Thomas Jefferson grad Giansante eyes a title in senior season at New Hampshire
He can’t believe it’s coming to an end.
Saturday is the date for the final home game of the regular season for the University of New Hampshire football team, including Thomas Jefferson graduate Jimmy Giansante.
“It’s crazy how fast time has gone since I’ve been with this program,” said Giansante, a fifth-year senior wide receiver.
It’s also “senior day” for the Wildcats, which means Giansante will be among those players honored before the game.
“It won’t hit me until the season is over and I go home for Christmas,” he said. “I’m up here with my football family 10 or 11 months out of the year. After the season is all said and done, and I know I’m not going to put on a New Hampshire uniform again, that’s when it will hit me.
“Playing here has been great, and it’s not over yet. This place, my time here and our coaches, it’s taught me so many lessons. So much more than just football. I’m really going to miss this place, and more than that, I’m going to miss my teammates.”
Giansante is doing everything he can to push that time off as far as possible.
New Hampshire is in the midst of one of its most successful five-year runs in school history, a time that coincides with Giansante’s time in the program.
The Wildcats have made the NCAA Division I FCS playoffs every season that the local product has been on the team — going 34-18 in that span — making it as far as the national semifinals last season.
This year, New Hampshire has the look of a team that could take that elusive “next step.” The Wildcats are 8-1 overall, fresh off of a 41-14 drubbing of Rhode Island last Saturday.
Giansante is a major reason why, as he’s fourth on the team with 20 catches and two touchdowns.
“It’s been a great year, but we’re taking it one game at a time,” he said. “We’re not looking ahead at all.”
That means his focus is squarely on Saturday’s game against Delaware, a team that is 6-4 overall and traditionally an FCS force.
“Delaware is a good team, but I think, as long as we avoid mistakes, we will be OK,” Giansante said. “We don’t want to stop ourselves.”
While the pregame senior day festivities could get emotional, Giansante said the game itself will be business as usual.
“During the game, I’ll treat it just like any other game,” he said.
A New Hampshire victory would make a Colonial Athletic Association conference title within reach.
“Our first goal is to win the CAA championship,” Giansante said. “And then the goal is to make it to the championship game in Frisco, Texas, on Jan. 3.
“We can’t look ahead, but we know we have the chance to do something special.”
Brian Knavish is a freelance writer.