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Cheek and Kikta of Carnegie Mellon to Play in National All-Star Games

Cheek and Kikta of Carnegie Mellon to Play in National All-Star Games

From Carnegie Mellon University Athletics

Carnegie Mellon University senior offensive guard Nathan Cheek (Lancaster, Ohio) and senior wide receiver Tim Kikta (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair) will be playing in two separate all-star games this weekend. Cheek will play in the fifth annual D-III Senior Classic Football All-Star game in Salem, Va. on Friday, December 13 while Kikta will take the field on Saturday, December 14 in the American (Aztec) Bowl All-Star Game played in Mexico City.  

A four-time All-University Athletic Association (UAA) selection including three first-team appearances, Cheek started in every game of his career his first three seasons until a preseason injury in 2013 sidelined the 6-0, 250-pound offensive lineman the first two contests this season.  Cheek is a two-time D3football.com All-South Region honoree and has helped the Tartans put together a balanced attack over the last few seasons.  

On three occasions in 2013, the Tartans compiled 400 yards or more of total offense while accomplishing the feat 12 times in the past four years. During the 2010 season, Cheek played a huge factor in the Tartans rushing attack that set a school record with 585 yards rushing and 679 yards of total offense against Hiram.

The D-III Senior Classic serves as the premier scouting opportunity for all of D-III football. The D-III Senior Classic is traditionally on the second or third Friday of December, always the week before the D-III National Championship (Alonzo Stagg Bowl).

Kikta, a four-year starter and two-time All-UAA first-team selection, played in all 41 games in his career at Carnegie Mellon.  This past season, he was sixth in the association with 385 yards and recorded a season-best 102 yards receiving at Westminster.  A year ago, Kikta caught 44 passes on his way to setting a Tartan single-season record with 954 yards receiving.  He also set the school's single-game record with 158 yards receiving against Allegheny that same season.

Kikta becomes the fourth player in school history to be selected to the Aztec squad. Following the 2000 season Nick Zitelli earned MVP honors in a 27-26 United States victory over Mexico.  The inside linebacker recovered a blocked punt for a touchdown and nabbed an interception. In 2006, defensive back Arron Lewis took the field for the Eagles as a starter and recorded five tackles. Last season, offensive tackle Patrick Robinson took part in the game.

This game will be a special one for Kikta, as he will be joined on the field by his brother Matthew, who was a four-year starter for Duquesne University's offensive line from 2006-09.

The American (Aztec) Bowl is a small college post-season bowl game that has been played intermittently since 1950. With but one exception, all of the games have been played at locations in Mexico; the exception was the 1957 game played in San Antonio, Texas.  In 2012, the All-American Eagles defeated the Mexican College All-Stars, 49-21.