In the past few seasons, Penn football has had some high-profile offensive stars. Players like Torgersen, Watson and Solomon get all the attention for the unit's repeated success. But the unsung heroes of the offense are ones who never get noticed, the ones who grind it out each and every play so that their teammates can go on to make the highlight reel plays — the linemen.
Year after year, Penn’s Southern California recruiting pipeline has grown larger and larger, and this coming season will be no exception. With 16 SoCal natives on their 2017 roster — as many as Penn has from any non-California state — the Quakers are locked and loaded with supreme talent from across the country as they embark on their three-peat attempt.
Running back by day, memelord by night. Tre Solomon is a football star, an OUP squirrel catcher, and so much more.
Following the graduation of quarterback Alek Torgersen — a two-time first-team All-Ivy selection and Penn’s all-time leader in touchdown passes — the Quakers, for the first time in coach Ray Priore's tenure, have faced an offseason of uncertainty behind center.
Priore, who spent 28 years as an assistant at Penn before taking over when Al Bagnoli retired after the 2014 season, has joined an exclusive club and will try again to match what became Crouthamel’s three championships in his first three seasons of head coaching.
Watson, the senior receiver out of Bridgeville, Pennsylvania, is more than just a cookie cutter wideout. He’s a playmaker and an offensive weapon who can get the job done in a variety of roles.
It all starts with Jerel Blades. The winger is on the small side — only 5-foot-7 — but he doesn’t let that affect him. After all, the defense has to catch him first.
Emily Sands and Emma Loving stayed focused during the offseason after bursting onto the scene for the Red and Blue in their rookie seasons in 2016.
Joe Swenson, Austin Kuhn and captain Sam Wancowicz are the team’s three elder statesmen, and while having this few seniors on a roster seems unusual, the Quakers are no stranger to having a youth-saturated team—you need only look to the 2016 roster to find the last time there were only three seniors.
One player who looked particularly fit and sharp at the start of the season was sophomore winger Dami Omitaomu. While many of the team plied their trade at local soccer clubs across the country, from New Hampshire to California, Omitaomu’s summer situation stood out for several reasons.
This year, the Quakers brought in 11 new players — almost half of the 28-man roster. With the greater size, this year’s freshman class will also be expected to play a bigger role on the team than freshmen of years past.
While the 82-year-old spent much of his career at Villanova, he was no stranger to Penn. The season before he took the helm with the Wildcats, Massimino was actually an assistant coach for the Quakers.
Taking place in a southeast Mexican region called the Riviera Maya, Morales showed off her aquatic abilities in the area’s cenotes — underground sinkholes that some Mayan natives consider a gateway to the Underworld — giving the wakeboarding phenom a new opportunity to showcase her sport and her country.
These allegations raise questions about whether the pressure King imposed on her players crossed the line into mistreatment.
"Even if she loses a set and is down in the set, it’s never over with Sabine," women's tennis coach Sanela Kunovac said on Rutlauka. "She finds a way to snatch the victory from the jaws of defeat."
Through the winter, Penn wrestling has been nationally recognized both as a team and for its standout individual talents.
Throughout their squash careers, the two sophomores have been supportive of one another. Now, they have a chance to do so as they compete for a national championship.
The unusual makeup of rosters after season cancellations presented unordinary opportunities for many Penn athletes, from upperclassmen leading two classes of rookies to players returning for a fifth year.
Just a few days after former teammate Alek Torgersen signed with the Detroit Lions practice squad, tight end Ryan O’Malley has been added to an active roster. The 2016 graduate was a captain and two-time All-Ivy honoree with the Quakers, and scored a total of nine touchdowns in his 40 career games.
Good leadership can prove the difference between try and triumph, and Penn field hockey is rife with multitalented players. Unlike previous years, the team will now rely on three captains to take them to the NCAA Tournament and finally take down Princeton.