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University of Saint Mary

USM Football Slated for the Middle of the Pack in KCAC Polls

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 05:42 PM

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As the Saint Mary football team prepares for a new season, the KCAC Coaches and Media Polls have been released. In the Media Poll, USM was picked to finish fifth while the Coaches' Poll saw the Spires selected sixth in the preseason rankings. The rankings come on the heels of the Spires' seventh place finish in 2014 where they posted a 4-7 record.

This year Saint Mary returns six starters on offense and for the first time in almost a decade, they do not return an All-Conference performer from the previous season. The offensive line returns no seniors this season, but do return junior Ricardo Rivera, and Sophomores Brennan Juhl and Matt NilaMarcus Mata will be under center for the Spires in his senior season. Mata is the all-time leading scorer in school history. Wide receiverAntonio Cannon will be the top returning target for Mata, and Torion Amos returns at running back for the Spires replacing the Spires' all-time rushing leader Wil Ryan.

On defense, Saint Mary returns six starters as well. All-American second teamer Kenny Nez returns in the defensive backfield along with four year starters Joshwa Gittens and Josh Cabezas to round out the secondary. Defensive line will return two forces in Will Affognon and Andrew Kump. At linebacker, Rudy Estrada andEaston Ridley return with several new additions that will increase the competition at that spot in the fall.

Head Coach Jay Osborne will be in his second season at the help for the Spire football team. It his 10th season with the program as a player and coach. Osborne had this to say about the upcoming season. "This will be our largest and most talented roster that we have had. We return experience at all positions and it makes us optimistic about what we can accomplish this season."

Saint Mary will kick off their season on the road against Mayville State in Mayville, ND on August 29 at 1pm. The hope opener for the Spires comes on September 5th at 7pm. Saint Mary will also look forward to the completion of Charles J. Berkel Memorial Stadium. Construction continues on the facility with the anticipated finish scheduled for this fall. All home games will be played at Leavenworth High School until the new stadium is completed.