September 19, 2008

Siwula Comes Back for More

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The 2005 season was a turning point for tailback Luke Siwula, as well as the entire football program. Finishing with its first overall winning record (6-4, 4-3 Ivy) since 1999, optimism was on the rise. Cornell, however, was hoping for more than the last few years have brought.
But now the Red is anticipating another big year, and Siwula doesn’t want to leave until it happens. The No. 5 all-time leading rusher at Cornell decided to return for a fifth year after sitting out most of last season with an injury.
“I think he had some unfinished business,” said head coach Jim Knowles ‘87. “Here’s a guy who had 1,000 rushing yards in his first two seasons, first team All-Ivy.”
Then again, maybe he just doesn’t want to leave home yet. The Cortland, N.Y., native, who is also sixth in career touchdowns, with 22, netted All-Ivy first-team honors as a sophomore and second-team accolades as a junior.
“Individually, I came here sophomore year without much playing experience,” Siwula said. “I’m lucky I had guys like Kevin Boothe clear up some holes for me, that was nice. I’m probably way more comfortable on the football field [now] than I was back then. I keep the nerves out of it.”
“He makes the reads and the cuts on the inside and outside plays as good as anyone,” according to Knowles. “If he can stay healthy, he can be a big bonus.”
After sustaining an injury in last year’s early season win over Georgetown, his chances for an Ed Marinaro-worthy senior season looked bleak.
“I was seeing if I could get back last year. I tried hard to come back,” Siwula said. “[But] I knew I wasn’t going to come back 100 percent. It got to a point in the season where I figured the best thing to do for the team was to come back [the next year].”
“I feel like I came back for a reason,” Siwula said, “so hopefully that reason will reveal itself after 10 weeks of football. We’ve got to keep it simple.”