Youngstown State Head Football Coach Eric Wolford announced on Tuesday evening that quarterback Kurt Hess, wide receiver Jelani Berassa, center Chris Elkins, strong safety Donald D'Alesio and linebacker Dom Rich will serve as captains for the upcoming 2013 campaign.
Wolford made the official announcement on Tuesday evening at the conclusion of the team's annual Steak Fry dinner. The dinner featured the players and coaches, athletic department members and individuals who contribute to the program. New YSU President Dr. Randy Dunn spoke before Wolford and said that he, and his wife, Ronda, have been come huge Penguin fans in a short period of time and anxious to see YSU open the season next Saturday.
With his selection, Hess became the first three-time team captain in the history of the prestigious program. The senior from Dayton served as a captain in 2011 and 2012. He has started all 33 games at quarterback in his career and owns the school mark for career touchdown passes with 53.
Another repeat captain is Rich. The senior linebacker from Canfield was a captain last season and he started at linebacker for all 11 contests. This year, Rich has been playing linebacker and nickelback during fall camp.
Berassa, Elkins and D'Alesio are each first time captains at YSU.
Elkins, a fourth-year offensive lineman from Beaver Falls, Pa., has started 26 straight games at guard and will be the Guins' starting center to open the campaign.
Berassa, a fifth-year senior from Miami, Fla., has missed two of the past three seasons with season-ending knee injuries. His one full season came in 2011 where he caught 37 passes for 552 yards and a team-best eight touchdowns.
D'Alesio, a Youngstown native who graduated from Cardinal Mooney, started all 11 games a year ago at free safety and he moved to strong safety this spring. He had 38 total tackles on the campaign.
YSU is set to open the season on Thursday, Aug. 29 against Dayton. Kickoff at Stambaugh Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m. and can be heard on 570 WKBN. Tickets are available by calling (330) 941-1978.