Westmont, Ill. - Saint Xavier University senior wide receiver Andy Ricca
(LaPorte, Ind./Michigan City) was named to the first team offense of the Don Hansen's Football Gazette 2006 NAIA Pre-season All-America Team when the teams were released Sunday by the national publication based out of Westmont, Ill. In addition, junior linebacker Sean Kenney
(Palos Hills, Ill./Stagg) earned second team recognition, while senior wide receiver Greg Gerritsen
(Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) and senior punter Sean Collins
(Niles, Ill./Notre Dame) represented SXU on the honorable mention team in their respective positions.
Ricca set new Saint Xavier University records for single-season receptions (100) and receiving yards (1,275) last season. He also earned first team honors on the 2005 NAIAFOOTBALL.NET All-American Team, second team recognition on the 2005 NAIA All-American Team, and a first team spot on the All-Mid States Football Association (MSFA) Team at wide receiver last November.
At linebacker, Kenney finished the 2005 campaign with 94 total tackles, including 9.5 tackles for losses and three sacks. He also recorded an interception, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, a quarterback hurry, and two pass break-ups. Kenney was named a 2005 NAIA Academic All-American last season and also earned a spot on the 2005 All-MSFA Midwest League Honorable Mention Team.
SXU's third receiver behind two NAIA All-American receivers in Ricca and Jarrod Nowman, Gerritsen racked up 312 yards and seven touchdowns through the air on 26 receptions. He also was a force on special teams averaging 19.4 yards per return over 25 kickoffs and earned an honorable mention spot on the 2005 All-MSFA Midwest League Team. Collins was the top punter in the MSFA Midwest League last season with a 40.9 yards per punt average. Thirteen of his punts were inside the 20-yard line and nine were downed for touchbacks.
Saint Xavier had an impressive 2005 campaign finishing with a 9-3 overall record and co-champions of the MSFA Midwest League. The Cougars qualified for the NAIA playoffs for only the second time in the program's 13-year history. SXU was ranked No. 7 in the final NAIA football poll, but fell 31-28 to No. 4 University of Sioux Falls (S.D.) in first round action in Chicago last November. This year, Saint Xavier has earned two top ten rankings (No. 6 & No. 8) in two different national pre-season polls.