Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Tigers 2015 Pre-Season Training Camp Schedule

*updated 8/19/15 - 11:15 AM

Please let us know if you plan to attend practice so we can alert you if there are changes.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Updated 2015 PFA Calendar

The Princeton Football Association, along with Coach Surace & Staff, has assembled an action packed schedule as highlighted below.

·                     September 19th – Season Opener - Princeton @ Lafayette

·                     September 26th – Home Opener - Lehigh vs. Princeton
·                     October 3th – Columbia vs. Princeton  

·                     October 10th – Colgate vs. Princeton  PFA tailgate honoring the 20thAnniversary of the 1995 Ivy Championship Team
·                     October 17th –Princeton @ Brown

·                     October 24th - Princeton @ Harvard
·                     October 31st – Cornell vs. Princeton  PFA Tailgate Honoring all living Poe-          Kazmaier Award Winners

·                     November 7th - Princeton @ Penn
·                     November 14th – Yale vs. Princeton

·                     November 21nd – Princeton @ Dartmouth
·                    November 22rd – Lourie Football Banquet

Friday, July 31, 2015

2015 PFA Golf Classic and Fundraiser Honors Proud Princeton Past


After having the championship ring escape the Tigers the previous year, Michael Hirou arrived at camp with one idea in mind: win the title. Twenty-five years later, Hirou and his 1991 teammates, who made that goal at reality with a 1989 Championship, returned on July 13th. They celebrated their 25th anniversary and remember that moment as one of their best Princeton experiences at the 24th Annual Princeton Football Association Golf Classic and Fundraiser.

1990 Captain Hirou was the honoree at this year’s event, selected from the ’91 class as a way to honor the Princeton football past. Kenny Samuel, who retired as Sergeant from Princeton Public Safety after 49 years, was also recognized and thanked for his longtime service and valued contribution to the football program.

The Golf Classic is the Princeton Football Association’s single largest fundraiser. Many different graduating classes were important to making the fundraiser successful, including Class of 1980, the Class of 1994 and the Class of 1993 as Leadership Class Sponsors. The Classes of 1987, 1988, 1990, 1996, 2004, 2005 and 2006 were other major sponsors of the event.

“The PFA is so thankful for our members and classes who join together to help us fundraise,” Steve Simcox, president of the PFA, said. “Our purpose is to make our players’ experiences here at Princeton the best experience possible, while furthering the mission of Princeton Football. We want to advance the program and preserve our history. When you think about the legacy of Princeton Football, it’s a proud, proud legacy. Part of what we’re doing is to add to that.”

The event began with lunch, followed by golf with a shot-gun start.

After attending the PFA Golf Classic for the last 20 years since his graduation in 1980, Steve Reynolds came in second in the Senior Division with his former teammates Pete Bastone, Dave Chandler and Dan Bennewitz.

“These outings are wonderful, as they allow us all to connect and to reminisce with a group of fellow alums of the program who can uniquely relate to our experiences and share our love of Princeton football,” Reynolds said.

Matt Whalen ’88, also attended both the golfing and dinner portion of the event. His team returned to an old golfing rivalry with his past ’88 teammates, Jason Garrett, Pete Milano and Tom Criqui, who lost to them again this year.

“It is one of my favorite weekends of the year and a group of us get together the day before and golf a practice round and have a barbecue,” Whalen said. “I think this was a great idea when we started it a few years ago and is helping us connect to specific classes that may have not been that involved before.”

After the golfing festivities, the alumni met for a cocktail hour, where Kenny Samuel was recognized for his contributions to the football team during his Princeton career.

Samuel was familiar with Princeton before he began working for the university. While he grew up in Virginia, he would stay with his mother’s family in Princeton every summer once he turned 10 and visit with his aunts and uncles living in town.

Kenneth Samuel was recognized for his contributions
to Princeton Football at this year's PFA Golf Classic.
After meeting his future wife, Myrna, Kenny graduated from Luther Jackson High School in 1963 and came to live with his uncle in Princeton. He and Myrna married in 1964. Only two years later, Samuel heard of an opening as a security officer from his friend at the university, which started his long career in Public Safety.

“My time with Princeton University, I’ve enjoyed meeting students, faculty and working with my co-workers,” Samuel said. “I’ve seen Princeton go from an all-male institution to co-ed in 1969/1970. During my tenure here at Princeton, I’ve built bonds with students that continue to this day.”

Not too long after in 1969, Samuel would be promoted. He became a proctor, a sworn officer involved in student discipline, a moment he says was his most memorable work experience at Princeton.

Samuel came to have close ties with those he met at Princeton, some who could not imagine the university and especially the football program without him. He became an honorary member of five different graduation classes: 1974, 1976, 1981, 1983, and 1986. In what Samuel said is one of his most cherished moments, he received the President’s Achievement Award in 2006. The award recognizes staff members for their “exceptional dedication, outstanding contributions and exemplary service”, according to Princeton Human Resources.

“Proctor Kenny was a true friend to the entire program and all of its players,” John Melkon ’90 said. “Whether it was his mentoring in the weight room, his vocal support on the sidelines, or the magnanimous way he looked out for us on campus.”

After 49 years, there’s no doubt that Samuel will miss the university, his work with Public Safety and with Athletics, especially as he came to cherish the relationships he built with students and co-workers.

“I’ve enjoyed my years working with the Athletic Department, my years with the football program gave me a chance to mentor and have a one-on-one relationship with many of the players,” Samuel said. “I feel privileged that I’m being honored on this occasion.”

The players welcomed him warmly at Springdale Golf Club. Many of them had memories with Kenny, of his dedication to the football program and how he helped them avoid trouble on the rare occasion.

“He is a valued friend to all Princeton students, but has a special bond with members of the football program,” Reynolds said. “It was a pleasure to see the heartfelt reactions and genuine admiration demonstrated by the former players, coaches and administrators to Kenny when he was presented with a commemorative game jersey.”

The event included a dinner portion of the evening, where Head Coach Bob Surace also announced updates on the team’s international trip in Japan, recruiting and what to expect for the 2015 season. The auction was also held during this time. All the proceeds raised from the outing and auction will directly benefit the Princeton Football Association.

Hirou was also honored during this part of the evening. As he celebrated his 25th anniversary, Hirou remembered the game against Yale in his junior year, a step toward the ’89 Championship.

Undefeated in league play and entering the 9th game of the season, the late season face-off against the Bulldogs and the Ivy Title hadn’t happened in nearly two decades. Over 45,000 people were in attendance. The screams of the fans were loud enough that when the Tigers erupted onto the field, Hirou was unable to hear his teammates next to him. The game was lost 14-7, but Princeton headed on to face Cornell and Harvard.

Mike Hirou '91 was honored as he celebrated
with his teammates on their 25th Anniversary
of 1989 Ivy League Championship  
A win against both got Princeton a share of the title. Hirou was named 1st team All-Ivy.

“Being a part of the ’89 Championship team was the best part of my football career at Princeton,” Hirou said. “I believe we set the stage for following classes to win titles and bring Princeton back to the top of the league, where we always belonged. Commitment, character, hard work and believing in the program and in each other has really put Princeton Football on great trajectory.”

Hirou was a key component of the defense during his time at Princeton. He played as a defensive back. Hirou was also named All-Ivy in 1988 and 1990.

“As a teammate of Mike’s, I still remember some of the big stops he made in important games like Penn and Harvard back in our day,” Melkon said. “He just seemed to have a nose for the football, and he played with all his heart.”

More than just their success in ’89, the class of 1991 had a lot to celebrate at the golf outing.

“Coming back in our 25th year since graduating is hard to comprehend – all that time has passed but the memories are still very clear,” Hirou said. “I am so blessed to be a part of the Princeton Football family and can’t wait to share some great times with my brothers of ’91 and the surrounding classes. Seeing so many good friends and sharing great memories about that season was remarkable.”

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Class of 2019 Leads in Athletic Versatility


In the University’s most selective admission process to date – 6.99%, or 1,908 admitted of the 27,290 who applied – Princeton Football welcomes 30 young recruits from the Class of 2019.

The Northeast provided the greatest amount of talent this year with 11 players, primarily from New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. States in the Midwest like Illinois, Ohio, Minnesota, and Wisconsin contributed heavily to the talent pool. Big Southern and Western states like Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and California followed close behind.

But wherever the new Tigers hailed from, it was their athletic ability that set this recruiting class apart from the others. 24 of the 30 players competed and/or lettered in another sport besides football. Six of those players participated in two other sports, in addition to their commitments to their team. The group shows experience in track and field, wrestling, basketball, soccer, lacrosse and baseball.

“I love multisport players,” Head Coach Bob Surace said. “They know how to compete and have upside. Whether it's current two-sport track stars like John Hill and Dre’ Nelson, All-State wrestlers like Mike Zeuli and Evan Kappatos, All-State baseball players like Matt Arends, basketball stars like Anthony Gaffney, offensive linemen that played lacrosse like Spencer Huston and Max Coale, I have no doubt this has helped our program.”

The Class of 2019 also shows amazing flexibility. Roughly 90 percent of the incoming group has experience playing in multiple positions. Most have played at least two positions, while some have seen as many as six.

“Versatility is so valuable to our success – I’m sure that's a similar reason that NFL players have that quality,” Surace said. “Sometimes it's someone like Mike Zeuli that can play multiple positions, sometimes it's position switches like Seth DeValve from high school quarterback to wide receiver, sometimes it's a position group like running back that become special teams leaders (Will Powers, Dre’ Nelson, Joey Rhattigan and AJ Glass) and even players that do multiple things (run, catch, block, throw) like quarterback Quinn Epperly.”

With a senior class heavy with nose tackles, defensive backs and offensive linemen, the Tigers looked to grab players who could fill these key defensive positions. Quarterback remained a priority, and in the recent year, wide receiver positions have had a high importance for the Princeton team.

Yet, the coaching staff’s main priority in recruiting was not focused primarily on filling positions based on graduation losses, but on four critical components they expect to see in each recruit.

“They must be smart, tough, disciplined, and team-oriented,” Surace said. “We also want them to play fast, explosive, and show finish. Our recruiting scout shows camp to be the most relevant connection. Most importantly, we will recruit someone that lacks height, size or speed if they have a rare quality to overcome it - unique foot quickness like Dre’ Nelson or exceptional toughness/effort like Mike Zeuli.”

The Class of 2019 brings talent to every position, stacking up as seen below:


Graham Adomitis
Position to Fill: TE
Hometown: Ross Township, PA
High School: Pittsburgh Central Catholic
Highlights: Graham was named Big 33 All-State Tight End in 2015 and the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) All-Conference Tight End in 2014 and 2013. He helped his team win the state and league title at the WPIAL AAAA Championship in 2013. His senior year, Graham also led the team as captain, lettered in basketball and was a member in NHS (National Honor Society). At Princeton, he plans to major in Economics or Politics.

Jordan Argue
Position to Fill: WR
Hometown: Hartland, WI
High School: Arrowhead
Highlights: His senior year, Jordan was the Conference leading receiver with 33 receptions, 686 yards, and 9 receiving touchdowns. He helped Arrowhead to their Division 1 State Championships in 2012 and 2013. A member of the team Leadership Council his junior and senior years, he also earned All-State honors in track and field and received Academic Honor Roll all four years. At Princeton, he plans to major in Financial Engineering or Economics.

George Attea
Position to Fill: OL
Hometown: East Amherst, NY
High School: Williamsville North
Highlights: His junior year, George helped his team to Sectional Champions and New York State Class A Runner-ups. In 2014 and 2015, he earned the titles of 1st team All-League, 1st team All-Western New York, and 2nd team All-New York State. George was a football captain for two years. George, as captain, also helped his basketball team to the Erie County Interscholastic Conference Co-Champions and was the 1st team All-Western New York Football Scholar athlete. George is currently undecided as a major, but has interests in History and Biology.

Bradley Bourque
Position to Fill: OL
Hometown: Neptune Beach, FL
High School: Duncan U. Fletcher
Highlights: Bradley was a 4-year Varsity Starter and a 3-year two-way starter. He earned 3 All-District titles, 2 All-Gateway Conferences and was named 1st team All-Area, 2nd team All-Region, and 2nd team All-State. Bradley was captain his senior year. He was also a track and field letter winner. He earned four Academic All-District titles, Gateway Conference Scholar Athlete of the Year, and 1st team Academic All-State. At Princeton, he hopes to major in Operations Research and Financial Engineering.

Stephen Carlson
Position to Fill: WR
Hometown: Jamestown, NY
High School: Jamestown
Highlights: Stephen was a 2-time winner of All-State 1st team and of All-League 1st team and winner of the Connolly Cup for Most Outstanding Player in West New York. With 2,400 career receiving yards and 136 tackles in his senior year, Stephen helped his team to Class AA State Champions in 2014 and Section 6 Champs in 2013. Stephen was also a State Finalist 2013-2014 basketball, won the New York State Senate Youth Leadership Award, and earned the title of All-WNY Scholar Athlete Football Team in 2014. At Princeton, he hopes to major in Bioengineering.

Jack Corso
Position to Fill: OL
Hometown: Leesburg, VA
High School: Tuscarora
Highlights: Jack earned the titles of 1st team All-Conference, All-Region, and All-State 5A VA. As a three-year captain, he helped his team become Conference Champions, Regional Champions, and State Runners-Up. He also won a letter in track and field, placing 7th in Regionals. Jack was a member of NHS and Science National Honor Society. At Princeton, he plans on majoring in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Jesper Horsted
Position to Fill: WR
Hometown: Shoreview, MI
High School: Roseville Area
Highlights: Jesper set the Minnesota record for receptions in one game with 19 catches for 293 yards in the 2013 state playoffs. He also ranked 6th nationally in receiving stats for Class of 2015 in 2013-14 with 82 catches for 1,484 yards and 19 touchdowns. Jesper earned the title of 1st team All-State, All-Metro, and All-Conference 2013 KARE All-Metro. Jesper was a letter winner in both basketball and baseball and an NHS member. At Princeton, Jesper is interested in pursuing the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Stefan Ivanisevic
Position to Fill: OL
Hometown: Hinsdale, IL
High School: Hinsdale Central
Highlights: Stefan earned the titles of All-Conference and All-Area on the offensive line. He also helped to lead his team postseason. Stefan was a letter winner in both track and field and wrestling. He was an IHSA Scholar athlete. At Princeton, he plans to major in Economics.

Maxwell McPherson
Position to Fill: OL
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
High School: Faith Lutheran
Highlights: In 2014, Maxwell was 1st team All-League for Division 1A Sunset League and 2nd team All-State in Nevada. In 2013, Maxwell was 1st team All-Region for both offensive tackle and defensive end. He also helped his team to win the Division 1A State Championship. Stefan was a letter winner for track and field, graduated valedictorian, and in 2012-2014 was awarded Academic All-State for varsity football. At Princeton, Maxwell is interested in pursuing Computer Science or Biology.

Alex Parkinson
Position to Fill: WR
Hometown: Mamaroneck, NY
High School: Mamaroneck
Highlights: In Alex’s career, he had 21 catches for 327 yards and 5 touchdowns. While playing as a safety, he had 87 tackles, 2 interception, 2 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, and 7 passes defensed. Alex earned the title of NYSSWA All-State 3rd team, Journal News 1st team All-County, All-Section and, All-League. Alex was a letter winner in basketball and track and field. He also earned the title All-League for track as a high jumper. At Princeton, Alex is interested in studying History.

Dan Petticord
Position to Fill: OL
Hometown: Lakewood, OH
High School: St. Edward
Highlights: Dan was named to the Top 100 players in Northeastern Ohio as one of only nine offensive linemen who made the list. He was a 2-year Varsity Letterman and helped lead his team to the State Championship. He was a NHS member and a National Merit Finalist. At Princeton, he intends on majoring in Molecular Biology.

Christopher Ryan
Position to Fill: OL
Hometown: Lombard, IL
High School: Glenbard East
Highlights: Christopher earned 2013 Honorable Mention All-Conference, 2014 All-Conference, and 2014 Honorable Mention All-State. Christopher has a 94% block completion. He was a letter winner in basketball and received Academic All-Conference. Christopher was also a NHS member and earned the titles of Academic All-Conference in both 2013 and 2014, as well as 2014 Academic All-State. At Princeton, he intends on majoring in Civil Engineering.

Anthony Siragusa
Position to Fill: WR
Hometown: Chagrin Falls, OH
High School: Walsh Jesuit
Highlights: Anthony won the title of 1st team All-District and 2nd team All-State for Ohio. He helped his team to the North Coast League Champions in 2012 and 2013. In Anthony’s junior and senior year, he had 28 catches for 411 yards and 2 touchdowns. Anthony was a NHS member and had First Honors all four years at Walsh Jesuit. He was named Most Valuable Defensive Back in 2014 and Most Valuable Receiver in 2013. At Princeton, he plans to major in Economics.

Cody Smith
Position to Fill: RB
Hometown: Lincoln University, PA
High School: Bishop Shanahan
Highlights: In 2014, Cody won All-Chesmont League 1st team Defensive Linebacker, All-Area 2nd team Linebacker, and All-State Honorable Mention for Linebacker. He was ranked 57 by the Philadelphia Inquirer in their top 100 PA Offensive High School Class of 2015 football players. Cody received the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, Inc. He was a winner of the Philadelphia Area Chapter Football Scholar-Athlete Award. At Princeton, he is interested in pursuing Engineering.

Charles Volker
Position to Fill: RB
Hometown: Fair Haven, NJ
High School: Rumson-Fair Haven
Highlights: Charlie was 1st team All-Division and All-Shore in 2014 and 2015. He was also 2nd team All-State NJ in 2014 and 2015 with 2,108 yards on 278 carries. In his career, he had 3,508 yards with 42 touchdowns and 7.58 yards per carry for both seasons. He helped his team to two CJ Group II States Titles. Cody was a letter winner in track and field. He was also a President’s Gold and Silver award recipient in 2015 and won the Sportsmanship award candidate in 2015. At Princeton, his major is currently undecided.


Joey DeMarco
Position to Fill: DL
Hometown: Del Mar, CA
High School: Torrey Pines
Highlights: Joey was a 2-year starter on both the defensive and offensive line. He won 1st Team All-League and TPHS Defensive Player of the Year. In his senior year, Joey led his team in quarterback sacks and helped them to Open Division San Diego CIF Football Championship. Joey was also a letter winner in track and field, winning third at the San Diego CIF Championship his junior year. He was an AP Scholar and won TPHS Scholar Athlete three times. At Princeton, he wants to study Economics.

Benjamin Ellis
Position to Fill: DB
Hometown: Memphis, TN
High School: Briarcrest Christian School
Highlights: In 2014, Benjamin won both 1st team All-Region and Memphis Metro Best of Preps. He also went 2nd team All-Region in 2013. Benjamin played in the Liberty Bowl All-Star game and was captain of his football team both junior and senior seasons. Benjamin was also a letterwinner in baseball, winning All-Region in 2012 and 2013 and All-State in 2013. He was a member of NHS and Student Body President. At Princeton, he intends to study Economics.

John Gearon III
Position to Fill: DL
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
High School: The Lovett School
Highlights: John won All-Area and Defensive Most Improved while at The Lovett School. He was a football captain and helped his team win State Champions in 2012. John was also a letter winner and captain of the basketball team. At Princeton, he is interested in studying Economics, History, or Politics.

Thomas Johnson
Position to Fill: LB
Hometown: Moorestown, NJ
High School: St. Joseph’s Prep
Highlights: Thomas won 1st Team PCL All Catholic and helped his team to become the 2013 and 2014 PIAA State Champions. Thomas was also a letter winner and 2-year captain of the wrestling team, earning PCL All Catholic twice. He was a member of NHS and a National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, Philadelphia Area Chapter Scholar Athlete. At Princeton, he is undecided on his major.

Simeon Lane
Position to Fill: DL
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
High School: St. Xavier
Highlights: Simeon won Ohio D1 All-State, All-Region, and All-Conference, helping his team to become GCL South Conference Champs. He was selected for the North South All-Star game and was varsity football captain. Simeon was also a letter winner in wrestling. He was a NHS member and winner of National Football Foundation “That’s My Boy” award. At Princeton, Simeon is interested in pursuing Economics.

Jake McFadden
Position to Fill: LB
Hometown: London, KY
High School: North Laurel
Highlights: Jake was 3-time All-District, 2-time All-Region, 3-time Tri-County 1st team, and All-State Honorable Mention. He was captain his junior and senior years, leading the state in tackles his sophomore, junior, and senior year with 120+ each year. Jake was also a letterwinner in track and field, earning the Season MVP. He was a member of NHS and Penn Station Athlete of the Year. At Princeton, he is interested in pursuing Computer Science.

Ben Novello
Position to Fill: DB
Hometown: Tampa, FL
High School: Berkeley Prep
Highlights: Captain his senior year, Ben won All-County Honorable Mention and was the leading tackler his sophomore and senior years. Ben was also a letterwinner in both soccer and track and field. Ben was a NHS member and made the headmaster’s list all four years. At Princeton, he is interested in majoring in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

Edward Rudinski
Position to Fill: LB
Hometown: Santa Monica, CA
High School: Oaks Christian
Highlights: Eddie won 1st team All-Marmonte League in 2013 and 2014 and made the LA Times Top 10 Linebacker. He helped lead his team in postseason play and was invited to the Adidas West Coast Bowl. He led his team as captain his senior year. Eddie was also a letterwinner in basketball and track and field and received Honors Roll all four year. At Princeton, he is interested in pursuing Economics.

Trent Cameron Schneider
Position to Fill: DB
Hometown: The Woodlands, TX
High School: The Woodlands
Highlights: TC won 1st team All-District and 1st team All-County in 2013 and 2014. In his career, he had 8 interceptions, 171 tackles, and 28 pass defenses. TC was 2014 football captain and helped his team to be undefeated District Champions in 2013 and 2014, 2013 Bi-District Champions, and 2013 Area Champions. He was a letter winner in baseball and competed in track and field. He was a member of NHS, 1st team Academic All-District and 2nd team Academic All-State. At Princeton, he is interested in studying Philosophy, Psychology, or Economics.

Jackson Simcox
Position to Fill: LB
Hometown: Westfield, NJ
High School: Westfield
Highlights: Jackson won 1st team All-Area and All-League and was named to the NJFCA Super 100 All-State team. As captain his senior year, he helped his team to state semifinals. He ended his career with 328 total tackles and was the 1st player in Westfield history to start as a freshman. Jackson also lettered in lacrosse and won 3rd team All-State. At Princeton, he is undecided on his major.

Eli Stern
Position to Fill: DB
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
High School: Brentwood School
Highlights: Eli won 1st team All-League in 2013 and 2014, and 1st team All-CIF Utility Player in 2014. He led the state in interceptions among freshmen in 2011 and was a league leader in both passing and rushing yards. Eli was football captain his senior year and also a letter winner in both baseball and lacrosse. He was a National Merit Scholar and made the Dean’s List and Honor Roll all four years. At Princeton, he is interested in pursuing Economics, Philosophy, Creative Writing, and Film.

Brett Stewart
Position to Fill: DB
Hometown: Garden City, NY
High School: Garden City
Highlights: Brett was named All-Nassau County and All-Long Island in 2012 and 2013. He broke the single season school record for completions (131), passing yards (1,676), passing touchdowns (23), and all-purpose yards (2,595). He was captain for three years and helped his team to the Long Island Championship in 2012. He was named Academic All-Conference in 2012. At Princeton, Brett is hoping to study Economics.

Jake Strain
Position to Fill: DL
Hometown: Springfield, PA
High School: St. Joseph’s Prep
Highlights: Jake was a two-time winner of 1st team All-Catholic League and All-City and won 1st Team All-State. He was captain in 2014 and helped his team to the Pennsylvania State Championship twice and NHS member. At Princeton, he intends on majoring in Bioengineering.

Mike Wagner
Position to Fill: LB
Hometown: Victor, NY
High School: Victor
Highlights: Mike was named 2nd team All-State, Class AA Section V Finals MVP, and All-League Player of the Year. He had over 2,500 career passing yards and 3,000 career rushing yards, with 58 total touchdowns. Mike was captain of his team junior and senior years and helped them to win the League and Section title as a senior . Mike is also a letter winner in baseball, a member of NHS, and a Scholar-Athlete Award winner. At Princeton, he intends to major in in Operations Research and Financial Engineering.

Special Teams

Steven Mejia
Position to Fill: PK/P
Hometown: Doral, FL
High School: Ronald Reagan Doral
Highlights: Steven was selected as All-District kicker and was a state finalist in Wendy’s High School Heisman Competition. He had 71% touchbacks on kickoffs, 7/8 on field goals with a long of 44 yards, and a 41-yard punt average. Steven was a NHS member and graduated top 3% in his class. At Princeton, he hopes to major in Economics.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Alumni Arrive for Football's Career Night: Tips and Tricks for Interviewing


Last Thursday night, Princeton football hosted its Fourth Annual Career Night. The team’s rising juniors and seniors arrived dressed in suits, resumes in hand, prepared to interview with one of 24 football alumni. From recent 2014 graduates to members of the Class of 1980, the alumni and career services hosted the night to prepare the players for professional job and internship interviews.

The event was divided into three parts, with the players rotating through each twenty minute stage.

Executive Director of Career Services Pulin Sanghvi and Senior Associate Director for Career Counseling and Programming Kathleen Mannheimer from Career Services oversaw the Interview Workshop.

Pulin and Mannheimer hit on popular questions employers often ask, such as ‘what is a weakness of yours?’ or ‘describe a time you used an analytic skill?’ The two offered guidance with problems that arise when thinking about questions like these. For example, just how much is too revealing when offering a weakness? (Answer: Make it something that can be trainable, like being more efficient with responding to emails). Or what does the interviewer get out of asking about your past experiences? (Answer: Past behavior predicts future behavior. His intention is to learn a little bit of your story).

With these tips in mind, players were lined up with alumni for their one-on-one mock interviews.

The line-up of alumni interviewers included:

Brian Anderson ’09
Devon Barrett ’14
Peter Baston ’80
Dave Bocian ’92
Nick Brophy ’94                  
Marty Cheatham ’01
Anthony Cicia ’92
Jordan Culbreath ’11
Alan DeRose ’83
Jaiye Falusi ’12
Rob Holuba ’06
Joe Kovba ’07
Joe Macaione ’91
Jake Marshall ’07
Mike Meehan ’07
Brian Mills ’14
Mark Paski ’10
Steve Reynolds ’80
Carl Teter ’95
Steve Simcox ’83                                              

Invited to join the team and experience the program, I was lined up with Alan DeRose. We started with the casual, “tell me about yourself.” From there, it developed into a conversation about my current academic interests and career path, starting with my coursework and ending with where I see myself in twenty years. We set a timer for twenty minutes at the beginning of our interview, but continued talking even after it went off. The twenty minutes felt like two. My beginning nervousness had evaporated by the end, and not only was the practice invaluable, but it was also fun.

Senior defensive back Khamal Brown interviewed with Marty Cheatham. Cheatham, with a degree in politics, currently works as a trader at Hoplite Capital Management. Brown, who is also majoring in politics, found the experience rewarding because Cheatham provided advice about his own Princeton experience and career path.

“Practice makes perfect,” Brown said. “You can never do this enough times, and you’re in a setting with someone who has your best interests in mind.”

Players listen and take notes from Career Services and
alumni speakers from the night.
Senior tight end Dylan White interviewed with Brian Mills, who graduated with a degree in psychology and currently works as an internal wholesaler for Lincoln Financial Distributors.

“Any experience is a good experience,” White said. “This makes the next interview easier, especially in this setting. I’ve learned a lot – everything down to your body language contributes to the reflection of yourself.”

After the interviews, Anthony DiTomasso and Joseph Harvey, both class of 1986, held a debriefing with more tips to impress in an interview and job searching advice. Their debriefing encouraged using time at Princeton to find a passion to pursue.

“In an interview, you explore technical skills and experience, but the difference maker is passion,” Harvey said. “One of my son’s friends came to see me because he wanted to be a financial adviser. I got him into training. There were about 10 people in class, and he was always the last one sitting there. He had passion. He got his shot.”

They suggested interview tips, such as leading the interview by offering to walk them through your resume before an interviewer can ask their first question. Other advice included doing research on the company and person you are interviewing with, coming in with questions and sending a handwritten letter as a thank you.

“Who are you?” DiTomasso said. “If you don’t like chatting up people and talking, then don’t be a salesmen. This is self-examination period. Find out who you are and what you want to do.”

The team gathered to conclude the night with a few final alumni speeches, discussing both positive and negative behavior they saw in their interviews. DeRose suggested sharing a passion to spark an idea the interviewer never thought about before. Nick Brophy suggested not worrying about looking for ‘the’ job right out of college, just ‘a’ job.

“A lot of the players were poised and confident,” Dave Bocian said. “It was obvious they’re hard workers, and that’s a great thing that as an employer you want to see.”

Alumni wrap up the night after giving their final
after-interview advice to players.
The night was an important to the alumni as it was to the players. More than interview preparation, the night allowed the team and their predecessors an opportunity to connect.

“It’s really rewarding because it never feels like you’ve been gone as long as you have been,” Joe Macaione said. “What you say is still relevant and helpful. We didn’t have this when I played, and I wish we did. These players led with the strength of the kind of people they are and communicated that really well.”