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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

April 15, 2010

Four Signees, Four State Champions

MARYVILLE, Mo.-Northwest Missouri State head men's basketball coach Ben McCollum has announced the signings of three student-athletes that have committed to play basketball for the Bearcats beginning next season.

Grant Cozad, Tyler Funk and Dillon Starzl all signed national letters of intent to play at Northwest and all three played at Kearney High School in Kearney, Mo., where they led the Bulldogs to a 2010 4A state title and a state runner-up in 2009.

Cozad, a 6-7 forward, was named second-team all-state his senior season. Cozad was also named to the all-district and all-Suburban Small Six Conference teams and was a second-team Sun-Tribune All-Northland selection. Cozad averaged 12 points and nearly nine rebounds a game his senior year.

"Grant really started to develop after his junior year and he just keeps getting better and better the more you see him," said coach McCollum. "I think that is going to continue for him here and I feel that he is a steal for us and should be a great player for us for the next four years."

Funk, a 6-3 guard, started all four seasons at Kearney and was a two-time team captain. Funk set school records for most games played (117), career assists (412), most assists in a game (12), career steals (298) and steals in one game (7). Funk was also named first-team all-conference in 2008. He was also a two-time all-state defensive back and three-time all-conference selection in football and led Kearney to a state championship in 2009.

"Tyler is as tough a competitor as they come, he'll do anything it takes to win a game," said McCollum. "That's what we like here at Northwest, kids that are unselfish, extremely tough and extremely competitive."

Starzl is a 6-8 center who turned down multiple Division I offers to come and play at Northwest. He averaged 13 points, nine rebounds and two blocks per game while shooting 63 percent from the floor. Starzl has a full list of honors from last season including a first-team all-state selection, Kansas City Star Northland Player of the Year, Suburban Small Six Conference MVP and was a McDonald's High School All-American Nominee. Starzl holds school records for single-game rebounds (23), season rebounds (303) and career rebounds (969), as well as single-game blocks (8), blocks in a season (70) and career blocks (235).

"Dillon is extremely talented and very physical," said McCollum. "He should be able to score and rebound quite well in our league almost right away. He is an unbelievable sign for us and he's got the right attitude coming from a winning program."

"These three student-athletes all come from great families and a great coaching staff at Kearney High School (Gary Belcher, Troy Resler and Chad Fleming)," said McCollum. "Back-to-back state title game appearances say a lot about these kids, and the coaches and parents surrounding them."

These three join Kyle Schlake, a 6-10 forward/center from Firth, Neb., who signed with the Bearcats back in November. Schlake is fresh off his own Nebraska Class D-1 State Title and a season that saw him average 19 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks per game.

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