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Crusaders picked 4th in Southern Division in conference preseason coaches' poll

Contributed by admin on Aug 20, 2015 - 10:25 PM
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Springfield, Mo. – Evangel University's football squad was picked to finish fourth in the Southern Division of the Heart of America Athletic Conference preseason coaches' poll.


For the first time in league history, the Heart of America conference will split into two divisions and the Crusaders will play in the Southern Division. MidAmerica Nazarene was preseason selection to win the division while Missouri Valley was picked second and Baker third. The poll had Central Methodist behind Evangel in fifth and Avila in sixth.


The Crusaders went 6-5 last season with a 4-5 conference record and have 35 returning lettermen for the 2015 season.


The Northern Division winner and the Southern Division winner will represent the conference with automatic bids in the NAIA Championship Series. The league will play an 11-game conference schedule but only the divisional games will count in the standings to determine the division winners. 


Grand View (Iowa) and William Penn (Iowa) will play their first season in the Heart of America conference creating a 12-team league. Grand View, national champions in 2013, are picked to win the Northern Division.


The Crusaders open the season Aug. 29 at Benedictine and play their first home game Saturday, Sept. 5 against Peru State for a 6 p.m. kickoff at JFK Stadium.


The complete poll results:



Team (1st place votes), Points

1.       MidAmerica Nazarene (4), 49

2.       Missouri Valley (1), 46

3.       Baker (1), 43

4.       EVANGEL, 37

5.       Central Methodist, 35

6.       Avila, 30



Team (1st place votes), Points

1.       Grand View (4), 49

2.       Benedictine (1), 45

3.       William Penn (1), 44

4.       Graceland, 36

5.       Peru State, 34

6.       Culver-Stockton, 32