For women’s basketball’s Kendall Grasela and sprint football’s Griffin Fitzsimmons, their athletic challenges have been supplemented with changes to their academic career path.
For many teams at Penn, there is one event that stands out over the others: The Ivy League Championship.
Earning playing time on a varsity team as a freshman is no small task — but starring on one is something even more impressive. Several Penn rookies stepped up to the plate in this regard — but which one had the best season? A trio of DP Sports' finest debate.
On a frigid night in West Point, New York, Penn sprint football fell to Army 10-0 in the inaugural Collegiate Sprint Football League Championship. The Quakers (6-2, 4-0 CSFL South) were shut out for the first time since 2011, while the Black Knights (8-0, 3-0 CSFL North) claimed their 35th league title and 18th perfect season.
Six weeks ago, the Quakers (6-1, 4-0 South) were defeated 24-14 on its home turf by the Army Black Knights, a game that, at the time, was a devastating blow to the Red and Blue.
But this Friday night, Penn has the opportunity to return the favor and defend its 2016 CSFL title, as the two teams will once again square off, this time in West Point.
For Penn sprint football's seniors, Friday was a night to remember.
In their final regular season game, the Quakers took down Mansfield by a score of 35-13. The game also doubled as Senior Night, as Penn (6-1, 4-0 CSFL South) honored each of its nine seniors before kickoff.
Penn sprint football will take on the undefeated Army Black Knights in the Collegiate Sprint Football League (CSFL) Championship game on Friday, Nov 10 — a showdown that is sure to be epic. Before they get too ahead of themselves, though, the Quakers (5-1) must face off against Mansfield this Friday night at Franklin Field.
But I do think we can always try to do more in our everyday lives to just be kind to one another. It doesn’t cost any time or energy to smile at the person walking into Van Pelt as you’re walking out. No one will ever be worse off if you tell your friends you love them just a little more often. Ask a friend how they’re doing. You may not know it, but that person might breathe a whole lot easier because of you.
For a number of former Penn student-athletes, however, the most difficult move of their lives often ends up being the most necessary one. And while starting their next chapters after leaving Penn varsity teams provides former Quakers with major fulfillments in their own right, the sports world’s unique thrills of competition, triumphs and camaraderie often prove difficult to replace.
This one had it all—four first half turnovers, two blocked punts, two missed field goals, and injuries to junior running back Jake Klaus and junior wide receiver Aiden Kelly.
But through it all, Penn sprint football punched its ticket to the Collegiate Sprint Football League championship, defeating Navy 28-23.
This Friday, the Quakers heads to Annapolis, Md. to take on Navy in the de facto CSFL South Division championship game. The Quakers (4-1, 2-0 South) and the Midshipmen (5-1, 2-0) are the only teams that are mathematically still in the hunt for the division title and a chance to face Army in the CSFL title game.
After hearing of his admission to Penn in December of his senior year in high school, Karam immediately began to lose weight in order to be able to suit up for the Quakers. In the Collegiate Sprint Football League (CSFL), all players are required to weigh under 178 pounds in order to be eligible to play.
Taking care of business.
That’s what the Quakers’ sprint football team had in mind Friday night, and that’s exactly what they did with a 42-7 victory over the Post Eagles.
Coming off a bye week, the well-rested Quakers will look to start the second half of their Collegiate Sprint Football League season on a positive note when they take on winless Post under the Friday night lights of Franklin Field.
As we hit the midpoint of the semester, all of Penn Athletics' fall teams now have their seasons underway. Many players have stood out with strong starts to their campaigns, but who has been the MVP thus far? Our editors tackle the question below.
Saying Penn sprint football's Eddie Jenkins had a bounce-back performance is a gross understatement.
After struggling mightily offensively against Army last week, Penn sprint football bounced back against Cornell in a commanding 45-14 win.
Penalties, turnovers and a missed field goal were a few of the many miscues that doomed Penn in a 24-14 defeat at home against Army.
Penn sprint football has had perhaps the strongest alumni presence in the program out of any Penn Athletics team. The alumni culture around the team is that of a family — no matter how far life takes them, everyone stays involved in one way or another.
A sophomore from Pittsburgh, Jenkins knows, as the cliche goes, that he has big shoes to fill as the team's new starting quarterback. But fortunately for the entire Penn sprint football program, Jenkins has no wishes to shy away from the challenge.
Penn sprint football has cruised to a dominant 2-0 start this season thanks to the help of some key freshman talent. So far, the Quakers have outscored their helpless opponents 89-13 with new faces contributing on both sides of the ball.
Despite losing two starters from last season, the Quakers still managed to upgrade their offensive line with the additions of sophomore William & Mary transfer Matt McDermott and highly accomplished high school freshman guard Jack Schaible.
Two undefeated teams enter. Only one will come out. Those are the stakes for the Saturday night sprint football showdown at Franklin Field between Penn and Army West Point.
Even though Penn sprint football’s offense did not score as much as it did against Caldwell, the defense turned in another strong performance, holding Chestnut Hill to seven points in a 20-7 win on Friday night.
Sophomore quarterback Eddie Jenkins looked more than comfortabe replacing two-time CSFL MVP Mike McCurdy, gashing Caldwell for 85 yards and one touchdown on the ground and 191 yards and three touchdowns through the air.
Welcome to sprint football, Caldwell University.
In Caldwell’s first ever Collegiate Sprint Football League (CSFL) game — or football game, period, for that matter — the Cougars will take on none other than Penn, the CSFL’s defending champion.
The current Quaker squad walloped a team of alumni by the score of 31-14 in the annual Alumni Weekend showdown this Saturday. The game was followed by a BBQ for friends and family to cap a weekend of celebration for Quakers past and present.
DP Sports released its Soccer Issue on Thursday, previewing the season ahead and the matchups on tap this weekend. But what about the rest of Penn Athletics? Here's what the other squads who don the Red and Blue will be up to over the next few days:
There's a lot to catch up on, but here's an overview of the seven Penn Athletics programs in competition this fall:
Athletes are creatures of habit. Whether it’s Dwight Howard singing “Single Ladies” on the free throw line, or Bryce Harper showering seven times a day, or senior sprint football linebacker Quinn Karam wearing the same upper body garment (I don’t think it qualifies as a shirt anymore) under his pads for every game for seven years, most athletes tightly clutch these insane superstitions or routines and swear they are essential for peak performance.
One of the most ubiquitous of these routines is the pregame playlist.
For many, summer is a great time to relax and recover from nine months of late-night cramming and early-morning rising. But for Penn student-athletes, summer isn't much of a rest. It might be the offseason, but few athletes can afford to take the summer off. On top of all of the training, throw in a full work day in the office and suddenly, a warm summer's day doesn't seem so pleasant anymore. For DP Sports' three varsity student athletes, however, it is nothing they aren't used to. Check out how they are balancing it all below.
As the 2016-17 school year nears its close, there have been some incredible Penn Athletics feats to reflect upon. But with so many Penn teams having such thorough success this year, there’s one natural question to ask — which one was best? DP Sports set out to find out.
I didn’t love football immediately. I played tackle football for the first time in eighth grade on a team of 16 players and decided I wanted to play quarterback the day before my first practice. My coaches let me because I could remember all the plays, and I didn’t mind touching the center’s butt before every play — quite a consideration for 13 year olds.
With the addition of Caldwell University, the CSFL will now be split into a North and South division. This change allows the CSFL to hold a championship game between the two division winners to determine the league champion. Before these changes, the league’s champion was determined only by the best regular season record.
These conversations did, however, make me think about how finite my own athletic career is, and what I want to make of it. As everyone reminded me when talking about sports, “it goes fast” and “you only get so many games.”
Sometimes, there are just no words.
Summing up the experiences of sprint football’s championship season is not a feasible task, but these past few months were so magical, so unprecedented, so perfect, that I owe it to my squad to try.
First off, the hunger this team had was unlike anything I’d ever seen before.
Sports Editor-elect Jonathan Pollack:
For me, the best part of Penn Athletics this year was sprint football winning its first outright CSFL title since 2000, so the best moment should come from that season.
It just keeps getting better.
Just a few weeks removed from Penn sprint football's first outright Collegiate Sprint Football League title since 2000, senior quarterback Mike McCurdy was named league MVP for the second straight season.
And then there was one.
On Saturday, Penn completed the dream season, defeating Post 41-12. The win gave Penn (7-0) the outright championship, and marked only the second time in school history that the Quakers have finished the season alone at the top of the standings.
If there’s one thing Penn Sprint Football hates, it’s sharing.
They’ve been lightweight football national champions five times in the last eighty years – and shared the title four of them.
I have never won anything in my entire life.
Let’s back up a second. First, some background: This loser is a back up quarterback for Penn sprint football.
Penn sprint football is back on top.
With a 27-20 double overtime win over Cornell on Friday, the Quakers clinched at least a share of the Collegiate Sprint Football League title for the first time since 2010.
The season might not be over, but one thing is clear. Up until this point, Penn has been the best team in the Collegiate Sprint Football League.
Looking to play spoiler to Penn’s championship pursuit, Chestnut Hill came ready to throw everything they had at the Quakers.
In order for Penn to have a shot at the College Sprint Football League title, they had to beat one of the service academies, something they haven't done since 2010.
And just two weeks into their season, they've done just that.
Much like the stature of the players, the sphere of recruitment is much smaller for Penn sprint football than with many other sports.
Since the team largely eschews the nationwide recruiting effort of many other Penn teams, most players hail from the metropolitan Philadelphia and South Jersey area.
The Quakers made a statement on Saturday, but returned home needed to ask themselves some questions.
Opening the year on the road against Mansfield, Penn sprint football cruised to a 31-7 win but was dealt a heavy blow when sophomore running back Max Jones went down in the fourth quarter with a broken ankle.
“Mike isn’t even here tonight — he’s president of an a cappella group — he’s gotta audition people, he’s doing that and he can throw the ball 60 yards.”
Sometimes your quarterback has to miss practice because of injury.
“Safety School! Safety School! Safety School!”
The year is 2007. I am a brazen and beautifully snarky middle school student sitting with a group of 10 friends at Jadwin Gym for a Princeton-Penn men’s basketball game.
Chaz Augustini is still playing varsity football at a Division 1 school. But this year, it's a bit different.
Augustini, a wide receiver, will have an entirely new setting when he lines up for the Quakers this Saturday.