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Heart coaches select Football second in Northern Division

Contributed by admin on Aug 20, 2015 - 11:13 PM
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OLATHE – The annual Heart of America Athletic Conference Football Media Day moved to Olathe on Monday as part of the first-ever Heart Summit.

After the various coaches, administrators and support staff gathered for professional development, lunch and meetings, the football coaches gathered to meet with area media, including the Niles Media Group who will be the Heart's broadcast partner this season.

Head coach Larry Wilcox and the Ravens earned 45 points to earn the No. 2 spot in the Heart's Northern Division.

For the first time since joining the Heart for the 1992 season, the Ravens entire slate of games this season will be within conference play as they not only play the five remaining Northern Division teams but the six Southern Division teams.

"There are pluses and minuses (to the new format)," said Coach Wilcox. "A plus is that our entire schedule is set, we know who we're playing and when we're playing. It's going to be a grind with the addition of two more good schools."

Grand View (Iowa) University and William Penn (Iowa) University officially begin play this season as member's of the Heart and will play in the Northern Division with the Ravens.

Grand View was selected to win the division with 49 points and four first place votes while William Penn received 44 points and one first-place vote. Benedictine earned the remaining first-place vote.

"The conference had really started to improve prior to our additions," said Coach Wilcox. "Now the conference is going to be tougher. One of our biggest challenges will be to develop depth. Not many teams are going to be able to go through this schedule and not need more than one starter at a position."

With the addition of Grand View and William Penn isn't the only addition for the Heart heading into 2015. Over the summer, the conference announced a television deal in association with Niles Media Group to broadcast games in the Kansas City market on KSMO and nationally through ESPN3.

"Its exciting for our conference, Benedictine and our players to have those television games," said Coach Wilcox.

The Ravens kick off the season at 1 p.m. Aug. 29 when they host Evangel University. Benedictine will be featured four times on ESPN3 beginning Sept. 12 at home against Missouri Valley College, Sept. 19 at MNU, Oct. 10 at home against Culver-Stockton College and finally Oct. 31 at William Penn. All broadcasted games will kick off at 11 a.m.

Football selected No. 25 in NAIA Preseason Coaches' Poll

Contributed by admin on Aug 20, 2015 - 11:14 PM
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics released the Preseason Top 25 Football Coaches' Poll on Monday and the Raven Football team was among the list of schools to earn a preseason ranking.

Benedictine, who went 7-4 a season ago, will start the season ranked No. 25 in the exact position they finished in the 2014 Postseason Coaches' Poll and 2015 Spring Coaches' Poll.

Benedictine is one of six schools from the Heart of America Athletic Conference that will begin the season ranked.

The Heart will start the season with three programs ranked in the top 10 as Heart newcomer Grand View (Iowa) University checked in at No. 6, while 2014 co-champions MNU and Missouri Valley College checked in at No. 8 and No. 9 respectively.

Baker University and Heart newcomer William Penn (Iowa) University gave the conference two additional top 20 programs as Baker checked in at No. 15 with William Penn checking in at No. 19.

The first regular-season NAIA poll will be released on Sept. 14.

The 2015 season will see a change in schedule for the Heart as the entire conference will play all regular-season games within conference play.

In addition to the exclusive conference schedule, the Heart will be divided up into two divisions – North and South. Benedictine will be among the six-team North Division with Grand View, William Penn, Culver-Stockton College, Graceland University and Peru State College. The South Division will be MNU, Baker, Avila University, Missouri Valley, Central Methodist University and Evangel University.

The Ravens open up the season on Aug. 29 at 1 p.m. on O'Malley Field at Larry Wilcox Stadium as they host Evangel. The opener once again marks the annual Football Alumni Day as the 1960 CIC Champions will be recognized along with the 1985 and 1995 teams who will be celebrating their 30-year and 15-year anniversaries.

The complete Raven schedule is available on the football schedule page. As broadcast schedules are finalized, links to live stats, radio broadcast and live video streams for all home and away games will be available on the schedule page.