NEW HAVEN, Conn. – He had double shoulder surgery last summer and could not compete this fall with his teammates on the 2016 Yale Football Team. That didn’t prevent the Bulldogs from voting Spencer Rymiszewski the captain of the 2017 squad.
Rymiszewski earned first-team All-Ivy League and All-New England honors in 2015 as a cornerback after leading the team with four interceptions while racking up 49 total tackles. He was named Yale MVP and the team’s top defensive back.
“I couldn’t be more honored or humbled to be named captain,” said Rymiszewski, who attended every practice this season and served in a supportive role. “Team 145 has a lot of unfinished business. No college football team will work harder than us in the off-season, and that all starts next week.”
The 6-foot, 192-pound defensive back from West Chester, Pa., played six games in 2014 before suffering a season-ending injury. He still had 38 tackles, including 11 solos against Dartmouth.
Rymiszewski bounced back from the injury to have an all-league campaign. His second comeback attempt begins soon, but he will do this one with a more rounded perspective.
“I was a player/coach this fall,” he said. “It was a great experience to see the game from a different angle. I saw how everything works. It was really cool to engage with the players on different level, and the younger guys were coming to me to discuss things.”
Rymiszewski, a political science major in Calhoun College, was Yale’s freshman MVP after notching 42 tackles and a team-high five pass break-ups. He earned league rookie of the week honors by making eight tackles in a Bulldog win against a nationally ranked Cal-Poly team in 2013.
The former B. Reed Henderson High School captain played three sports (two-time lacrosse captain) and took home eight varsity letters. Rymiszewski rushed for 1,032 yards and scored 18 touchdowns while making 44 tackles, picking off six passes and recovering four fumbles his senior season.
The new Eli leader was emotionally moved by today’s vote. “The fact that all my teammates from Team 144 put their trust and belief in me, it’s a feeling that’s difficult to explain. I will do all I can to make sure that I put this program in a place to be successful, on and off the field.”
The son of Phil Rymiszewski, a former football player at West Point, and Linda Ives can’t wait to get started leading this team.
“I wish it started today. I have high expectations for this team with leadership throughout the senior class. It will really help us in the off-season and next fall. I am very excited about the work ethic on this team.”
A win over Harvard last Saturday in The Game will certainly add to the bounce in their steps as the Elis and their new captain begin preparation for the 2017 season.