ANNAPOLIS – Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo remains impressed with the work of seniors Brye French and Bo Snelson, who were named team captains for the 2012 season over the winter.
There was one minor curveball about the pair on the first day of the Midshipmen’s preseason practice: They’re no longer captains.
“Right now, those guys have done some off-the-field stuff that the academy has decided to take their stripes away,” Niumatalolo said Wednesday. “They’re still our leaders. Right now, we’re probably not going to have any captains. I’ve been here before when we stuck someone in, maybe our first year [in 2002] and we stuck somebody in. Right now, we’ll probably go game captains.”
Snelson is listed as a backup slotback, he was vocal presence throughout spring practice. French, who at one point in his academy career juggled football and lacrosse, started nine games at outside linebacker last season before moving inside.
Niumatalolo was uncertain if their captaincy would be re-instated.
“I’m not sure. We’re kind of waiting to see what happens, but I decided ‘We’re going. You know what, we have a month to get going for Notre Dame. I’m not going to sit around waiting,’” Niumatalolo said. “We made our own decision.”
The obvious curiosity here is whether the academy’s decision will have a major impact on how French and Snelson are viewed. At the moment, Niumatalolo said it doesn’t seem to be the case.
“They may not have the military stripes, but when those two guys speak, people listen,” Niumatalolo said.