Saturday, October 28, 2006

Hollander feature

Brandt Hollander’s competitive spirit was evident during the Yale football team’s lifting championships before the start of the season.
Hollander, a junior middle guard from Indianapolis, and senior offensive tackle Ed McCarthy had just tied in an impressive display of strength in the clean, each cleaning 362.5 pounds.
Then Hollander walked over and added 2.5 pounds.
"Those are the type of kids you want on your team, guys that are going to compete against each other so hard," Yale coach Jack Siedlecki said.
"I really wanted to beat Eddie," said Hollander, who will lead the 5-1 Bulldogs against Columbia Saturday at noon at Yale Bowl. "He had beaten me before and I really wanted to beat him. It felt good. I had to beat him in something. He has better grades than me, he’s probably better than me in football, and his girlfriend’s pretty good-looking too."
Hollander smiled, then began to laugh after the comments.
Being 3-0 in the Ivy League and having a five-game winning streak will do that for most players.
For Hollander, it’s even a little more special.
"I’ve never in my life really been on a winning team, so this is kind of a neat thing. It really makes a big difference. We had some rough years in high school. We had a good freshman team, but we weren’t that good in varsity.
"I think five games is the most I’ve ever won in a season," Hollander said. "My freshman year (at Yale), when we were .500, that was the best year I was ever a part of.
"I think it’s really good (winning); I think we should keep trying," Hollander said, laughing.
The 6-foot-3-inch, 260-pound Hollander, who did win a Central Indiana title in weightlifting in high school, has played a key role in Yale’s success.
"He’s one of hardest-working kids on team," Siedlecki said earlier this year. "He’s gone probably beyond what we expected. His strength levels are great. He’s bigger, he’s faster."
After a slow start, Hollander has come on strong with 13 tackles, including three for losses, and a sack.
He’s also helped open up lanes for linebackers Bobby Abare and Chris Barry, who lead the Bulldogs with 52 and 44 tackles, respectively.
"The beginning of the year was a little frustrating for me," Hollander said. "I didn’t feel like I was playing up to my potential. I feel like I’ve been playing stronger in these last few weeks, but I think a lot of that is the defense as a whole coming together. Everyone is feeding off each other."
Hollander credited his fellow defensive linemen with his recent success.
"I’ve been fortunate enough to play in the scheme we’re in with Kirk Porter and Jared Hamilton right next to me," Hollander said. "Their presence has really allowed me to play better. I wasn’t even doubled against Penn at all, because they had to deal with those two."

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