Yale football team votes Milford’s Nicholas Crowle as new captain
NEW HAVEN — Nicholas Crowle, who lives in Milford and attended Fairfield Prep, is the new captain of the Yale football team.
The Bulldogs on Thursday night voted on a replacement for Kyle Mullen, elected captain in November. Mullen withdrew from school earlier this summer for personal reasons. The results were announced to the team on Friday morning.
Crowle is a fifth-year senior defensive tackle, granted an extra year of eligibility by the Ivy League because he played only three games as a freshman in 2014 before suffering a season-ending injury.
“Nick is one of those guys who really personifies the toughness and grit that we want our team to have,” Yale coach Tony Reno said. “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.”
Crowle spent a portion of his youth attending games at the Yale Bowl and long ago set his sights on playing for the Bulldogs. He is the 18th Connecticut native to serve as Yale football captain.
“It’s an honor that I will probably never have again in my life, being elected by 110 of my brothers to lead,” Crowle said. “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.”
At Fairfield Prep, Crowle played running back and linebacker in leading the Jesuits to their first CIAC state championship game in 25 years. He also was also the Class LL wrestling state champion in the heavyweight division.
He moved to defensive tackle and nose guard at Yale, a regular in the lineup since his freshman season, which ended after three games. Injuries have cost him portions of each of his previous four seasons with the Bulldogs, though he appeared in seven games with two starts during last season’s run to the Ivy League championship.
Yale is the preseason favorite to repeat, but must overcome heavy losses on both sides of the ball. That includes the defensive, a unit that dominated the opposition a year ago. Mullen, one of the league’s top pass rushers, left another void to fill.
Reno, who believes the team captain is only as good as the ancillary leaders around him, said Crowle’s experience as a fifth-year player makes him unique. Spencer Rymiszewski, captain of last year’s team, was also a fifth-year player.
“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,” Reno said. “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.”
Crowle agrees with Reno’s assessment of the captain’s job.
“I’ve seen four captains now,” Crowle said. “Spencer 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.”