From Speedy Kid to skilled catcher, senior Iosivas become key weapon in PU football

Hawaiian punch: Andrei Iosivas shows off his form as a multi-sport star on the Princeton University track team (left) and a standout wide receiver on the Tigers football team. Iosivas, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound senior who was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, hopes to make his final college stint on the grill when the Tigers play Stetson in the Sept. 17 season opener The campaign is off to a good start. (Track photos courtesy of Princeton Athletics, football photos courtesy of Frank Wojciechowski)

Bill Alden

Joining the Princeton football team in 2018, wide receiver Andre Iosivas learned from veteran stars like Jesper Horsted and Stephen Carlson.

“They were people I looked up to when I was a freshman,” said Iosivas, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound native of Honolulu, Hawaii.

Following in their footsteps, Iosivas has become the Tigers’ first-choice receiver. After playing on the junior varsity team as a freshman in 2018, Iosivas was promoted to the varsity team the following year and finished with 18 catches for 263 yards and 4 touchdowns. Iosivas had a gap year when the 2020 season was canceled due to COVID concerns. Last fall, Iosivas had a breakout season with 41 catches for 703 yards and five touchdowns, earning Second Ivy League honors as the Tigers went 9-1, 6-1 The overall score won the Ivy League championship, tied with Dartmouth for the league championship.

With Princeton playing at Stetson on Sept. 17, kicking off the 2022 season, Isivas plays a leadership role similar to his experience at Horsted and Carlson.

“These guys made me want to be who I am today,” said Iosivas, one of the Tigers’ seven captains this fall, along with Carson Bobo, Henry Byrd, Dylan Classi, Matthew Jester, Uche Ndukwe and Michael Ruttlen Juniors.

“Now I see where they are and it’s nice to see how some young people see me and what I’m doing. They ask me questions and it’s nice to see me in that role. Me and Dylan are in that role; we always Trying to help young people.”

Iosivas took a critical step in his development when he spent most of his year away from Princeton focused on honing the finer points of wide receivers.

“I’ve always been that tall, skinny fast kid; once I watch more movies, I really want to put it into training, things like conical drills,” said Iosivas, who also competes in track and field. .

“When I go through my gap year, I do a lot of personal work; I think it really elevates my game. Sometimes it’s hard for me to go from football to track and field. The gap year has really helped me become who I am now. soccer player.”

Princeton head coach Bob Soureth believes Iosivas made the most of his time at home.

“COVID was bad for 99 percent of people, and it was bad for him,” Surace said. “But for his game, he actually had a JUGS machine at home and was able to do something in training during that time. All the Zooms our coaches did during that time really helped He. He went from a guy who was really athletic and hardworking to a guy with a high level of course.”

Like his role model Horsted, an Ivy League baseball player, Isivas made a sizable impact in his other sport. Iosvias has performed in multiple events for the Tigers, is the NCAA Indoor Championship winner of the 2022 NCAA National Heptathlon Championships, and is a three-time Ivy League champion in the heptathlon (2019, 2020, 2022). He also excelled in the decathlon at Princeton.

“I’m getting faster every year; I’m lucky to be in a place where I can do both at the same time,” Iosivas said. “They really complement each other, especially the activities I do. It’s a lot of sprints and powerful moves. It never hurts to be more athletic. If I had time to do football stuff, I would. Usually in track and field. , it’s just track and field, and in football, it’s just football.”

Players have been investing time on the field this summer as the Tigers go through preseason training camp.

“It’s always just work; even if you win a championship or don’t, it’s always next,” Iosivas said. “When you come back, you’re still fighting for your starting spot. No one’s place is frozen. If you don’t work, you don’t get it. We do it every year, no matter what the result last year. come in.”

This approach helped Iosivas become a star on the grill and on the track.

“I’ve been working, I’ve seen what I want, and I feel like if I work, I can get it,” Iosivas said. “If I don’t, then I can say I put everything I have into football or whatever sport I do and I have to be happy with the result.”

Heading into the fall, the job caught Iosivas’ attention as he was selected for Hero Sports and Phil Steele Preseason
All-American honor and was named
2023 Reese’s Senior Bowl

“When I saw that kind of stuff, I was kind of excited, but I held myself back,” said Iosivas, who hopes to have a chance to play in the NFL. “If I don’t do what I have to do today, those things won’t happen in the future. So I always try to stay grounded and live in the moment.”

With the Tigers heading south to take on Stetson (2-0) in Saturday’s season opener, they need to stay in the present to build on last year’s success.

“We have a lot of good players,” Yosivas said. “Everyone has to do their job and the big players have to play well.”

Based on Iosivas’ progress since coming to Princeton, he expects a lot of drama this fall.

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