Big Sky Conference

Kupp, Neary, Raynes, Zamora are EWU captains

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Eastern Washington head coach Beau Baldwin announced his four captains for the 2015 season leading up to Saturday’s scrimmage in Cheney, Washington.

All four captains are natives of the Evergreen State. Senior defensive back Todd Raynes hails from Kenmore, Washington. Senior offensive guard Aaron Neary is from Richland. Junior linebacker Miquiyah Zamora is from Pasco. Junior wide receiver Cooper Kupp is from Yakima.

Kupp set EWU’s single season school record for receptions with 104 (previously held by his wide receiver’s coach, Nicholas Edwards), and as a freshman set the school and Big Sky records with 21 touchdown receptions on 93 catches for 1,691 yards. Already with six FCS records, four school marks and a Big Sky record to his name, Kupp has averaged a TD reception for every 5.3 catches so far in his career and has scored at least once in 24 of 28 games he has played.

The 6-foot-4, 300-pound Neary is one of five seniors on EWU’s offensive line, which averages 299 pounds per man. He was a first-team All-Big Sky Conference pick and second-team All-America selection in 2014 while starting 13 games.

Raynes finished his injury-plagued 2014 season with 38 tackles and a team-leading three interceptions, giving him 97 tackles in his 34-game career (14 as a starter). Raynes is slated to start at strong safety this season.

Zamora earned honorable mention All-Big Sky honors a year ago after ranking second on the team in tackles with 102. He added 1.5 sacks, an interception, three passes broken up, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He has 156 tackles in 29 career games thus far, and enters the 2015 season with the most starts among returning defensive players with 22.

In addition to being named team captains, Kupp and Neary were selected to two more preseason All-America teams recently. College Sports Madness selected Kupp to the first team, and Neary earned second team accolades. Both were also preseason All-Americans as selected by HERO Sports.

Roos Field will once again be filled with football action, as four new Eastern Washington University co-captains lead the Eagles in their first scrimmage of preseason practices this Saturday morning in Cheney.

On “Meet the Eagles Day,” Eastern will hit the field at 9:15 a.m., and begin the situational scrimmage with special teams work at approximately 9:45. The regular portion of the scrimmage will start at about 10 a.m.

Eastern has been practicing since Aug. 12 in preparation for the team’s opener on Sept. 5 at Oregon. But Friday will mark the team’s first practice of the season on the red turf at Roos Field.

“We’ll cover as many scenarios as we do in practices, but on Saturday we’ll get to do it with officials,” said head coach Beau Baldwin, who will also have coaches in the press box communicating to the field like in normal games.

 

 

About Colter Nuanez

Colter Nuanez is the co-founder and senior writer for Skyline Sports. After spending six years in the newspaper industry with stops at the Missoulian, the Ellensburg Daily Record and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the former Washington Newspaper Association Sportswriter of the Year and University of Montana Journalism School graduate ('09) has cultivated a deep passion for sports journalism during his 13-year career covering the Big Sky Conference. In August of 2014, Colter and brother Brooks merged their passions of writing and art to found Skyline Sports.