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From undersized golf prodigy to Harvard captain: Sean Ahern

sean_ahern1webFrom being a four-year-old wearing a Jerry Rice jersey to being the 143rd captain in Harvard history, Sean Ahern has had a long-standing love affair with the game of football.

Ahern’s father, who played at Brown, was his earliest influence in the game.

“My first memories of football were with my dad,” explained Ahern. “I’d throw on the Jerry Rice jersey and dive on the couch trying to catch as many balls as I could.”

“The thrill of catching the ball and trying to beat my record was how I got started,” Ahern added.

From there he was off to the races, beginning to play organized football in the third grade.

“I loved the competition aspect of it,” according to Ahern. “Playing with your friends and having friendships turn into brotherhoods. It’s hours and hours of work and there’s really no point in doing it if you don’t love it.”

A watershed moment for Ahern in his early football career came as a freshman at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, Ohio.  At that point he was also a talented golfer as well, and with both golf and football being fall season sports, he needed to make a decision.

“As a freshman, I was maybe 5-foot-6, 110 pounds,” said Ahern. “I was tiny, but I was always tough so I decided to stick with football.”

In one of his first practices Ahern earned the moniker of “The Animal” from one of his defensive backs coach, Nick Lyle, after getting the best of a much larger opponent.  Lyle, also a product of St. Xavier, came back to coach after a college career at Vanderbilt University.

“He made it a blast for me to play,” Ahern explained. “Size didn’t really matter to him and he gave me the confidence to play at a small size.”

To read the full article, click here: Featured Player: Sean Ahern

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