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Senior defensive back Sean Ahern was named Harvard football’s 143rd captain at the team’s banquet Monday night. He succeeds linebacker Matt Koran to become the 12th consecutive defensive player to take on the role of Crimson captain. The last offensive player to lead the squad was current New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick ’05.
“I was honestly just honored and humbled beyond belief,” Ahern said. “Just the fact that my teammates, the younger guys, the guys that are graduating, just believed in me and trusted me with that position is a special honor, and it isn’t something I take lightly.”
The Cincinnati native, who earned a fifth year of eligibility after missing his entire rookie season with a torn pectoral muscle, will take the spring semester off from Harvard and return in the fall.
“As the season wore down, it made more sense to me to come back for a fifth year,” Ahern said. “I still love playing the game, I love the guys on the team, and it felt like, ‘If I can still play this game, if I still love it, why would I not do that?’ It was kind of an easy decision for me to come back.”
This season, Ahern, a second-year starter, led the Ivy League with two blocked kicks—one at Lafayette in week five, and another against Penn in week nine. He also finished sixth on the team in tackles with 34 and forced one fumble against Brown in the Crimson’s home opener.
As a junior in 2014, Ahern had a prolific year playing the cornerback position, helping Harvard to just its third undefeated season in a century and its second straight Ivy title. Ahern racked up 37 solo tackles and broke up six passes to lead the Crimson in both categories last year and was named to the All-Ivy first team as a result.
The Crimson celebrated a 9-1 season that culminated in a share of its third consecutive Ancient Eight championship for the first time in school history at the banquet on Monday. The team honored its 30 seniors, who put together a 36-4 record during their time at Harvard, and presented its 2015 MVP award to senior quarterback Scott Hosch, who broke the single-season passing record two days prior at Yale with 2,827 passing yards this year.
—Staff writer Samantha Lin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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