Football - Thu, Dec. 14, 2006
Waco, Texas - Saint Xavier University senior wide receiver Andy Ricca (LaPorte, Ind./Michigan City) was one of just 11 players nationally to earn a spot on the offense of the 2006 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) NAIA Coaches All-American Team when the Association announced the 25-member team Thursday. This is the first time since the AFCA began selecting All-America teams in 1945 that a team is made up solely of NAIA players. Ricca is also the first football player in Saint Xavier University history to be recognized as an All-American by the AFCA.
Leading the Cougars in receptions (84), receiving yards (982), and all-purpose yards (1371) this fall, Ricca helped lead a team that qualified for the semifinals of the 2006 NAIA Championship Series. His receptions total of 84 was the second highest total in the nation. Ricca wrapped up his outstanding career as the all-time leading receiver in school history with 239 receptions for 3,213 yards. In November, he was named the 2006 Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Midwest League Player of the Year, while also earning first team recognition as a wide receiver.
In 2005, Ricca set new Saint Xavier University single-season records for both receptions (100) and receiving yards (1,275). He also earned first team honors on the 2005 Victory Sports Network All-American Team, second team recognition on the 2005 NAIA All-American Team, and a first team spot on the 2005 All-Mid States Football Association (MSFA) Team at wide receiver.
"Andy was a coaches dream and I couldn't be happier for him because he's such a quality young man," said SXU football coach Mike Feminis. "All of his stats and awards obviously speak for themselves. But for him to come back from two major knee injuries and produce like he did after losing two years (due to the injury) was simply amazing."
Saint Xavier had an impressive 2006 campaign finishing with a 10-3 overall record and ranked No. 9 nationally while qualifying for the NAIA Championship Series for only the third time in the program's 14-year history. SXU advanced all the way to the semi-finals falling to No. 1 ranked University of Saint Francis (Ind.) on December 2 marking the first time ever that Saint Xavier has moved past the first round in postseason play.