Football - Wed, Dec. 20, 2006
Grand Island, Neb. - Saint Xavier University senior Andy Ricca (LaPorte, Ind./Michigan City) was one of three NAIA wide receivers to be named to the first team of the 2006 Victory Sports Network (VSN) All-American Football Team when the national publication released the teams Tuesday. In addition, junior Shane Longest (Wilmington, Ill./Wilmington) earned a spot on the second team as a placekicker and senior Charlie Russ (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) was named to the honorable mention squad as an offensive lineman. This marks the fifth season that Victory Sports Network, formerly NAIAFOOTBALL.NET, has released an NAIA All-American Team.

Ricca led the Cougars in receptions (84), receiving yards (982), and all-purpose yards (1371) this fall and helped the team qualify for the semifinals of the 2006 NAIA Championship Series. His receptions total of 84 was the second highest total in the nation. Ricca ended his stellar career as the all-time leading receiver in SXU history with 239 receptions for 3,213 yards. This is the second straight year that Ricca has been named a First Team All-American by VSN after setting new Saint Xavier University single-season records for both receptions (100) and receiving yards (1,275) a year ago.

Longest led SXU in scoring this fall with 90 points, the most ever scored in a season by a Saint Xavier kicker. He connected on 15 of his 18 field goal attempts (83 percent) during the 2006 season, including a perfect 7-for-7 clip from distances of 40-49 yards. The 15 field goals made is also a new single-season record at Saint Xavier. Longest also booted 45 of his 47 extra-point attempts (96 percent) through the uprights during the 2006 campaign.

As starting left tackle for the past three seasons, Russ has helped drive a potent SXU offensive attack. In 2006, the Cougars averaged 29.2 points and 367 yards of total offense per game. Russ was named to the 2006 All-Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Midwest League First Team as an offensive lineman back in November for his outstanding play this past season.

Saint Xavier had an impressive 2006 campaign finishing with a 10-3 overall record and ranked No. 9 nationally and qualified 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.

Click here to see the 2006 VSN All-American Team in its entirety