FOOTBALL: Bulldogs leave 2022 on top
Owens ’24 named captain for Yale football team in 2023 and 19 Bulldogs earn All-Ivy honors as Team 149 wraps up season.
The 2022 football season was one to remember for Yale’s Team 149.
Following their win in the 138th Yale-Harvard Game which secured the Ivy League title, several Bulldogs earned end-of-year honors. Highlighting the group’s accomplishments, cornerback Wande Owens ’24 was named captain of Team 150, next season’s team.
“I am honored and humbled to be elected captain,” Owens said to Yale Athletics. “It’s a new page and a new mission. We have an incredible opportunity to come back and do the same thing again.”
As Ivy League champions, the Bulldogs were winners of numerous awards, both nationally and in the Ivy League. The big winners were head coach Tony Reno and first-year running back Joshua Pitsenberger ’26.
Reno won Ivy League Coach of the Year after tallying his third Ivy League championship victory at the helm of the Yale team.
Pitsenberger had an all-time rookie season in the Bulldogs backfield. After finishing fourth in the Ivy League in rushing yards, the first year ended the season with four Ivy League Rookie of the Week selections and capped it off by winning the Ivy Rookie of the Year. Pitsenberger was also selected as one of 25 finalists for the 2022 Stats Perform Jerry Rice Award for the best first year in the FCS.
Pitsenberger was also named to the All-Ivy First Team, where he was joined by five teammates: center and captain Nick Gargiulo ’23, offensive tackle Kiran Amegadjie ’24, quarterback Nolan Grooms ’24, punter and kicker Jack Bosman ’24 and Owens.
The All-Ivy First Team selections were also joined by four more Bulldogs on the Second Team and nine Honorable Mentions.
In addition to his All-Ivy First Team selection, Grooms is also a finalist for the 2022 Asa S. Bushnell Cup for the Ivy League’s offensive player of the year. Harvard running back Aidan Borguet is the other finalist for the award. The two faced off in the final game of the year, where Grooms led the Bulldogs to a victory with 207 total yards and a passing touchdown while the Yale defense limited Borguet to a season-low 62 yards.
“I’m extremely proud of what Team 149 was able to accomplish this season,” Gargiulo said.
The end-of-season awards demonstrated the excellency required to be captain of the Yale football team, as both Gargiulo and Owens were unanimous All-Ivy First Team selections. Both players were also chosen for the New England Football Writers Association All-New England team.
The team, along with notable guests including Yale President Peter Salovey, honored their senior class on the Sunday after The Game in the Schwarzman Center.
Sixteen team awards were handed out at the event. Notably, Pitsenberger won the Charles Loftus Award for the most valuable first-year player on the team, tight end Garry Raymond ’23 won the Special Teams Award and defensive linemen Osorachukwu Ifesinachukwu ’23 and Reid Nickerson ’23 received the D-Line Award.
Nickerson also won the Edwin Foster (“Ted”) Blair Award, given to the team’s Most Valuable Player, and Ifesinachukwu was named as a finalist for the 2022 FedEx Ground Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete Award, which is presented to and FCS student-athlete who excels on the field, in the classroom and in their community.
As the team now transitions into the offseason, the Bulldogs believe they can build on this season’s performance and excel in the Ivy League once again next year.
“We’re all thinking very positively, we have high hopes,” Sean Guyton ’25, who plays cornerback opposite Owens, said. “Now we’re just looking to improve on things.”
The 2022 season saw the Bulldogs win their third Ivy League championship and second outright championship of the past four seasons.