Team 146 Leader Has Local Roots
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Nicholas Crowle, a Milford, Conn., native who grew up watching the Bulldogs play and had his heart set on coming to Yale University at a very young age, is the football team's new captain. Yale's Team 146 voted last night and Tony Reno, the Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach, announced the results to the Bulldogs today during practice at Yale Bowl.
"It's an honor that I will probably never have again in my life, being elected by 110 of my brothers to lead," said Crowle, who is the second Milford native and 18th Connecticut resident to become a Yale football captain. "It's a lot of work. I'm really looking forward to getting things taken care of, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how this team will perform this year."
Crowle, a senior defensive tackle and nose guard, has been a starter or a regular in the rotation on the defensive line since joining the team for the 2014 season. The fifth-year student-athlete has played in 26 games while battling through a few injuries. In fact, his first season ended after three games, which enabled him to have the medical hardship.
"Nick is one of those guys who really personifies the toughness and grit that we want our team to have," said Reno. "He's always a physical player, and emotional player, and he's earned the respect of his teammates with his persistence, his hard work, his ability to really put the team first and himself last, and we're really excited about him being the leader of this team."
His stats have nothing to do with his value to the defending Ivy League Champions, who were picked first by the media in the 2018 pre-season poll. Crowle's job, playing in the middle of the line, has been to absorb blockers. However, he has managed to make 49 total tackles including 6.5 for lost yardage.
Crowle, like 2017 captain Spencer Rymiszewski, has a different perspective on the squad as a fifth-year player.
"I've seen four captains now. Spencer [Rymiszewski] did a great job because he commanded respect, and ultimately demanded that you put your best effort forward every day. Ultimately, that's the most important thing. It doesn't matter how many times I get in the middle of the circle and give rah-rah speeches. It's about how well we give our intentional effort every day," said Crowle, a political science major in Ezra Stiles College and an aspiring football coach who is now the fourth straight member of the defense to be elected Yale captain.
Reno, in his seventh season as head coach, also sees the advantage of that unique perspective.
"I think that you're a man of the people when you're the captain. Not having a direct affiliation with any one of the classes really helps," said the Yale coach. "To be a fifth-year guy, you have to overcome some adversity. You don't become a fifth-year player in the Ivy league without that. And that speaks volumes about what you need to do as a football player."
Coming to this University was a dream come true for Crowle, who saw his first Yale game when he was six. By the time he left elementary school, he was determined to make it happen.
"All through high school, I kept asking what I need to do to get my offer from Yale, so I can commit there," said Crowle, a former Fairfield Prep football and wrestling captain who was both a Walter Camp All-State and a National Football College Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete. "It's very special to be a local guy. When it's the third home game of the season, and maybe there aren't many people in the crowd, but I've got 30 people in my fan section, that's a very cool feeling."
The Bulldogs, who have been on the field working toward the Sept. 15 opener at Holy Cross, have a Blue-White scrimmage slated for 1:30 on Saturday in the Bowl. David and Tina Crowle, Nicholas' parents, as well as other family members, will be in attendance.
By Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD/Sports Publicity