Orange City Iowa — Two members from the Northwestern College football team, Tyson Kooima and Shane Solberg, were named to the College Football America (CFA) Yearbook NAIA Preseason Starting line-up, a preseason honor given to the top players from across the NAIA. 19 programs from around the NAIA had at least one player earn the preseason honor while just five teams had multiple players recognized.
Kooima already has etched his name on several top 10 lists within the program in his two seasons as the team’s signal caller. Kooima ranks seventh in passing yards (5,772), throwing for over 2,800 in each of his first two seasons. The junior has thrown 45 touchdowns, eight most all-time, and has five 300+-yard passing games. Kooima has also rushed for 23 touchdowns and 1,156 yards. He is a two-time all-conference selection and ranked ninth in the NAIA in passing yards in 2018 (2,896).
Solberg had a record-breaking sophomore season last fall in earning in both NAIA All-American and first team all-GPAC honors. The junior wide receiver ranked sixth in the NAIA with a school-record 84 receptions for a school record 1,374 yards (6th in the NAIA) and 13 touchdowns. Solberg set the school record for receiving yards in a game (269 vs Hastings) and caught four touchdown passes in the Red Raiders win over Briar Cliff. He totaled seven 100-yard games and caught at least two passes in all 11 games. Solberg was just the second Red Raider to record 1,000 receiving yards in a season.
Northwestern, under the direction of Head Coach Matt McCarty, finished the 2018 season with a 9-2 record, losing in the first round of the NAIA FCS. They finished the season ranked 12th in the coaches’ poll.