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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

April 11, 2008

Spring Scrimmage Slated For Sunday

MARYVILLE, Mo.-Northwest Missouri State University will host its spring scrimmage at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, April 13 at Bearcat Stadium. The scrimmage is open and free to the public. It will be the final practice for the Bearcats this spring.

Northwest and head coach Mel Tjeerdsma lost 19 seniors from a team that finished 12-2, won its second straight MIAA championship and made its third consecutive appearance in the NCAA Division II title game.

This year's squad totals 13 seniors, but only four are expected to be in action Sunday. Five seniors have missed spring ball due to the 10-semester rule. Four others are rehabbing injuries.

Sunday's schedule begins with red zone and goal line situational plays between the first-team offense and first-team defense. The second-team offenses and defenses will run through 8-10 play series against one another and then the first teams will do the same.

"We won't be concerned about whether we score or stop somebody on a given play," said Tjeerdsma. "We're more concerned about what we're going to see on film afterwards."

Northwest has held 13 practices this spring and Tjeerdsma has benefitted most by watching and evaluating the abilities his younger players. Some are learning the system for the first time.

"The most progress I've seen has been with the guys that were redshirt freshman last year and will be sophomores this year," said Tjeerdsma. Those guys have stepped up and are starting to pick up our stuff. They'll have to play next year for us to be successful and we need them to be ready to go."

Sunday's scrimmage will be officiated and the Bearcats will use the 40-second play clock the NCAA has adopted from the NFL and will implement during the 2008 season.

"I think that's going to change the tempo of the game for both the offense and defense," said Tjeerdsma about the rule change. "It's going to cut down on the time you have to work with. Even though it's 40 seconds, from what I've been told, it's more like 20 seconds on a 25-second clock.

"We've tried to force the tempo of both units this spring. Get to the huddle, get the play called, get out of the huddle and go. The defense is going to have to get their call quicker and be ready to play football."

The team returns to more organized lifting sessions for two weeks after Sunday's scrimmage leading up to semester tests. Summer classes start May 12, and organized lifting will resume at that time.

Northwest opens its 2008 season against Abilene Christian August 30 in Maryville. The Bearcats' first three games this fall will be played at Bearcat Stadium.

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