlessly out of bounds, but defensive back Collin Bibb ’13 was called for a late hit that gave the Hoyas a first down at the Yale 39.

    From there, Aiken drove the Hoyas all the way to the Yale 17 when Georgetown decided to try and win it with 40 seconds to go. Aiken sent a pass into the end zone, where Bibb redeemed himself for the earlier penalty with a leaping interception. From there, the Elis were able to run out the clock on the opening day victory, and proceeded to douse Reno in Gatorade to celebrate his first win.

    Williams finished 19-30 for 250 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions, while running backs Mordecai Cargill ’13 and Varga finished with 76 and 93 yards rushing, respectively. Sandquist led the receiving corps with nine receptions for 187 yards and a touchdown. Aiken finished 11-25 for 94 yards in the air, but ran for another 72 yards to lead a Hoya ground attack that totaled 260 yards.

    Yale will travel to Ithaca, NY Saturday, Sept. 22, to face Cornell.

  2. FOOTBALL | LIVE BLOG: Yale vs. Georgetown

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  3. FOOTBALL | Keys to the Game

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    ESTABLISH THE RUN

    Running against Georgetown (2–0, 0–0 Patriot League) has been like trying to bust through a stone wall so far this year, but that is exactly what the Elis will have to do tomorrow. The Hoyas have conceded a total of 76 rushing yards in two games so far, including -18 yards against Davidson in their season opener. Yale will need to make sure that rookie quarterback Eric Williams ’16 is comfortable in the passing game, and that is much easier to do if he isn’t forced into long yardage situations that will allow the Hoyas to apply pressure. If running backs Mordecai Cargill ’13 and Tyler Varga ’16 can put pressure on the defense, that will pull the Hoyas into the box and create favorable matchups for the Bulldogs in the passing game. This would give Williams a few easy throws to get his confidence up and the offense rolling.

    CONTAIN THE QUARTERBACK

    Last year the Bulldogs faced a Hoya attack that threw on 51 of its 79 offensive plays, but Georgetown will not look the same on offense this year. Despite returning quarterback Isaiah Kempf, who threw for 1,268 yards and 10 scores last year, the Hoyas opted to give the reins to dual-threat quarterback Aaron Aiken this year. The decision has paid off for sixth-year coach Kevin Kelly, as the team has averaged 360 yards of total offense per game this season. More than 60 percent of that offense has come on the ground, however, with the Hoyas calling plays for Aiken’s legs more often than for his arm. If the Blue and White defense can force Aiken to stay in the pocket and try to make plays through the air, it can pressure him into mistakes.

    SCORE IN THE RED ZONE

    The Hoyas have been stingy on defense this year, allowing just 24 points in two games so far. Georgetown has let its opponents into the red zone just three times this season, but all three trips have resulted in touchdowns. If the Bulldogs want to score on the Hoyas, they will have to improve on a red zone offense that scored just 63.4 percent of the time last year, good for seventh in the Ancient Eight. Georgetown has yet to allow a rushing touchdown, so that will put the pressure on Williams and on Yale’s wide receiver corps, which will be without its two top receivers. Chris Smith ’13 is taking the semester off for personal reasons, while Deon Randall ’13 will miss the game with an injury.

  4. FOOTBALL | Elis open season against Hoyas

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    For the sixth straight year, Yale will open its football season against Georgetown, and the Elis are hoping that Saturday plays out like the last five matchups.

    The Bulldogs (0-0, 0-0 Ivy) have downed the Hoyas (2-0, 0-0 Patriot) five years running, most recently winning 37-27 in the Yale Bowl Sept. 17, 2011, behind a four touchdown-performance from quarterback Patrick Witt ’12.

    This year there will be a new Eli behind center, head coach Tony Reno announced Tuesday.

    “Eric [Williams ‘16] will start,” Reno said. “I made a decision over the weekend.”

    Quarterback John Whitelaw ‘14, who was the only quarterback on the roster with experience at the college level, sent an email to his teammates Tuesday afternoon informing them that he was leaving the football team.

    Reno said that Whitelaw dropped football “to pursue other interests,” and that Derek Russell ’13 and Logan Scott ’16 will become the back-up quarterbacks.

    Russell was listed as a wide receiver, but played quarterback for Newton South High School prior to attending Yale.

    “It caught me by surprise a little bit actually,” Russell said of his position change. “I actually played defense last fall. I’ve moved around a lot, [so] I’m ready for whatever.”

    Williams will be tested early by the Hoyas, whose stalwart defense on the ground could force the rookie signal caller to show off his arm early on Saturday. Georgetown has given up a total of just 76 rushing yards in two games so far this season. Opponents are averaging a miserly 1.4 yards per carry.

    In order to pave the way for the Bulldogs’ rushing attack, the offensive line will have to win the battle in the trenches. Running back Mordecai Cargill ’13 expressed confidence that the O-line is ready for the challenge.

    “I don’t want to offend any of the linemen I’ve had in the past,” Cargill said. “I feel like this is the best line that I’ve run behind in my time here. Coach [Joe] Conlin has done a great job with the guys, getting them prepared for basically anything that they may come across in games. They’ve responded well to his coaching.”

    The game will not get any easier on the other side of the ball for Yale, either. Georgetown has won both of its games so far this year by pounding away at the opposing defense, averaging 223 rushing yards per game. Nose guard Chris Dooley ’13 said that the Elis’ new 3-4 defense will help them shut down the Hoyas.

    “The new defense, I really like it,” Dooley said. “It’s a lot simpler than the old one.”

    Dooley added that playing against Yale’s no-huddle offense in practice has helped to condition the defense.

    “Our defense is in great shape,” Dooley said. “We fly to the ball. There are eleven guys at every tackle.”

    The new defensive style and conditioning was put in place by Reno to improve a defense that lost nine starters from a squad that finished fifth in the Ivy League last year in scoring defense.

    Kickoff for the 140th season of Yale football will be at 1 p.m.

  5. Football coaches lead off the field

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    Mostly known for calling plays, Yale’s football coaching staff has been getting in the game to help register potential bone marrow donors.

    Forty years ago, Andy Talley and Larry Ciotti were best friends, roommates, and teammates on the football team at Southern Connecticut State University. Now Talley is in his 28th season as the head coach of the Villanova Football team and Ciotti is the Bulldogs’ running backs coach.

    When Talley was contacted by the Be the Match Registry in 2008 to help start drives on other college campuses, Ciotti was more than happy to help his old friend.

    “It’s an amazing thing,” Ciotti said. “We can make a difference in life.”

    Ciotti added that as the football team began to work on its first drive for Talley’s “Get in the Game, Save a Life” program, Mandi Schwartz ’11 was diagnosed with leukemia. The women’s ice hockey team then joined with the football team in a collaborative effort.

    Women’s ice hockey forward Jenna Ciotti ’14 said that the team wanted to begin a donor registration drive as a “search for a match for Mandi within Yale and in her memory.”

    That year the Bulldogs registered the most potential donors out of anyone in the “Get in the Game” program with more than 850 registrations, according to Ciotti. Ciotti’s work with the program has had an effect on his players.

    “To see how … Coach Ciotti is so passionate about [the drive] made me really want to step my game up last year,” running back Mordecai Cargill ’13 said.

    Several other members of the coaching staff have been particularly involved in the program. Head coach Tony Reno said that he works with the players to solicit new potential donors. Volunteer Assistant Chris Gennaro recently donated his bone marrow. He registered at a similar drive in 2009 when he was a member of the University of Maine football team. He stressed that the procedure was painless, and that he hopes to continue working with donor registration drives.

    “As long as I’m [at Yale], I’m going to be involved,” Gennaro said.

    Director of Football Operations Nick Kray also has ties to the Get in the Game program. Joining the Elis after two years at Villanova, Kray was active in Villanova’s donor registration drives, Ciotti said.

    The players have taken the examples of their coaches in working on the drive.

    Will McHale ’13 has served as a member of the committee that organizes the Mandi Schwartz Donor Registration Drive, quarterback John Whitelaw ’14 said, but McHale’s role in the program could be adding a new dimension. Ciotti said that McHale was contacted by the National Bone Marrow Registry as a possible donor. McHale declined to comment.

    Members of the team who are not a part of the committee are still active in the drive soliciting students to join the registry.

    “My main responsibility for the job was being a hawker,” nose guard Chris Dooley ’13 said. “I pretty much harass people on the street and try to get them to sign up for the registry. Not to be arrogant, but I’m pretty good at it.”

    Field hockey back Lexy Adams ’13 said she was recruited by a football player to join the registry and became a bone marrow donor. She said that the size of the football team helps the registration drive.

    “As a team of around 100 players and each being responsible for their five recruited registrants, [the football team] massively contributes to our large turnouts each year,” Adams said in a message to the News. “[O]n the day of the drive, the football players stake themselves out on Cross Campus, Old Campus and Commons to convince people to make it over to the drive — and with the numbers we’ve registered in the last four years, they are pretty darn good at it.”

    So far, the drive has found 14 matches that have led to life-saving bone marrow donations.

  6. QB Whitelaw ’14 quits football team

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    When the football team leaves campus Thursday evening for its season opener at Georgetown, quarterback John Whitelaw ’14 will not be on board.

    Whitelaw announced his departure from the football team in an email to his teammates Tuesday, the News has learned. His decision comes in the wake of head coach Tony Reno’s announcement that Eric Williams ’16 would start at quarterback against Georgetown on Saturday. After spring practice last year, Whitelaw had widely been expected to be named starter in the fall.

    The loss of the veteran Whitelaw is the latest in a string of offseason obstacles for the Bulldogs. Following controversies over the resignation of former head coach Tom Williams and the Rhodes Scholarship candidacy of Patrick Witt ’12, the team experienced another setback in August when linebacker Will McHale ’13 had his captaincy suspended following a fight at Toad’s Place in May.

    Prior to his leaving the team, Whitelaw was featured in head coach Tony Reno’s game plan for Saturday and both Whitelaw and Williams were listed as possible starters on the media depth chart.

    “Eric will start, I made a decision over the weekend,” Reno said at a lunch with members of the media yesterday, prior to Whitelaw’s announcement. “[But] John [Whitelaw] will play.”

    Reno said that Whitelaw left the team “to pursue other interests.” He added, however, that Whitelaw’s departure would not affect his young quarterback.

    “I don’t think there’s any more pressure at all [on Williams],” Reno said. “He’s got 10 guys [with him].”

    Although he has never taken a collegiate snap, Williams has already gained the confidence of his teammates.

    “I’ve just been really impressed by Eric’s raw talent,” running back Mordecai Cargill ’13 said. “He is a freshman so he makes mistakes here and there, like dropping the ball sometimes or causing us to do extra running at the end of practice. But there are also times he makes throws that wow you.”

    Williams is also no stranger to Yale — his brothers Sean Williams ’11 and Scott Williams ’13 have both played for the Blue and White.

    Derek Russell ’13 and Logan Scott ’16 will be the new primary back-ups, Reno said.

    Russell is listed as a wide receiver on the roster and has spent the past three years on the junior varsity team. He threw for 2,100 yards and 21 touchdowns as quarterback for Newton South High School in 2008. He also ran for 500 yards and eight more scores.

    Scott was a three-sport athlete for Chaminade College Preparatory School in California and was recruited to play a sport at Boise State, Nevada and San Diego State, among other schools.

    Whitelaw was unavailable for comment, and several of his former teammates declined to comment, with one of them doing so because Whitelaw’s departure was “a sore subject.”

    Whitelaw saw action in five games last year, completing one of four passes for eight yards and running for fourteen yards on five carries. He spent his freshman campaign on the JV squad, but he received the spring practice quarterback award in 2012.

  7. FOOTBALL | QB Whitelaw ’14 quits team

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    When the football team leaves campus Thursday evening for its season-opener at Georgetown, quarterback John Whitelaw ’14 will not be on board.

    Whitelaw announced his departure from the football team in an email to his teammates Tuesday, the News has learned. His decision comes in the wake of head coach Tony Reno’s announcement that Eric Williams ’16 would start at quarterback against Georgetown. After spring practice last year, Whitelaw had widely been expected to be named starter in the fall.

    Prior to his leaving the team, Whitelaw was featured in head coach Tony Reno’s game plan for Saturday and both Whitelaw and Williams were listed as possible starters on the depth chart.

    “Eric will start, I made a decision over the weekend,” Reno said at a lunch with members of the media yesterday. “[But] John [Whitelaw] will play.”

    Reno said in an interview Tuesday evening that Whitelaw left the team “to pursue other interests.” He added, however, that Whitelaw’s departure would not affect Williams, his rookie quarterback.

    “I don’t think there’s any more pressure at all [on Williams],” Reno said. “He’s got 10 guys [with him].”

    Derek Russell ’13 and Logan Scott ’16 will be the new primary back-ups, according to Reno.

    Russell is listed as a wide receiver on the roster and has spent the past three years on the junior varsity team. He threw for 2,100 yards and 21 touchdowns as quarterback for Newton South High School in 2008. He also ran for 500 yards and eight more scores.

    Scott was a three-sport athlete for Chaminade and was recruited to play a sport at Boise State, Nevada and San Diego State among other schools.

    Whitelaw did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday afternoon and evening, and several of his former teammates declined to comment, with one of them doing so because Whitelaw’s departure was “a sore subject.”

    Whitelaw saw action in five games last year, completing one of four passes for eight yards and running for fourteen yards on five carries. He spent his freshman campaign on the JV squad, but he received the spring practice quarterback award in 2012.

  8. FOOTBALL | Elis take a new route

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    Under the management of new head coach Tony Reno, Yale’s football program is already seeing major changes. For starters, this fall will be the team’s first season without a captain in its 140-year history.

    Linebacker Will McHale ’13, who was voted captain of the team last winter, had his captaincy suspended following an altercation in May at Toad’s Place in which he allegedly punched another student in the face. Reno said that McHale will not be reinstated or replaced as captain, and that the player who will represent the Bulldogs at the opening coin toss will be decided each week by a special vote by the players.

    Reno took over the reins as the 34th head coach of Yale football last spring and has been picking up the speed of Yale football ever since.

    Under the new coaching staff, the Bulldogs will shake things up on both sides of the ball. Tight end Kyle Wittenauer ’14 said that the Blue and White will be employing a spread offense to open up the field and create pressure.

    Nose guard Chris Dooley ’13 added that the Elis will be switching to a 3–4 defense, as opposed to the four defensive linemen, three linebacker alignment deployed under previous head coach Tom Williams.

    “I like the 3–4 better because it is harder [for the offense] to block,” Dooley said. “In the 4–3 there was less pressure on me because I wasn’t getting double-teamed … [but] I like the pressure.”

    The transition to the no-huddle spread offense is one of the differences between Reno’s tenure as head coach and his previous 2003-’08 stint with the Bulldogs as a wide receiver and defensive secondary coach, he said.

    In addition to the game plan, Reno has also changed the way the team practices. Recalling the methods of former head coach Jack Siedlecki, Reno has split practices into shorter periods.

    “[Periods are designed] to keep practice structured and to keep drills and routines moving,” Reno said.

    The change has led to more intense practices, players said. Wideout Cameron Sandquist ’14 added that the practices have already shown dividends in the spring game and in scrimmages.

    “We’ve just seen how by overtraining in practice and keeping the tempo high in practice we can keep our opponents on their heels,” Sandquist said. “It helps slow the game down for us … allows us to be a lot more comfortable.”

    Even with the heightened intensity, the team has lost only three members since preseason started earlier this month. One freshman walk-on and two upperclassmen had quit the program by the first day of practice, according to Reno, though he added that one player may decide to return upon resolving personal issues.

    Wide receiver Chris Smith ’13 will also not be playing this season. Reno said Smith has taken the fall semester off for personal reasons, but will return to the Yale Bowl for the 2013 season. Smith was second on the team with 28 receptions last year and had a team-high 602 yards and six touchdowns before an injury sidelined him for the last two games of the season.

    The team will also have to replace leading rusher running back Alex Thomas ’12 and quarterback Patrick Witt ’12. John Whitelaw ’14 is poised to take over as the signal caller, and running back Mordecai Cargill ’13 will fill Thomas’ absence. Last year, Cargill showed his potential at Columbia on Oct. 29, when he rushed for 230 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Elis to a 16–13 win on a snowy day at the Baker Bowl.

    Defensively, the Bulldogs are returning just three starters from last year’s squad. The defense will be led by McHale, who has 133 tackles and three interceptions in his Yale career.

    The football season will begin Sept. 15 at Georgetown.

  9. Yale football devotee Wallace ’45W dies at 88

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    William N. Wallace ’45W, a former New York Times sports writer and lifelong Yale football fan, died Aug. 11 of acute myeloid leukemia in Norwalk, Conn. He was 88.

    Wallace’s sportswriting career began at the News, where he covered football and other sports as a Yale undergraduate. After graduation, he reported on local sports for several New York newspapers before joining the Times in 1963.

    Wallace wrote about Ivy League football for the Times and was one of the first reporters in the country to cover professional football on a national scale. Wallace received the Dick McCann Memorial Award from the Pro Football Writers of America in 1986 for his pioneering coverage and his contributions to the field. Throughout his career Wallace wrote extensively about professional football and myriad other professional and collegiate sports, including baseball, yachting and crew, though he always held a special spot in his heart for Yale football.

    Wallace’s daughter, Carol Wallace Hamlin, said his passion for sports started at a young age and never relented.

    “Sports was a metaphor to him — a narrative,” she said. “He was always able to turn a sporting contest into more than the number of innings or downs.”

    In 1934, Wallace, aged ten, attended the famed Yale-Princeton football game at Palmer Stadium. Eleven Bulldogs played both offense and defense with no substitutions for the entire 60-minute game. That roster snapped the Tigers’ two-year, 15-game winning streak, and inspired Wallace’s book, “Yale’s Ironmen” 71 years later. Wallace’s last article of his 44-year career at the New York Times was a Dec. 2007 obituary of James DeAngelis ’35, the last surviving member of the 1934 lineup.

    Wallace was a fixture at the Yale Bowl on Saturdays for more than sixty years and rarely missed a home game. Even after his retirement from the Times he kept and was re-issued press credentials so that he could continue to watch the game from the press box.

    Steve Conn, Yale’s associate athletics director, said Wallace focused carefully on every play.

    “It wasn’t a time to ask questions during the game, but he was always happy to share his thoughts at half-time or after the game,” Conn said.

    By his own admission, Wallace was too small to be a serious football player, but he had a passion for the game that he combined with his gift for writing over the course of a distinguished career. Wallace had a talent for bringing together the things he loved — Yale, football and writing. Until this year he organized a group of former Yale newsmen spanning more than thirty years in age that gathered regularly for lunch at Mory’s. The group most recently met in April, when they sat at their usual table under a photo of the Yale Ironmen.

    During his time at Yale, Wallace was a catcher for Branford College’s baseball team and also wrote a football column for the News. He graduated in 1949 with a B.A. in history after serving four years in World War II. Wallace was a prominent figure on campus, according to his classmates, and was described by his friends as fiercely loyal to everyone around him.

    “He was the kind of man who made a friend wherever he went,” said John Rohrbach ’45W, Wallace’s friend and colleague at the News. “He wasn’t casual about his acquaintances though: friendship for him was a long-lasting affair.”

    Donald Marshman ‘45, a fellow member of the Mory’s group along with Rohrbach, added that Wallace always seemed to be heading off to another corner of the country for classmate’s birthdays, anniversaries or other special events.

    Wallace served as corresponding secretary for the class of ’45W and was responsible for compiling the class notes that are included in every issue of the Yale Alumni Magazine. As the members of a class grow older, it increasingly becomes the job of the corresponding secretary to bear notice of his classmates’ deaths, most often in two or three brief sentences. But Marshman said Wallace treated his role differently.

    “[He] would write little biographies for each one, so that in each issue there would be five fairly lengthy paragraphs,” he said. “It was partly because he was a journalist and he was doing what came naturally, but that work takes time and effort, and he put it in happily. He was very loyal to his class and to Yale.”

    Wallace never quit reporting on the Bulldogs, and his readers never quit following. For the last few years of his life, Wallace wrote and distributed a newsletter on Yale football entitled “Bullpoop.” Set up as a humorous fictional conversation between the old, romantic “Bull” and the younger, better-informed “Dog,” Wallace’s Bullpoop recapped football games and discussed current events and Yale football trends.

    “I was amazed at the length of the list of his followers,” Richard Mooney ’47 said. “As far the Yale circuit was concerned, he was Yale football.”

    While he distributed his newsletter to a few hundred Yale alumni, his nephew Sanford Miller added that many subscribers would send out “Bullpoop” to more people, and readership was likely in the thousands. Wallace’s last issue came out on Apr. 22 of this year.

    Wallace remained passionately concerned with the changing state of Yale Athletics for the entirety of his life.

    “He was adamant about the fact that Yale sports were a huge part of the culture of the Yale he and his fellow Yalies knew,” Chelsea Janes, a former sports staff columnist for the News, said. Wallace gave a speech at a Yale class dinner in October 2011 on the subject of athletics and admissions, she added.

    “In the hospital when we visited him 10 days before he died, he was still going on about the plight of Yale’s recruiting,” Wallace Hamlin said. “Right up to the end he was paying attention to what was going on, he was so keen on the institution of Yale.”

    In addition to his daughter Wallace Hamlin, Wallace is survived by his wife, Linda; three other daughters, Eve and Josephine Wallace and Alexis Silverman; a stepdaughter, Samantha De Refler; a sister, Susan Drake; and five grandchildren.

  10. McHale’s ’13 football captaincy suspended

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    Yale football captain Will McHale ’13 had his captaincy suspended Saturday due to a fight he had in May with another male student.

    McHale, who was arrested May 15 by Yale Police, faces a charge of creating a public disturbance, an infraction. He has not yet entered a plea, and is due to appear in court on Friday.

    A Saturday press release by Yale Athletics announced that McHale requested the suspension.

    “Will made a poor decision and his actions are unacceptable to Yale and our football program,” Head Coach Tony Reno said in the Yale Athletics statement. “He remains an important part of our team, and I fully expect him to work to restore his credibility in the Yale community while remaining a leader on and off the field.”

    In the release, McHale said he hoped to put the matter behind him and “regain the trust and confidence that comes with being a member of the Yale football team.”

    McHale was elected as the 135th captain of the Yale football team Nov. 17 in a unanimous vote by his teammates. He has 133 career tackles and was second-team all-Ivy in 2011.

  11. Stoller ’12 headed for NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers

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    A Yale football player received a rookie free agent contract after last weekend’s NFL draft.

    Jake Stoller ’12, a defensive tackle, signed a free agent contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers after the draft finished April 28. Quarterback Patrick Witt ’12, who participated in the annual NFL combine earlier this year, remains unsigned.

    Stoller was one of twelve rookies who signed with the Steelers after the draft. He recorded 4.5 sacks his senior season on his way to being named second team All-Ivy. He also received Yale’s Jordan Olivar Award, which is awarded to the Yale football player most respected by his teammates.

    Witt is looking to join Stoller in the NFL. The quarterback was scheduled for a tryout with the Atlanta Falcons this weekend, and Stoller said Witt is in contact with several other teams, whose names he would not disclose.

    In three years with the Blue and White after transferring from Nebraska, the 6’4” quarterback completed 60.1 percent of his passes for 37 touchdowns. The Bleacher Report’s Zachary Rymer argued that Witt’s draft stock may have been hurt after The New York Times reported in January that a Yale student had filed an informal complaint of sexual assault against Witt.

  12. Harvard newspaper compares Yale football to the Miami Heat

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    An inexplicable article posted to the Harvard Crimson’s sports blog on Monday claims Yale football is the Miami Heat of the Ivy League.

    The author points out the similarities between Lebron James and former Yale quarterback Patrick Witt ’12, noting their shared ability to make headlines.

    “With Lebron’s rapidly receding hairline in mind it’s clear that being the center of attention can come with its pressures,” the article states. “That’s something Yale QB Patrick Witt should be familiar with.”

    The article also claims that Yale’s football team tends to vanish in the fourth quarter, just like the Heat. We can’t really argue with that, but we can say that Yale’s new coaching lineup includes several defected Cantabs, and that the Crimson should be ready for fire in fall 2012.