Three Seniors Headline All-Ivy Honorees

Published by Christina C. Mcclintock on November 24, 2010 at 3:11AM

After a year in which they intimidated everybody in their path, it was fitting that senior Josue Ortiz and captain Collin Zych were the only two defensive players to be selected unanimously to the All-Ivy First Team. Harvard's leader on the defensive line, Ortiz finished the season as the Ancient Eight's leader in tackles for loss and the runner-up in sacks, with 7.5 and 13.5 respectively. Zych, meanwhile, finished the season with 79 tackles to bring his career total to 224.

Joining the two of them on the first team is senior running back Gino Gordon, who last night received the Frederick Greeley Crocker Award as the team's most valuable player. Gordon was the first Crimson back since Clifton Dawson '07 to rush for over 1000 yards in a season, finishing the 2010 campaign with 1059 yards. He also graduates as Harvard's all-time leader in yards per carry with 5.3.

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Gedeon Elected 138th Captain of Harvard Football, Gordon Named MVP

Published by Max N. Brondfield on November 23, 2010 at 3:11AM
Geddy Up

Junior linebacker Alex Gedeon was chosen by his teammates to be the 138th captain of Harvard football.

Before the Crimson football team’s matchup with Penn on Nov. 13, Harvard coach Tim Murphy noted that Collin Zych and Alex Gedeon acted like the two captains of defense. Turns out Murphy’s analysis was spot on.

The coach announced at the team banquet tonight that Gedeon, a junior this year, was elected by his teammates to replace outgoing senior Zych as the official team captain. The third-year linebacker, who posted 49 tackles and tied for second on the team with two interceptions in addition to occasional punting duty in 2010, takes over as the 138th captain of Harvard football, an honor that Zych carried well enough to earn his own accolade this evening—the Robert F. Kennedy Award for desire and determination.

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Additional Questions for Harvard Football Coach Tim Murphy

Published by Kate Leist on November 22, 2010 at 3:11AM
Murphy's Law

In 17 years with Harvard, each of Tim Murphy’s four-year players has won an Ivy League title.

A few weeks ago, The Back Page sat down with Harvard coach Tim Murphy to talk about his enormous success in his 17 years at the helm of the Crimson football program. Murphy has won five Ivy titles and 111 games with Harvard, and his team just wrapped up its 10th consecutive seven-win season, extending its own Ancient Eight record.

You can read the full feature in our Harvard-Yale supplement, but we couldn’t fit all of Murphy’s wisdom into one story. Here are further excerpts from our interview with the coach:

The Back Page: Harvard had its last losing season in 1998. What goes into sustaining that success?

Murphy: I think constant reeducation and never taking anything for granted. I heard one great investment icon say that we’re only as good as our next year. I wake up every day like there’s a bear in the bushes, ready to take my money, and I think there’s a lot of that. I think the reeducation part is important. We may have had the same basic system at Maine, at Cincinnati, and at Harvard, but we’re constantly tinkering with it to make it better. And I think the last part of it is, even though you may have a system, your personnel does change, so taking advantage of your personnel and tailoring your systems to the personnel you have [is key].

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Sound Off: Murphy Having Fun After The Game

Published by Max N. Brondfield on November 22, 2010 at 3:11AM

In the modern era of sports, being a college coach carries with it the burden of constant media attention. Facing dozens of reporters at press conferences, head coaches have gotten savvier—they say what they need to and leave the rest up for speculation. Here at The Back Page, we’re happy to decode some of these media sessions, showing the average fan what we think coaches’ answers “really” mean.

Harvard coach Tim Murphy had a little fun with the postgame press conference after his Crimson squad topped Yale for the fourth straight year on Saturday. Following the 28-21 victory, the normally sparse interview table was filled from end to end with a host of Harvard seniors. Still, when the questions started flying, the coach got down to business, and we have the breakdown of some of his thoughts on fighting past Yale, momentum swings, and what he looks for in a recruit.

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Football's Zavala Adds Rhodes Scholarship to Memorable Day

Published by Kate Leist on November 21, 2010 at 3:11AM

Zar Zavala won two things on Saturday: a football game against Yale and the one of the world’s most prestigious scholarships.

Zavala, a walk-on senior wide receiver, found out just after yesterday’s game that he received the Rhodes Scholarship.

“Today is definitely the best day of my life,” Zavala said.

The native of El Paso, Texas, flew home Friday to participate in the final round of interviews for the scholarship. He arrived at Harvard Stadium just before halftime and suited up to watch the Crimson come from behind to beat Yale, 28-21.

“[I was] walking around the field, searching for my family,” Zavala said. “I find them, they have my phone. I turn it on and it says, ‘Congratulations, you’re a Rhodes scholar.’”

Zavala is an engineering sciences and neurobiology concentrator in Kirkland House. He was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa earlier this month.

“I can’t think of a better day,” he said.