PHILADELPHIA After a vote from the members of the University of Pennsylvania football team, seniors Kyle Derham, Jake Lewko and Chris Wynn have been named team captains for the 2009 season.
“The players were overwhelmed with choices this year, but these three each got a majority of the votes,” said George A. Munger Head Coach of Football Al Bagnoli, noting that nearly every player had these three seniors on their ballots. “I think the players recognized the leadership, strong work ethic and tremendous presence that they possess. Underclassmen gravitate to those types of kids.
“Your team captains don’t always have to be your best players, they just need to have the great work ethic that the team aspires to in the weight room, on the track and in practice,” Bagnoli added. “We need the captains to have personalities that the rest of the kids will rally around. We are really lucky to have three kids that do these things, and the fact that they are some of our absolute best players is just a further bonus.”
Derham starred on and off the field last season. As an Academic All-Area honoree, the Charlotte, N.C., native was also the team’s top wide receiver. He led the Quakers with 404 yards on 29 receptions, averaging a team-high 13.9 yards per catch. The wideout caught a touchdown pass in the season opener against Villanova and even completed both of his pass attempts in 2008.
Lewko was a second-team All-Ivy linebacker last season in starting nine games for the Red and Blue. He led the team with 61 tackles, and added two sacks and a fumble recovery. The Medford, N.J., product had at least three tackles in each game in 2008.
Wynn was a third-team All-American as Penn’s shutdown cornerback last season. A two-time first-team All-Ivy honoree, Wynn led the Ivy League with five interceptions, becoming the first Quaker since the start of Ivy play with back-to-back seasons of five or more interceptions. The native of Flemington, N.J., was also the team’s premier returner, leading the Quakers in kick return yards and punt return yards.
The first time Derham, Lewko and Wynn walk out to the 50-yard line at Franklin Field for the opening coin toss will be on Sept. 19 when the Quakers open the 2009 campaign against Villanova.