On Sept. 1, the Tartan football team kicked off the season with an impressive 33–10 victory at the University of Rochester. The team continued its regular-season winning streak last Saturday with a 16–6 win over Grove City College. Senior fullback and preseason All-American Travis Sivek is helping to lead the team this year. The Tartan caught up with Sivek last week to talk about his success and the upcoming season.

Tartan: When did you start playing football, and how did you get into it?
Sivek: I started playing flag football in third grade, and then tackle in fifth grade. I really liked playing pretty much every sport at that age, and at that point I played every sport except hockey.

T: What made you want to play football in college?
S: I really wanted to continue playing in college because I really love the team atmosphere. You get really close spending that much time with the same group of guys and I would have missed getting to be a part of that. I also really enjoyed playing the game itself and wanted to keep on playing for as long as I could.

T: Was football part of your decision in coming to Carnegie Mellon?
S: I chose Carnegie Mellon mainly for its academics, but I met with the coaches, and visited, and realized what an amazing environment the university and team created here.

T: How do you manage to keep up with academics during the football season?
S: It’s all about keeping up on the work and doing work ahead of time. Away games are the hardest to deal with academically.

T: Do you have a favorite place to play?
S: We don’t get to play there this year, but I loved getting to play in Colorado. It was really weird to notice the thin air there when you play. When you’re running you don’t notice it, but then you get over to the sideline, and are panting and wheezing. It was an experience. Chicago is really fun too. It’s a really good trip to go on with the team and we usually have the night off to go out.

T: Is there anything or anyone in particular you attribute your success to?
S: My entire career I’ve just been lucky to [be] around good coaches who have really pushed me, and have gotten to be a part of good teams with a lot of other great players. The entire thing is very synergistic and I have been fortunate.

T: Do you have any team goals in mind for the football season?
S: Definitely. There is no reason why our season can’t work out like last year did. We have so many returning talented players, and as a team I believe we’re just as good if not better than last season.

T: During the off-season, what are some of your favorite things to do in Pittsburgh?
S: That’s the good part about the off-season; you have the time to get out more and to experience the city and everything.

I love the food in the area. I’m a big fan of Union Grill; I take all of my friends and family from out-of-town there. I like the incline, and going up to Mount Washington. I would love to say Steelers games, but I still haven’t gotten to one.