December 22, 2009

FOOTBALL RANKED NO. 7 IN THE NATION IN ALL THREE FINAL FCS TOP 25 POLLS

DURHAM, N.H.— The University of New Hampshire football team was ranked No. 7 in the nation according to all three final major FCS Top 25 polls, which include “The Sports Network Poll”, “The FCS Coaches Poll”, and “The Any Given Saturday Poll”.

The Wildcats advanced to the NCAA Division I FCS Championships for the sixth straight season in 2009 and advanced to the quarterfinal round for the fifth time during that six-year span.

UNH, which completed the 2009 campaign with a 10-3 overall record, went on to win the Colonial Athletic Association North Division for the second time in as many years in the high-regarded conference which featured four teams in the NCAA playoffs and five who were ranked in the three season-ending top 25 polls.

Villanova went on to win the FCS title with a 14-1 record and was the team that knocked UNH out of the playoffs in the quarterfinals. However, only one team defeated the other Wildcats and that was UNH on Oct. 10 as the ‘Cats posted a hard-fought 28-24 victory in Durham over the national champions.

Senior tight end Scott Sicko was named a first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and was named a second-team All-American according to the Associated Press.

In all, eight UNH players were named to the CAA All-Conference team, including Sicko and Tom Manning to the first-team offense, Chad Kackert and Tom Neill to the second-team offense, Sean Ware, Dino Vasso and Terrence Klein were named to the second-team defense and Kyle Maroney was selected to the third-team defense.

UNH is also in the midst of an amazing run of victories over FBS opponents as the Wildcats won their fifth straight game over a top tier team with its 2009 victory at Ball State (23-16). In recent seasons, UNH has also defeated Rutgers, Northwestern, Marshall and Army as well.

Eleventh-year head coach Sean McDonnell now owns an impressive 80-52-0 career record at UNH and over the past six years he has led the team to an eye-popping 57-20 record. He led the 2005 team toa share of the CAA title and a school-record 11 victories in a season, and since 2004 his teams have put together four seasons with 10 or more victories (2004, 2005, 2008 and 2009).

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