Bowling Green, Ky. — Leadership experience is not missing from the résumés of a trio of Western Kentucky University football players who have been elected to serve as team captains for the third time this season.
Andre Lewis, Bo Smith and Zach Thuney — all seniors — will fill the role for the third time in seven contests this year when the Hilltoppers conclude a four-game road trip Saturday at Indiana State. They will be joined by sophomore Jake Gaebler, who has been named captain for the second time this fall, and junior Stephen Willis.
Lewis, who hails from Madison, Tenn., has recorded 10 or more tackles in consecutive games for the first time in his career after leading the Toppers with 10 last week at Ball State. His 47 total stops are 11 more than any other player on the roster has accumulated at the midway point of the season.
A Rockledge, Fla., native, Smith was credited with six stops last time out against the Cardinals after making his first start of the year at free safety (he started the first five games of 2007 at strong safety). Smith has collected 17 of his 20 tackles on the season in the last three outings.
Thuney graded out at 89 percent overall following the BSU game, the fourth straight contest that he has received a mark of 89 percent or better. The native of Dayton, Ohio, collected nine knockdown blocks last week to go along with a 92 percent production grade.
Gaebler, a Mundelein, Ill, resident, posted a season-high 95 all-purpose yards at Ball State after catching four passes for 43 yards while returning three punts for another 52. It was his 28-yard run back late in the second quarter that sparked WKU’s final scoring drive against the Cardinals.
The only Indiana native who has been selected captain this week, Willis averaged 9.3 yards per carry in the BSU contest after recording 37 yards on four attempts. Through six games, the Indianapolis resident has gained 119 yards on 21 carries — an average of 5.7 yards per run — while rushing for one touchdown.
Saturday’s game — the last of four in a row on the road for the Toppers — will kick off at 1 p.m. (CDT) in Terre Haute.