Before the Big Green’s 27-7 win over Columbia University this weekend, I sat down with two-time Ivy League defensive player of the week Frankie Hernandez ’16, who has starred on the season’s impressive football team, which moved to 5-1 with its 27-7 win over the Lions.
How did it feel to earn Ivy League player of the week twice?
FH: It’s definitely a great feeling. I think the most important thing is that we’re winning. It’s what we’re all focused on.
What has been the difference maker for you this season?
FH: This is the first season I’m playing a lot on defense, so it’s nice to get to take what I do in practice and put it in games. I’ve been learning a lot from the other defensive backs.
What did you do in the off-season to prepare for this year?
FH: It was nice being here this summer. We had a new strength coach and we worked out very hard with him.
What did your training look like with Coach Brown [the new strength coach]?
FH: We would do both conditioning and agility work every week, as well as lifting. We would also have the opportunity, with no coaches, just by ourselves, to do some drills with footballs.
How do you think the season is going?
FH: Very well. We had one tough loss to UNH, but I think we’ve corrected what we need to correct. It’s nice being 2-0 in the Ivy League. I don’t think we’ve had that kind of start in a long time, but we’re staying focused. We know we have a long road ahead of us now.
Any predictions or hopes for the rest of the season?
FH: I wouldn’t say predictions, but we are definitely confident. We are excited to keep this winning streak going.
Do you have any superstitions or pregame rituals?
FH: I always go out and warm up by myself before anyone else gets out there, usually a couple of hours before the game. I like to just go out there in my shirt and shorts and walk around the field, especially at away games, just to get a feel for what the stadium and field are like.
When did you start playing football?
FH: In kindergarten. I don’t even know how many years it has been, but its been a long time, and its going to be weird not playing anymore in a couple of years when I have to stop.
Did you ever play any other sports?
FH: When I was a little kid I played basketball, soccer, baseball. I didn’t stop playing baseball until my sophomore year of high school. I kind of regret giving that up. Sometimes, I see the baseball team out there practicing and I kind of wish I could still be playing baseball, but I think ultimately I needed to so I could focus on football.
Are you a big fan of watching baseball or the MLB?
FH: Not necessarily. Surprisingly, I don’t actually watch too many sports. I’m usually just focusing on playing and working out. After playing so much football, I’m kind of sick of sports when I go home.
Thinking a little ways down the road, when football does end, is there anything on campus that you’ve never gotten to do that you might want to?
FH: I’d definitely try to be a bigger fan of sports here. Unfortunately, with how busy our schedule is, I haven’t been able to support other teams as much as I’ve liked to, so I would definitely like to get out and do that.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.