FOOTBALL ANNOUNCES AWARD WINNERS AT ANNUAL TEAM BANQUET

DURHAM, N.H.—Eight senior players on the University of New Hampshire football team were honored on Saturday afternoon at the annual football awards banquet held on the UNH campus.

The banquet marks the end of a season that saw UNH finish ranked No. 7 in the nation with a 10-3 overall record, advance to the NCAA FCS quarterfinals for the fifth time in six straight NCAA appearances, defeat its fifth consecutive FBS opponent in Ball State, and win its second consecutive CAA North Division title.

Earning the Bill Bowes Coaches Award was senior linebacker Terrence Klein (Westwood, N.J.) who led the Wildcats with six interceptions this past season for 88 yards, returning one for a touchdown. He also finished ranked third on the team in tackles (45-35-80) and he was second on the team in tackles for a loss with 9.5 for a loss of 32 yards. He was named an All-American by The Sports Network and The College Sporting News and was a second-team All-CAA selection and first-team All-New England.

Senior tight end Scott Sicko (Stillwater, N.Y.) was named the team’s Offensive Most Valuable Player after leading the Wildcats with 57 catches for 725 yards and nine touchdowns receptions. Selected an All-American numerous times during his career by several media outlets, the tri-captain was also named first-team All-CAA, and first-team All-New England.

Selected as the team’s Defensive Most Valuable Player was senior linebacker Sean Ware (Bristol, Conn.), who was UNH’s second-leading tackler (47-50-97). He also recovered a fumble, forced a fumble and came up with two sacks for the Wildcats. The tri-captain was also named second-team All-CAA and was named first-team All-New England for his outstanding efforts on the football field.

Senior defensive back Ryan Hinds (Toronto, Ont.) was selected as the winner of the Buck Buchanan Distinguished Service Award. Hinds completed the 2009 season as the seventh-ranked UNH tackle leader (41-12-53), and was ranked third on the team in interceptions with four for 28 return yards. He also led the squad with 15 pass deflections and was tops for the Wildcats in fumbles recovered with three. He was named to the CAA All-Academic squad.

The winner of the “Bo Dickson” Spirit Award was senior offensive lineman Tom Neill (Syracuse, N.Y.). A team tri-captain, Neill was the leader of the O-Line as the starter at center and helped the UNH offense compile 340.4 yards per contest and a grand total of 26 rushing touchdowns and 20 passing TDs. He was named a second-team All-CAA selection and was All-New England.

The Jack French Unsung Hero Award was presented to senior wide receiver J.T. Wright (Agoura Hills, Calif.). A team leader of the receiving corps, Wright quietly recorded 40 catches for 437 yards and one TD, posting an average of 10.9 yards per catch as the team’s second-leading receiver in 12 games played.

Senior running back Chad Kackert (Simi Valley, Calif.) was named the Bob Demers 12th Player Award winner after an outstanding season as UNH’s top ball-carrier. He recorded a team-high 168 rushes for 780 yards and 10 rushing TDS in just 11 games played. He also caught 10 passes for 68 yards. He led UNH in kick returns as well with 25 for 510 yards and an average of 20.4 yards per return. He was named a second-team All-CAA selection and was named to the CAA All-Academic squad.

Last but not least is the Student-Athlete Award, which was presented to senior kicker Tom Manning (Rome, N.Y.). In recognition of his hard work in the classroom, he was named an ESPN The Magazine CoSIDA Academic District I All-American and was also named to the CAA All-Academic squad after he recorded a 3.45 GPA in Business Administration/Marketing. As a kicker, he made 18 of 24 field goals this season including a school record 54-yarder. He also booted 46-49 PATs through the uprights giving him 100 points for the season as the squad’s leading scorer. Manning was a first-team All-CAA selection and was named CAA Special Teams Player of the Week three times in 2009.

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