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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Record-setting Antwan Harris – Mount Ida College Football Captain

Contact: Mike Raposo
Sports Information Director
( 617) 928-7202

Antwan Harris – Mount Ida College Football Captain

NEWTON, Mass. (Oct. 17, 2006) – Every time he bursts for another gain on the football field, Mount Ida College senior running back Antwan Harris of Hartford, Conn. adds to his school rushing record. At mid-season, Harris was on track to become just the ninth Division III college player in New England to gain at least 4,000 yards.

But it is the strides he has made off the field that have transformed Harris from an initially uninvolved freshman just trying to adapt to a new position on the football team into the consummate student-athlete, an individual who strives to make the most of his potential.

``Antwan is an exceptional young man who takes pride in everything he does,’’ said Mount Ida head football coach Ed Sweeney. ``Antwan’s work ethic is what sets him apart. He embraces challenge both in the classroom and on the field. He cares about his teammates and works extremely hard not to let them down. I have coached for 36 years and Antwan prepares himself on a daily basis as thoroughly as any player I have ever been around.’’

A defensive end/lineman in high school, Harris didn’t mind hitting and getting hit in that role. But he relished the opportunity to carry the football once Sweeney and his staff converted him to offense early in his freshman season. Now, as the team’s premier ball-carrier, he prides himself as being as fresh in the final quarter and he was in the first.

``It’s not the records that are important,’’ said Harris, ``it’s how you leave your mark on the game through your presence and the key plays you make. Numbers don’t describe character. Pushing myself to the limit is a big part of me.’’

Harris’ efforts to improve on and off the field were in evidence last summer when he stayed on campus and put himself through a grueling self-designed training program to improve his conditioning and quickness. He also met weekly with Mount Ida professor Ronald Greenwald to hone his language and communication skills.

``I’d like to go for a Masters Degree once football is over for me,’’ said Harris, who was captain of the football and indoor and outdoor track teams at Weaver High School in Hartford, Conn. and who has a special interest in history and American Studies. A student-teacher at West Roxbury High School, Harris would like to be a teacher-coach someday and he has invited some of the West Roxbury students and staff to attend Mount Ida’s home football games.

``It’s a lot of fun listening to what high school students have on their minds,’’ said Harris.

Aside from delivering on the football field, Harris works five days a week in the mail room delivering packages. He is also vice president of the Black Student Achievement Coalition, is active on the Student Government Committee and is a member of the college’s Learning Circle Program that provides resources and services through academic coaches.

``I take the same approach whether it’s for football or school work – that prior preparation is crucial,’’ said Harris, the first 3,000 yard rusher in Mount Ida football history whose 377 yards against Becker College in the 2005 season set a New England Division III single game record and were the most yards gained in a single game the entire season by any player in the nation.

This season, his 243 rushing yards versus Becker ranked second amongst DIII players for a single game at the time, a feat that earned Harris recognition on the Team of the Week and selection to the Football Gazette’s National Player of the Week list for his division.

In addition, Harris’ 99-yard touchdown run at the Norwich Academy tied an NCAA record and his 31-yard scoring rush late in the Homecoming Day Game on September 30 enabled the Mustangs to come back and defeat Husson College, the tenth-ranked team in New England.

``He’s everything you could want in a football player,’’ said Mount Ida athletic director Jackie Palmer, ``and as a citizen of the Mount Ida community. Wherever he goes on campus, Antwan Harris is a contributor.’’

Antwan Harris Career Highlights

*676 yards and 5 TD’s on 129 carries in 2006

*First 3,000 yard rusher in Mount Ida College football program history

*3,875 career rushing yards – 12th best in New England Division III history

(Note: There are only eight players in the history of New England DIII with 4,000 career rushing yards)

*Rushed for 377 yards versus Becker College on September 24, 2005

-Most in the history of New England Division III

-Most in all of NCAA Division III in 2005

-10th Most in the history of Division III

-25th Most in history of NCAA (all divisions)

-Boston Globe Gold Helmet Award Winner

-ECAC Northeast Offensive Player of the Week Team of the Week

*Rushed for 243 yards versus Becker College on September 23, 2006

-2nd Most in all of NCAA Division III this season

- Team of the Week

-Don Hansen’s Football Gazette Players of the Week

*Broke off a 99-yard touchdown run at Norwich University on September 2, 2006

-Best in NCAA Division III history

*1,370 rushing yards in 2005 were 23rd best single-season total in New England Division III History

*2005 Final NCAA Rankings

-178.6 all purpose yards per game ranked fifth nationally

-137.0 rushing yards per contest were tenth best

*1,128 rushing yards in 2004 were 69th best single-season total in New England Division III history.

*2004 Final NCAA Rankings

-146.6 all purpose yards per game ranked 37th nationally

-141.0 rushing yards per contest were 15th best

-8.5 points per game were 35th best

Mike Raposo
Sports Information Director/Assistant Athletic Director
Mount Ida College
777 Dedham Street
Newton, MA 02459
Phone: 617-928-7202
FAX: 617-928-7299


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