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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

July 11, 2005

Football Team Ranked No. 6 in Street & Smith's Magazine; Williams Rated Among Top Defensive Lineman

MARYVILLE, Mo. -- In the Street & Smith's 2005 College Football Yearbook, Northwest Missouri State is ranked No. 6 in the Division II Preseason Top 25. Senior defensive lineman Steve Williams (Bolingbrook, Ill.) is listed on the 2005 Division II Street & Smith's All-America Team.

The Top 25 recognition marks the ninth straight season in which Northwest has been in at least one publication's preseason poll. The Bearcats were ranked No. 22 in the 2004 Street & Smith's College Football Yearbook.

Northwest returns 14 starters from a 2004 program to go 11-2 and reach the NCAA Quarterfinals. In the final coaches poll last season, Northwest was No. 3 - it's highest spot since the 1999 championship year. The Bearcats look to continue their tremendous success as they are tied for the most wins in NCAA Division II with 63 since 1999.

2004 national champion Valdosta State holds the top spot in the polls with MIAA-member Pittsburg State right behind at No. 2. Grand Valley State (3), North Dakota (4) and East Stroudsburg (5) round out the top-five.

Two opponents in 2005 are in the Top 25 including Pittsburg State and Nebraska-Omaha (No. 19).

Williams, a 2005 team captain, was the only unanimous pick on the 2004 All-MIAA Defensive First Team. He totaled 52 tackles, seven tackles-for-a-loss, 1.0 sack and recovered three fumbles. The University of Indiana transfer was tabbed on the Daktronics Second Team All-America squad last season.

Northwest opens up its 2005 season at Minnesota State on Thursday, Aug. 25 at 6:30 p.m.

For more information, please contact:

Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582

Northwest Athletics
Lamkin Activity Center | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468