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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

Nov. 29, 2006

Six Bearcats Earn Daktronics All-Southwest Region Honors

DURANT, Okla. - Six Northwest Missouri State football student-athletes received 2006 Daktronics All-Southwest Region honors, announced today by a regional panel of Sports Information Directors. Junior offensive lineman Reid Kirby (Gladstone, Mo.) and junior tight end Mike Peterson (Atlantic, Iowa) were selected to the First Team Offense while senior linebackers Ben Harness (Jefferson City, Mo.) and Thomas Smith (Denver, Colo.) were mentioned on the First Team Defense. Junior running back Xavier Omon (Beatrice, Neb.) and sophomore wide receiver Kendall Wright (Sulphur Springs, Texas) were tabbed on the Second Team Offense.

First-team members move onto the national ballot with the opportunity to earn All-America honors. Daktronics has sponsored the Division II Football All-America and All-Region teams for more than a decade. Daktronics, with headquarters in Brookings, S.D., is an acknowledged world leader in scoring, timing and programming display systems for virtually every sport at every level of competition. For a complete list of the Daktronics teams, visit gosavagestorm.athleticsite.com/article.asp?articleID=154

Kirby has been the starting left tackle in all 12 games this season. A 2006 All-Mid America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) First Team pick, Kirby has helped Omon to his third straight 1,000-yard rushing yard -- only the second running back since 1965 to accomplish the feat. As an offensive unit, the Bearcats rank in the top 10 in the NCAA (as of Nov. 27) in scoring offense (5th) and total offense (7th).

Peterson is the team's third leading receiver with 31 catches for 472 yards. Peterson, twice named to the All-MIAA Team including the 2006 Second Team, went for a season-high six catches for 58 yards in the NCAA Second Round win last Saturday. In the National Championship last season, Peterson posted the fifth-highest yardage for a receiver in the contest with 150 yards on nine receptions.

Harness currently is tied for second on the team with 10.0 tackles-for-loss and third with 44 total tackles. Harness was an unanimous pick on the All-MIAA First Team Defense. Against Washburn (Oct. 14), Harness compiled a career-high 3.0 tackles-for-loss to go along with six stops. He is part of a defense to rank third in the NCAA in scoring defense (11.0) and ninth in total defense (237.8). The Northwest defense has earned three shutouts, the most since the 1964 season (4).

A first-year player for Northwest, Smith transferred from I-AA Northern Colorado. He currently tops the tackles charts with 70, has forced two fumbles and compiled 5.0 tackles-for-loss. Selected to the All-MIAA First Team Defense, Smith had a career-day against #10 Nebraska-Omaha (Sept. 9) with 12 total tackles, 1.0 sack and 2.0 tackles-for-loss -- that effort earned him All-MIAA Defensive Player of the Week honors. Smith is a main reason for the Northwest defense to not allow a 100-yard rusher or 300-yard passer this season.

Omon was a Harlon Hill regional nominee after he currently stands with 1,082 rushing yards. He is just the second rusher at Northwest to have three straight 1,000-yard seasons. His 18 rushing touchdowns are two shy of the all-time season record. Named to the All-MIAA First Team Offense, Omon has gone for 100 yards or more 22 times (in 37 games) in his career including seven times in 10 games this year.

Wright, who was mentioned on the All-MIAA First Team Offense, looks to become the third straight receiver to amass 1,000 receiving yards. He stands with a team-high 998 yards on 67 catches and five touchdowns. He has gone over 100 yards four times in 2006 including a career-high 179 on nine catches against Washburn (Oct. 14). He is the main target in an aerial attack to rank 15th in the NCAA (247.6 ypg).

Last season, four Bearcats made the Daktronics All-Southwest Region Team. Omon is the only repeat selection for Northwest -- he was a Second Teamer in 2005.

Northwest (12-0, 9-0 MIAA), the top seed in the Southwest Region, hosts No. 2-seed Chadron (Neb.) State on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 12 p.m. CST at Bearcat Stadium.

For more information, please contact:

Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics
sid@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582

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