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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

July 24, 2006

Northwest Sits Fourth in Don Hansen's Poll; Four Bearcats Honored on All-America Team

MARYVILLE, Mo. - In Don Hansen's National Weekly Football Gazette, Northwest Missouri State is ranked No. 4 in the Division II Preseason Top 40, announced July 17 by the national publication. Senior linebacker Ben Harness, junior running back Xavier Omon, junior tight end Mike Peterson, senior defensive end Ryan Waters were listed on the 2006 Don Hansen's Football Gazette Preseason All-America Team, as announced today (July 24). Don Hansen's Football Gazette has selected NCAA Division II All-America and Preseason All-America Teams for the last 19 years.

The Top 40 recognition marks the third preseason poll Northwest has been recognized in this year. This is also the tenth straight season Northwest has been in at least one publication's preseason poll.

Northwest returns 14 starters from a 2005 program to go 11-4 and reach the NCAA Division II National Championship game. Northwest ended the season No. 2 in the final coaches' poll of the season.

Omon was the featured back at Northwest starting in 13 games. He broke the school's single season rushing record and single season carries record after rushing for 1,643 yards on 309 carries. He ranks third on the Northwest career charts with 3,218 yards. Omon was named to the 2005 All-MIAA Second Team Offense.

Peterson finished second on the team with 48 catches, 614 yards and six touchdowns. In the NCAA Division II Championship game, he recorded the fifth highest yardage by a receiver with 150 yards on nine catches, also a career best. Peterson was named to the 2005 All-MIAA Honorable Mention Team on offense.

Waters finished the season with 64 tackles, 11 sacks, and one interception. He ranks fourth at Northwest with 16.5 lifetime sacks and tied for ninth with 29.0 tackles for loss.
Waters was named to the 2005 All-MIAA Second Team Defense.

Harness started in all 15 games for Northwest. He finished the season ranked first on the team with 61 solo tackles and second with 80 total tackles. In the National Championship game, Harness had seven tackles, two of them for a loss. He was named to the 2005 All-MIAA Second Team Defense.

For a complete list of the poll and the All-America Team, visit

Northwest opens up its 2006 season at home versus Minnesota State on September 2.

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