New Hampshire Football Report

UNH announces captains

Allen Lessels
UNH Insider

Ryan Farrell, a linebacker on the University of New Hampshire football team, was especially excited about making this phone call home.

Farrell (pictured, far right) planned to check in with his father, Bill, and had some good news to share.

Ryan was named one of three captains for the 2016 Wildcat football team on Thursday morning. It’s an honor he shares with his dad, who was a UNH defensive back and captain of the team in 1989.

“It’s kind of cool, something I can hang my hat on one day,” Ryan said after practice. “He’s certainly going to be one of the first people I call. I’m really looking forward to that.”

The team voted on captains and coach Sean McDonnell introduced the selections midway during practice on a raw and drizzly morning.

Cornerback Casey DeAndrade (left) and quarterback Adam Riese (center) will join Farrell as captains. All will be seniors in the fall.

Thursday’s was UNH’s last practice of the spring, leading into the Blue-White game on Saturday at noon in Cowell Stadium. There is no admission charge for the game.

The season opens with a game at San Diego State, an FBS school, on Sept. 3.

DeAndrade, Farrell and Riese will lead the Wildcats into the spring game.

“It’s a humbling experience for all of us,” DeAndrade said of being named captain. “This program has a lot of legacy and it’s awesome to be part of the leadership. There’s a lot of seniors that are going to be leaders, too, it’s not just us three, but it’s an honor to be named a captain and I’m looking forward to next season.”

DeAndrade has been named to the Colonial Athletic Association first team each of the past two seasons, is the team’s top punt returner and led the Wildcats in tackles last fall.

Riese started three games at quarterback last season. He led the Wildcats to wins over Central Connecticut and Elon and directed a first-possession touchdown drive against Richmond before Sean Goldrich took over the game.

“Obviously I’m honored to do this and to be named a captain,” Riese said. “It means a lot to me. It means the players on the team look up to me and expect a lot out of me and I hope I can step up to the plate and be a leader on the team. Like Casey says, it’s not going to be a three-man job. The whole senior class is going to be leaders. Just because we’re named the captains doesn’t mean we don’t have another 14-15 captains on the team.”

Riese is in a battle for the job of starting quarterback with sophomore Trevor Knight.

Farrell started six games last year and had 45 tackles and a couple of interceptions.

Next fall, the Wildcats will look to extend their streak of appearances in the FCS tournament. They have been to the playoffs each of the last 12 years, which is the best run in the nation. In 2013 and 2014 they advanced to the semifinals.

The Wildcats aim to do more than continue the streak of playoff appearances.

“That’s our goal,” Farrell said. “We need to take the next step. Coach Mac preaches that all the time. We’ve been one step away but I think it’s the job of this team that we’re going to try to strive to take the next step and do something that no other UNH program has done. There’s that fire deep inside that we really look forward to displaying on the field and we’re really pushing to take that next step. It’s something we’re going to really strive for.”


Follow Allen Lessels on Twitter: @UNHInsider

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