DPOSTM's biggest challenge a former Quidditch player

Wenik tries to overcome last year's bugaboo as Sports goes for its seventh-straight win over News

· December 11, 2013, 1:55 am

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Isabella Gong | DP

Copy star Matt Mantica (right) is best known for his skills on the Quidditch pitch, but Wednesday, he’ll show off his athleticism on the gridiron.


It was one of the most shocking moments in Kamin Cup history.

Reuben T. Hampton of Mr. Penn lore was moved from the Sports squad to News, and to take out his revenge, late in the game, he tricked Sports backup quarterback Ian Wenik into tossing a pick.

T. Hampton acted as though he was on the Sports team, crying out for Wenik to throw him the ball. Wenik gladly obliged, leading to an easy pick-six for News.

Still to this day, Wenik denies what happened.

“I told Sushaan Modi to run a curl route, and he just didn’t come back to it,” Wenik says. “I was trying to look Reuben off.”

Go back to the tape though, and it’s easy to read T. Hampton’s lips, calling for Wenik.

Due to that miscue late in the contest, Wenik has been moved to wide receiver for the 2013 edition of the Kamin Cup and will sit out the second half because of food poisoning from Fogo de Chao.

That opens up the spot for the young upstart Jimmy “O-line” Lengyel to step in at quarterback and take the reigns.

“Oh my gawd, I’ve been drawing up plays in class since the start of the semester,” Lengyel said. “I probably should be studying, actually, because I’m kind of sort of failing, but…”

Lengyel looks poised to lead Sports, but Matt “That’s Wrong” Mantica is sure to make Lengyel’s life a living hell in coverage.

“I expect to kick ass,” Mantica said. “And take names.”

Mantica last played a sport at Penn when he suited up as a beater for Penn Quidditch in the Turtle Cup at Maryland last fall. He has a rocket arm and pin-point accuracy.

“He was the best god-damn beater that I ever saw,” Sports wide out John Phillips said. “If he had kept playing, he could have won the World Cup for Penn last year. What a true talent.”

Phillips missed the Kamin Cup last year due to jury duty, but two years ago, he and Modi made for a powerful duo as receivers. Modi’s speed is unparalleled, and Phillips’ hands have been praised in the football, quidditch and ultimate frisbee communities.

Modi is best known for his interception over the top of Penn basketball coach Jerome Allen two Kamin Cups ago.

And while Modi will continue to provide the sort of defensive principles that the Sports side prides itself on, tailback-elect Steven Tydings will be a key part of the offensive effort.

“I scored in the last Kamin Cup,” Tydings said. “And I’d like to think that I know the Kamin Cup better than I did in year one or year two.”

Joining the sophomore tailback will be Riley Steele (DP), a gritty sophomore slot receiver that will likely overshadow the abilities of Wenik.

“I tip my hat to Ian Wenik,” Steele said. “But at the same time, it isn’t necessarily my job to praise Ian.”

After a semester of burying himself in the world of Penn Athletics, Mike Tony arises out of the Sports Office of the Daily Pennsylvanian like Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight Rises to save Franklin Field from collapsing.

Tony is one of the most brilliant football minds on Penn’s campus, which, isn’t saying a ton, but still. As coach, he has promised a victory for his Sports section that he led to the top of the DP’s Paper Plate Standings for its editorial content.

“I’ve always wanted to create the mindset for my players that the next game is the most important game,” Tony said. “So, in many ways, this game is a must-win.”

Tony may take the field tomorrow in addition to his coaching duties, which would make him the first player-coach in Kamin Cup history.

News star Steven Jaffe still has a bad taste in his mouth after last year’s loss to Sports.

“We talk about how to win on the road,” Jaffe said following last year’s defeat. “You have to injure their starter so that Ian plays quarterback, you have to make Steven Tydings try to jump and you need to force the ball into Allison Bart’s hands.

“I’m not saying that we’re taking any motivation away from the loss last year. There are no moral victories.”

Bolstering Sports’ lineup will be alums Mike Wisniewski and Christine Chen, who will put on the Sports uniform one more time.

“It’s been well documented,” Tony said. “Wisniewski was one of the best players that Sports ever saw. I don’t know why I should praise the man. His stats speak for themselves.”

There may also be a surprise Squash Beater making an appearance for Sports …

In addition, Sports has been graced with a fantastic set of freshman upstarts who are poised to make an impact and steal Wenik’s thunder.

Holden McGinnis told the Daily Pennsylvanian in an exclusive interview last spring that Tony had told him during his visit to Penn that he would “run the team” at this Kamin Cup.

When Tony heard that McGinnis had let that one slip, he cursed out the Daily Pennsylvanian reporter that was just trying to get quotes about the next game, which is the most important.

Sam Brodey, a true superstar for 34th Street over the last season, will don a News jersey for the day, even though he thinks that Harry Cooperman doesn’t dress as well as Cooperman thinks.

“The kid didn’t even know what sport we were playing,” Brodey said. “He’s not going to touch the football.”

Brodey is just another impact player for News as the Section That Sort Of Matters tries to win for the first time since 2006.

“It’s been well documented,” Brodey said. “I try and get the guys to not think about who they’re playing. It’s not about Jimmy Lengyel. It’s not about Ian Wenik. It’s about us, who we are and what we’re capable of. It’s just about having the right approach to competing at the Division I level and enough focus about you to cover the details.

“Something has to change.”

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