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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

March 5, 2009

Spring Football Starts Friday

MARYVILLE, Mo.-Northwest Missouri State's football team returns to the field Friday for the first of 14 scheduled practices ending with the Bearcats' spring scrimmage April 5. A full listing of the team's practice dates can be found below.

Head Coach Mel Tjeerdsma, who will return to the sidelines for his 16th season, welcomes back 45 returning lettermen, including 11 returning starters (three on offense and eight on defense). The group includes 2008 All-Americans Myles Burnsides at safety, Sean Paddock on the defensive line and LaRon Council at running back.

"I'm excited to return to the field with this group of men," said Tjeerdsma. "We'll graduate 13 seniors this May who each held primary roles on last year's team. We have a plethora of young talent that's patiently waited for their opportunity to arise and our staff is eager to help them thrive in more prominent roles."

Tjeerdsma and the Bearcats won their third consecutive MIAA championship last November and advanced to the national championship game for the fourth year in a row. Northwest finished 13-2 overall and is 39-5 in the last three seasons.

Tjeerdsma earned his 10th MIAA Coach of the Year award in 15 seasons and was named the AFCA Division II Coach of the Year for the third time. Since going 0-11 in 1994, Northwest is 157-29 (.844).

2009 Spring Practice Dates:
March 6
March 7
March 9
March 10
March 12
March 14
March 16
March 17
March 19
March 30
March 31
April 2
April 3
April 5 (Spring Scrimmage)

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