March 25, 2009
Grand Island, Neb. - The initial rosters for the 3rd annual College Fanz/Victory Sports Network NAIA "Senior Classic" have been released with five Shorter College players making the 'Nationals' roster - Matthew Yarbrough, Joshua Pidgeon, Lukas Gonzalez, Zach Morrison and Nick Bearden. Players range from 50 different NAIA schools from states across the country.
The 2008 Shorter team finished the season with nine wins and three losses, and was ranked #11 in the final NAIA poll. They advanced to the NAIA National Playoff Championship against University of the Cumberlands, after beating Bethel College in the final game of the regular season to earn the Mid-South Conference Western Division Championship.
"This is an extremely talented group of football players," said Jason Dannelly, Director of NAIA Relations for the College Fanz Sports Network and founder of the annual football showcase. "This is easily the highest concentration of first team, second team and honorable mention All-Americans that we have ever had compete in this showcase event."
The College Fanz Sports Network's Senior Classic will pit 120 former NAIA football players against one another in a showcase of talent and character. The game kicks off Saturday, April 25th at 1:00 p.m. Central Standard Time in Platte County R3 High School's Pirate Stadium in Platte City, Missouri.
Highlighting the offenses are first team All-American running backs Nick Banks of Minot State University and Greg Fountain of Campbellsville. Fountain led the NAIA in rushing with 1,726 yards total (and 156.9 yards per game), while Banks was second averaging 143.8 yards per game. Zach Morrison, an offensive lineman from Shorter College, and Ian Gilworth, a quarterback from Morningside College, round out the second team All-American participants.
Defensively, there are three first team All-Americans participating. Leading the way at linebacker are Nathan Jansen of Northwestern College (Iowa) and Demetrious Washington of NAIA National Champion the University of Sioux Falls. Robbie Schultz of Benedictine College anchors the defensive line selections. Larry Wentzel, a defensive lineman from Missouri Valley, and Gannon Novak from St. Francis (Ill.), round out the second team All-American participants.
Last season the Nationals downed the Americans, 29-21. The Nationals offensive MVP was Joey Waters of Union College (Ky.) while their defensive MVP was Lakaito Barr-Miller of the University of Saint Mary (Kan.). The Americans offensive MVP was Andrew Baeza of Bethel College (Kan.) and their defensive MVP was Shane Ryan of Peru State (Neb.).
For the complete Nationals roster, click here.
For the complete Americans roster, click here.
College Fanz is the world's largest online college sports community, with students, alumni, and other fans of college sports. Founded by Bill Rasmussen, the innovator who launched ESPN in 1979, College Fanz boasts over 22,000 web pages devoted to more than 1,450 colleges and universities throughout the United States competing in over 225,000 NCAA and NAIA athletic events. Victory Sports Network, the leading voice of NAIA college sports, is now part of the College Fanz Sports Network. Registered membership in College Fanz is free at http://www.collegefanz.com/.