SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

August 17, 2013

Title minded

The preseason accolades are already flying at Middleton’s Chris Splinter faster than a runaway wide receiver in the open field.

Yet all Splinter — a senior safety for the Harvard University football team — can think about is capping off his football career with an Ivy League title.

Splinter was named a second team All-Ivy League selection as a defensive back last year, and many college football publications are predicting the former Masconomet star to pick up where he left off.

The individual success is enjoyable for Splinter, but he’s more focused on the one thing that has eluded him so far at Harvard.

“All those things (preseason accolades) are great, but I was just talking to my parents about this, really getting a championship ring is most important,” the 21-year-old Splinter said. “I know last year walking off the field after the Yale game, it was great to win, but there was a bitter taste. This year we have something to make up for and we’re all excited to get things kicked off.”

Last year, Harvard finished 8-2 with losses to Princeton and Penn, and this summer they were picked to finish second in the Ivy League preseason media poll.

Splinter said he and his Crimson teammates will be focused on climbing to the top of the league from the moment they report to camp on Tuesday.

“The two teams we lost to — Penn and Princeton — those teams are already at the top of the league, but every year it’s so competitive,” Splinter said. “There are eight teams and every year any other team seems like it could be in the hunt. Every game is a battle and a challenge. That’s kind of the mindset we look at every game. Nothing is going to come easy, we have to earn every bit.”

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