Football - Thu, Jan. 5, 2006
Grand Island, Neb. - Saint Xavier University junior Andy Ricca (LaPorte, Ind./Michigan City) was one of just three wide receivers in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) to earn first team honors on the 2005 NAIAFOOTBALL.NET All-American Team when the honors were released by Dannelly Media this week. In addition, seniors Jarrod Nowman (Manteno, Ill./Bishop McNamara), Rick King (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew), Nick Stimac (St. John, Ind./Andrean), and John Perryman (Oak Lawn, Ill./Richards) also represented SXU on the four different All-American teams that were announced by NAIAFOOTBALL.NET.
Ricca set new Saint Xavier University records for single-season receptions (100) and receiving yards (1,275) this year. He also earned first team honors on the All-Mid States Football Association (MSFA) at wide receiver in November. Nowman, who was named a Second Team All-American by NAIAFOOTBALL.NET as a multi-purpose athlete, was voted the 2005 MSFA Player of the Year and earned All-MSFA First Team honors as both a wide receiver and a return specialist. He finished the season with 71 catches for 972 yards and 10 receiving touchdowns as a wideout, while returning 24 punts for 355 yards (14.8 yards per return) and two scores.
At linebacker, King also earned second team recognition on the NAIAFOOTBALL.NET All-American Team. King led the Cougars in tackles (115) this season, including a team-high 11.5 tackles for losses. Saint Xavier's mark for tackles in a single season was 119 set by Mike Kelly during the 1997 season. Stimac, a defensive tackle, had a big senior season as well with the Cougars totaling 53 tackles, including 9.5 tackles for losses and 2.5 sacks en route to third team honors as a defensive lineman on the Dannelly squad. Both King and Stimac earned All-MSFA First Team recognition in their respective positions last November.
Perryman, who set every single-season SXU passing record in 2005 with 292 completions for 3,539 yards and 29 touchdowns over 12 games (294.9 yards per game), nabbed the quarterback spot on the fourth team of NAIAFOOTBALL.NET's All-American picks behind some stiff competition. The quarterbacks of the top three finishers in the 2005 NAIA Championships Series (Carroll College-Mont., University of Saint Francis-Ind., and Morningside College-Iowa) earned first, second, and third team All-American honors, respectively.
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 on Saturday, November 19.