CWU Ranked Tenth in D-2 Football Poll - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

CWU Ranked Tenth in D-2 Football Poll

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ELLENSBURG, Wash. -- The Central Washington football team, which has qualified for the NCAA Division II football postseason each of the past two years, is ranked 10th in the Sporting News' 2009 Division II preseason poll.

In addition to the Wildcats' projected ranking as a team, senior wide receiver Johnny Spevak (Edgewood, Wash./Puyallup HS) has been tabbed as a preseason All-American by the publication for the second straight season.

Central Washington is one of four teams from Super Region Four ranked in the top 10 in the national poll by Sporting News. Northwest Missouri State, Pittsburg State (Kan.), and Central Oklahoma are ranked second, sixth, and ninth, respectively, by the publication.

Just one Wildcat opponent in 2009 -- defending Division II national champion Minnesota Duluth -- is ranked nationally by Sporting News in its poll. The Bulldogs are ranked third.

Spevak, 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, is one of three receivers listed on the preseason Division II All-American team. He had a banner offensive campaign last season, tying a CWU single-season record with 20 touchdown receptions while also establishing a new single-season mark with 1,442 receiving yards. A two-sport student-athlete for the Wildcats and the runner-up for the 2008-09 CWU Male Athlete of the Year, Spevak finished last season as a Little All-American by the Associated Press.

Central Washington finished 10-2 last season in its first gridiron campaign under head coach Blaine Bennett. The Wildcats are expected to return 15 starters from that squad, which finished with an 8-0 Great Northwest Athletic Conference record and claimed the program's 31st all-time conference championship last fall.

SPORTING NEWS DIVISION II PRESEASON TOP 25
1. Grand Valley State (Mich.)
2. Northwest Missouri State
3. Minnesota Duluth
4. Delta State (Miss.)
5. Edinboro (Pa.)
6. Pittsburg State (Kan.)
7. Bloomsburg (Pa.)
8. Carson-Newman (Tenn.)
9. Central Oklahoma
10. CENTRAL WASHINGTON
11. North Alabama
12. Tusculum (Tenn.)
13. California (Pa.)
14. Ashland (Ohio)
15. Abilene Christian (Texas)
16. Tuskegee (Ala.)
17. Chadron State (Neb.)
18. Minnesota State Mankato
19. Valdosta State (Ga.)
20. Nebraska-Kearney
21. Seton Hill (Pa.)
22. Indiana (Pa.)
23. American International (Mass.)
24. Arkansas Tech
25. Shaw (N.C.)

SPORTING NEWS DIVISION II ALL-AMERICA TEAM
Offense
Quarterback: Billy Cundiff, Ashland (Ohio). Running Back: LaRon Council, Northwest Missouri State; Isaac Odim, Minnesota Duluth. Wide Receiver: JOHNNY SPEVAK, CENTRAL WASHINGTON; Logan Masters, Wayne State (Neb.); Jeremiah Watts, Merrimack (Mass.). Offensive Line: Tony Washington, Abilene Christian (Texas); J'Marcus Webb, West Texas A&M; Jared Veldheer, Hillsdale (Mich.); Sam Whitney, Minnesota Duluth; Nate Nurse, California (Pa.). Athlete: Scott Buisson, Arkansas-Monticello. Kicker: Mark Petro, Hillsdale (Mich.).

Defense
Defensive Line: Danny Richard, Grand Valley State (Mich.); Marc Schiechl, Colorado Mines; Drew Berube, Hillsdale (Mich.); Jamaal Steamer, Tarleton State (Texas). Linebacker: Lardester Hicks-Green, Delta State (Miss.); Michael Johnson, North Alabama; John Jacobs, Saginaw Valley State (Mich.); Matt Freed, East Stroudsburg (Pa.). Defensive Back: Cole Strilzuk, Minnesota Duluth; Myles Burnsides, Northwest Missouri State; Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, Indiana (Pa.); Jake Mandelko, Nebraska-Kearney. Punter: John Gregory, Tusculum (Tenn.).
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