Lovett, Kanoff and Holuba Named Captains
BY JAY GREENBERG
There is no such thing as a no-brainer at Princeton. So it was with deep thought that the members of the 2017 Tiger football team voted their three captains, even if the choices seem obvious.
In 2016, Quarterback Johnny Lovett ran for 20 touchdowns, caught another, threw for 10 more, and was named the Asa S. Bushnell Trophy winner as best Offensive Player in the Ivy League. Quarterback Chad Kanoff passed for 1741 yards and six TDs. Defensive End Kurt Holuba was runner-up for the league’s defensive Bushnell award.
“We are fortunate that not only are they three of the best returning players in the Ivy League but among the hardest workers I have ever coached at any level,” said Coach Bob Surace, who announced the three choices to the team, appropriately after a spring conditioning workout late Wednesday afternoon.
“Chad joins the rare company of two-time Princeton captains. Kurt and John immediately took leadership roles for our offense and defense this winter and spring. Both have proven to be vocal when needed, but what impresses me the most is that they have the desire to continually improve in all aspects of their games.
“They have exceptional work habits in every area–watching video, in meetings, in the weight room and on the field.”
There are more than just three players on the team who do this. If Holuba, by far the best returning player on the defense, is in the opposing quarterback’s face, that would be enough, even if he never felt the need to get in any teammates’ faces. But as an All-American candidate–or even if he wasn’t–Holuba says there is more to do than just play his best.
“It’s never enough in my mind,” he said. “There are personal goals but I want multiple rings like the guys who just graduated. The job is to get everybody in the same direction, set the culture of the team.
“I’m always a little shocked when guys speak well of me. This means a lot. It’s an incredible honor they have given me.”
Much like at quarterback, slotback, wideout, or wherever the Tigers put him, the selfless Lovett is proving as good at receiving a compliment as throwing them.
“It’s a great honor to be recognized by the team,” he said. “It doesn’t change much about being a leader because we have so many leaders leading just by example and that’s still the biggest way to lead.
“That applies to all our senior class, being the first guys onto the practice field and last guys off. I’ll continue to be the hardest worker I can be, helping our underclassmen to reach our full potential.”