Quartet selected as co-captains for 2017 EWU football season - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Quartet selected as co-captains for 2017 EWU football season

Courtesy: EWU Athletics Courtesy: EWU Athletics

By EWU Athletics

Seniors Albert Havili, Andre Lino and Nic Sblendorio will join junior Gage Gubrud as the first captains in the head coaching career of Aaron Best, the first-year Eastern Washington University football coach announced Thursday (June 8).
 
Havili is a defensive end and 2013 graduate of Federal Way (Wash.) High School, and Lino is a defensive tackle who graduated the same year from Blanchet HS in Seattle. Sblendorio, the lone senior returning letterwinner on EWU's offensive unit in 2017, is a wide receiver from Sammamish, Wash., and graduated from Skyline HS in 2013. Gubrud is a 2014 graduate of McMinnville (Ore.) High School and had a record-breaking 2016 campaign as an All-America quarterback for the Eagles.
 
The four co-captains for the 2017 season were selected via a vote by their Eagle teammates. Eastern opens the season Sept. 2 at Texas Tech and returns home to Roos Field to host North Dakota State on Sept. 9.
 
Entering his final year as an Eagle, Havili has 148 tackles in his 42-game Eastern career. With 16 career starts, he has the fifth-most on the defense and overall. He set an EWU true freshman record with 61 tackles in 2013 when he previously played as a linebacker. He's played in eight career games in the FCS Playoffs (2013, 2014, 2016) and has 34 tackles, three sacks, one interception returned 77 yards for a TD and a forced fumble.
 
Lino, a three-time Big Sky Conference All-Academic selection, has 22 career starts to equal the most on the defense and overall entering the 2017 season. He started all 14 games at defensive tackle in 2016, finishing with 32 tackles and a sack. He's a mechanical engineering major with a 3.67 grade point average thus far at EWU, and in 2015 he was selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) to the Academic All-District VIII squad.
 
Sblendorio has played in 38 career games for the Eagles with nine starts, and has 79 receptions for 1,078 yards and six touchdowns. He has 11 grabs for 172 yards in five games in the FCS Playoffs. While starting four of the 14 Eastern games he played in 2016, he caught 33 passes for 401 yards and three touchdowns. He caught at least one pass in 13 of 14 games, with a high of five for 69 yards and a 46-yard touchdown against Portland State (11/18/16) to clinch the Big Sky Conference title for EWU.
 
As a first-year starter in 2016, Gubrud earned FCS Player of the Year honors from the Football Club of Columbus and shared Big Sky Conference MVP honors with four-time All-America wide receiver Cooper Kupp. Gubrud was third in the voting for the Walter Payton Award and was selected to six FCS All-America teams after leading EWU to a 12-2 record and perfect 8-0 Big Sky Conference record.
 
Gubrud's record-breaking season included the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision record for passing yards with 5,160. In all, he broke three FCS records, seven Big Sky Conference marks and 19 EWU records. He finished with 48 touchdown passes and a Big Sky record of 5,766 yards of total offense, and was also the team's leading rusher with 606 yards and five more scores.

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