The following are TWO official press releases from Idaho Athletics Media Relations. The first announces the 2015 Football Team Captains, and the second announces special presentations to be made during Thursday's game for Jace Malek and Jacob Sannon.
MOSCOW, Idaho – Seven players will represent the Idaho Vandals as their football captains this fall.
After a team vote, four were chosen on defense and three on offense. Defensively, seniors Quinton Bradley and Broc Westlake are joined by juniors Tueni Lupeamanu and Russell Siavii. On offense, the top vote-earners were seniors Dallas Sandberg and Elijhaa Penny, and sophomore Matt Linehan.
“I’m really excited about it,” said coach Paul Petrino, who for the first time had the players vote for their captains. “I’m excited there were a lot of other players that got a lot of votes, too. I think we’re going to have great leadership this year.”
Bradley is a defensive end from San Antonio, Texas (Roosevelt High School) and has been a mainstay on the defense throughout his career. He started all 11 games last year and was the Vandals’ sixth-leading tackler with 52 stops (37 solo and 15 assists) as well as 9½ tackles for loss (two sacks). His best single-game effort was 10 solo tackles at Georgia Southern last season. He has 93 career tackles, 16 tackles for loss, and 10 sacks to go with five quarterback hurries and five fumble recoveries.
“He’s played a lot of football,” Petrino said. “He really worked hard in the off-season. He really invested himself in the weight room – got bigger, got faster, got stronger. He became a way harder worker. He’s going to be a great leader.”
Westlake is the Vandals’ middle linebacker and a native of Sparks, Nev. (Reed High School). He came to Idaho after spending one season at Sierra College. He had 41 total tackles in 2014 and 26 in 2013. His career best is eight tackles last season against South Alabama.
“He is the quarterback of the defense,” Petrino said. “He tells everybody what to do; where to line up. He’s just a great leader.”
Lupeamanu is a junior tackle from Herriman, Utah (Herriman High School) where he played quarterback and linebacker, and punted. After arriving at Idaho, he went to defense fulltime and had an immediate impact. He defined himself last spring and over the summer as a relentless worker.
“He had an unbelievable fall camp,” Petrino said. “To be honest, he’s been a leader since he was a freshman. He has a great work ethic. Guys follow him.”
Siavii is a safety and followed in his older brother’s footsteps in becoming a Vandal after graduating from Leilehua High School at Wahaiwa, Hawai`i. In 16 games between his freshmen and sophomore years, he had 52 total tackles and two interceptions. He made dramatic strides since 2014.
SPECIAL PRESENTATION FOR THURSDAY'S GAME
Please note that during the season opener Thursday night the following presentations will be made.
· Jace Malek, who was diagnosed with cancer the day before signing day in February, is here now. He is an honorary captain for our opener and is a student assistant coach. He is a full-time student and is continuing his treatment.
· Receiver Jacob Sannon will be honored at halftime as the recipient of the Mark Vaught Leadership Scholarship, which is presented in honor of the late Mark Vaught – our Assistant AD/Football Operations, who passed away from cancer last November at the age of 31. His widow, Bailey Stokes Vaught, will make the presentation.