Football - Fri, Nov. 4, 2005
CHICAGO - Saint Xavier University junior wide receiver Andy Ricca (LaPorte, Ind./Michigan City) is having a season to remember. Averaging 7.9 receptions and 112.3 receiving yards per game over nine games this season, Ricca is currently No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in each category among all NAIA receivers. Considering the fact that season-ending knee injuries in back-to-back seasons (2003 & 2004) nearly ended his collegiate football career, Ricca is just happy to be back on the playing field.
"I'm just thankful to be playing this season and it is a great feeling to be out on the field with the guys winning football games," said Ricca. "Everyone I know has personal goals, but in all honesty, the only number I concern myself with every Saturday is our team's win total. My main concern now is to do whatever it takes to help Saint Xavier reach the playoffs and compete for a national championship."
In addition to his numbers at the national level, Ricca is also making his mark in the record books at Saint Xavier. He has already surpassed the school's single-season marks for both receptions (71) and receiving yards (1,011) with two regular-season games left to play. Current junior wide out Greg Gerritsen (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) held the previous record for receptions in a single season finishing the 2004 season with 56 catches. During the 1998 campaign, Jason Markowicz set the SXU record for receiving yards in a season with 1,009.
"I've said it for the last two years, but getting Andy back is like signing a (NCAA) Division I transfer because he's that good," said SXU head football coach Mike Feminis. "The most incredible thing about Andy is that no one would know he is coming off of two ACL surgeries over the last two years and that goes back to his work ethic. Andy is the hardest working kid I've ever coached. I'm just so happy for him, because he is worked his tail off to come back from two major surgeries and is probably as fast, or maybe even faster, than he was originally."
Saint Xavier (7-2 overall/4-1 MSFA) will host Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Midwest League foe Iowa Wesleyan College (Iowa) on Saturday, November 5, at SXU Stadium in Chicago. Game time is set for 1 p.m.