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Football Picked Ninth in KCAC Preseason Polls

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 04:52 PM
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WICHITA, Kan. – The 2015 Southwestern College football team will open the Brad Griffin era with low expectations, according to media members and head football coaches in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. The Moundbuilders were picked ninth in KCAC Preseason Polls, which were announced Friday afternoon at the 2015 KCAC Football Media Day at the Hotel at Old Town in Wichita.

Southwestern received 25 votes in the coaches poll, and tied with Bethel for ninth place in the 10-team poll. Likewise, the Moundbuilders received 42 votes from the 15 media members in attendance, and earned 21 more votes than McPherson, which was voted 10th.

Griffin inherits a Moundbuilder squad that finished 1-10 overall, and 1-8 in the KCAC in 2014. Southwestern returns three All-KCAC selections from the 2014 squad.

"I'm not one to stand up here and talk about who we have coming back and who we don't have," Griffin said. "But we will be competitive this season, and that's all any coach can ask of their kids."

Southwestern opens its 2015 season on Aug. 29, traveling to Plainview, Texas, to face the Pioneers of Wayland Baptist University. Kick-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.

KCAC Football Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Ottawa (89 – 8 First Place)
2. Tabor (79 – 2 First Place)
3. Friends (76)
4. Sterling (66)
5. Kansas Wesleyan (54)
6. Saint Mary (49)
7. Bethany (47)
8. McPherson (30)
T9. Southwestern (25)
T9. Bethel (25)

KCAC Football Preseason Media Poll
1. Friends (137 – 9 First Place)
2. Tabor (137 – 6 First Place)
3. Ottawa (126)
4. Sterling (87)
5. Saint Mary (81)
6. Kansas Wesleyan (76)
7. Bethany (61)
8. Bethel (57)
9. Southwestern (42)
10. McPherson (21)


Football Picked to Finish First and Third By KCAC Coaches and Media

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 04:49 PM
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WICHITA, Kan. - The Ottawa University football team was picked to finish third in the Media Poll and first in the Coaches Poll in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) determined by members of the league's media and coaches. The annual preseason poll was released Friday, Aug 7, at the conference's 2015 football media day held at the Hotel at Old Town in Wichita, Kan.

The Braves earned 126 points from the conference media to be picked to finish third. Friends University and Tabor College both finished with 137 points. Friends though received nine first place votes while Tabor had six. Sterling was picked to finish fourth (87), University of Saint Mary was selected fifth (81), Kansas Wesleyan sixth (76), Bethany College seventh (61), Bethel College eighth (57), Southwestern College ninth (42), and McPherson College 10th (21).  

In the KCAC Coaches Poll, OU was picked to finish first and received 89 points and eight first place votes from the conference coaches. Tabor was selected second with 79 points and two first place votes. Rounding out the top three was Friends University. The Falcons received 76 points. In fourth was Sterling (66), fifth Kansas Wesleyan (54), sixth University of Saint Mary (49), seventh Bethany (47), eighth McPherson (30) and tying for ninth was Bethel (25) and Southwestern (25).

OU opens fall training camp Monday, Aug. 10, when newcomers report. The Braves will open their 124th season of football on Saturday, Sept. 5th against Dakota Wesleyan University at Peoples Bank Field. Kickoff for the contest is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.

2015 KCAC Media Preseason Poll
Team (First Place Votes) Points
1. Friends (9) 137

2. Tabor (6) 137

3. Ottawa 126

4. Sterling 87

5. University of Saint Mary 81

6. Kansas Wesleyan 76

7. Bethany 61

8. Bethel 57

9. Southwestern 42

10. McPherson 21

2015 KCAC Coaches Preseason Poll
Team (First Place Votes) Points
1. Ottawa (8) 89

2. Tabor (2) 79

3. Friends 76

4. Sterling 66

5. Kansas Wesleyan 54

6. University of Saint Mary 49

7. Bethany 47

8. McPherson 30

T-9. Bethel 25

T-9. Southwestern 25


2015 Football Season Preview - Coyotes Moving Forward

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 04:45 PM
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Kansas Wesleyan Football coach Matt Drinkallprobably described the 2014 season the best – a transition.

"Last year was a transition year," he said. "We knew it going into the season and we knew things were going to be rough."

 

To pull a positive out of last season, Drinkall points to the invaluable amount of experience that many young players got having to be thrown into key varsity roles right away.

 

"We had a lot of buy-in to the program last year having to play so many young guys," Drinkall said.

 

Recruiting improved the team drastically, not only in numbers, but in talent and ability and experience. As of August 5, the roster features 119 players that Drinkall will bring into fall camp starting August 10.

 

"We feel good about what we did recruiting," he added. "We have brought in a lot more talent, a lot more depth, and a lot more experience. We have 59 freshmen coming into the program along with the 22 mid-year transfers and six more summer transfers."

 

The Coyotes will be able to run their style of game for the first time in the Drinkall era, as opposed to last season when the Coyotes had to adjust their scheme to match the personnel.

 

The most exciting news for the 2015 Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes has to be the fact that the team returns to campus for the first time since the end of the 2006 season in the all-new Gene Bissell Field at the Graves Family Sports Complex. Wesleyan's last true home game was October 21, 2006 against McPherson College, a 40-7 victory for the Coyotes. The final game of the 2006 season was played at Salina Stadium, owned by the USD 305, and KWU has played its home games since at Salina Stadium.

 

The Graves Family Sports Complex is a $7.5 million dollar facility that returns the KWU football, soccer and track teams home to campus, but also includes excellent practice facilities and other amenities that the campus has not enjoyed for many years. The facility includes Gene Bissell Field surrounded by the 8-lane competition-ready Olson Family Track, a separate lighted turf practice field, refinished tennis courts, a new scoreboard and sound system and a new grandstand that seats 2000. Hellas Construction, who also built AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, installed the track and fields at the Complex.

 

The excitement is building for the 2015 season, one that should see a much improved Coyote Football squad take the field on August 29 for the season opener at Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa.

 

OFFENSE
At quarterback, Wesleyan will see two players get a majority of the workload in returning starter Jake Curran (6-3, 210, Sr., Garden City, Kan. / Garden City CC (Kan.)) and newcomer Kelly Cordova (5-9, 193, So., Frisco, Texas / McPherson College (Kan.)).

 

"You'll see both Jake and Kelly in the game at some point," Drinkall said. "How much they will play depends on how they practice, but they will both always play every game."

 

Running back will be an intriguing position for the Coyotes in 2015. With the loss of All-KCAC performer Taylor Sachs, the Coyotes have big shoes to fill, but a solid group of players will fill the void. Newcomer Miles Balthazor (5-9, 200, So., Valley Center, Kan. / McPherson College (Kan.)) and returner Matt Jones (5-8, 202, Jr., Houston, Texas / Galena Park HS) will most likely see a majority of the work load carrying the ball, but with several good runners coming into camp, the starting nod remains wide open at this point. At fullback, Colby Donohue (5-11, 230, Jr., San Antonio, Texas / San Antonio College (Texas)) will be the go-to as a full-time offensive player after splitting time between offense and defense last season, earning Honorable Mention All-KCAC honors at linebacker.

 

"We have several tailbacks coming in that we feel very good about," Drinkall said. "It will be a very competitive position group for us."

 

At receiver, several players will see time on the field according to Drinkall. One returning player that has separated himself from the pack is Albert Geason (5-11, 185, Sr., Grand Prairie, Texas / South Grand Prairie HS).

 

"Albert has had an outstanding spring and summer," Drinkall said. "He's positioned himself for a really nice year for us."

 

At tight end, Wesleyan returns First Team All-KCAC performer Mitch Kufahl (6-0, 192, Jr., Wheaton, Kan. / Onaga HS) but also look for Kaleb Whitehair (6-2, 192, So., Salina, Kan. / Ell-Saline HS) to fit into the mix as well.

 

"Mitch is outstanding and is a great fit for our offense," Drinkall said. "But look for Whitehair to come in and also be a standout player for us in that position."

 

The offensive line will be drastically improved from a year ago. Drinkall points out that the line will be noticeably bigger and deeper on the line. Mario Soto (5-11, 290, So., Santa Paula, Calif. / Santa Paula HS) returns for his sophomore campaign and will be an anchor on the line. Several players will also compete for time at tackle for the Coyotes and a strong group of incoming freshman will help shore up the line.

 

"We will be noticeably different on the line from where we were a year ago," Drinkall said.

 

DEFENSE
The defensive line also gets a big positive boost from the recruiting trails. After having just five true linemen all of last season, the Coyotes expect nine players to see significant amounts of playing time with a total of 16 players vying for a spot in the rotation.

 

Expect to see returners Garett Walker (6-3, 241, Jr, Hugoton, Kan. / Hugoton HS) and Kretien Webb (5-11, 266, So., Menifee, Calif. / Paloma Valley HS) to see significant time along with Jonathan Meketuk (6-1, 251, Jr., Lochbuie, Colo. / Weld Central HS) and Christian McQueen (5-11, 216, So., La Verne, Calif. / Bonita HS). Webb was on his way to an outstanding freshman campaign last year before suffering a season-ending injury against Tabor. Newcomers Marquil Jones-Walker (6-5, 213, Sr., Wichita, Kan. / Friends University (Kan.)), Marcus Bradley (6-1, 271, Sr., Dallas, Texas / Bethany College (Kan.)), Darius Jiggetts (5-10, 254, Jr., Wichita, Kan. / Independence CC (Kan.)), Peter Timoti

(6-0, 310, Fr., Yorba Linda, Calif. / Valencia HS) and Josh Davis (6-0, 278, Fr., Gardena, Calif. / Junipero Serra HS) will also help solidify the defensive line this season.

 

"Garett Walker had an unbelievable spring for us after playing defensive line for the first time in his life last season. Kretien Webblooks great coming off his injury, and transfers Marquil Jones-Walker and Marcus Bradley will be nice fits for us," Drinkall said.

 

At linebacker on the outside, it comes down to two players vying for a starting role in Mitch Persinger (6-0, 217, So., Liberal, Kan. / Hugoton HS) and newcomer Kenneth Wells (5-10, 192, Sr., St. Louis, Mo. / Central Methodist University (Mo.)). Persinger played tight end for the Coyotes last season, but transitioned to defense in the spring and has been outstanding at the outside backer position according to Drinkall.

 

At inside linebacker, returner Troy Ward (5-9, 213, So., Manhattan, Kan. / Manhattan HS) will compete for a spot along with seasoned veteran Matt Myers (5-10, 220, Sr., Salina, Kan. / Southeast of Saline HS) who returns from a season-ending injury.Tanner Ranieri (5-11, 191, Jr., Seneca, Kan. / Nemaha Valley HS) will also fit into the mix at the inside linebacker position.

 

The biggest improvement from last season on the defensive side of the ball comes in the defensive backfield. A pair of transfers,Sequente Marks (5-10, 170, Sr., Wichita, Kan. / Friends University (Kan.)) and Tyrone Wright (6-2, 205, Sr., Wichita, Kan. / Friends University (Kan.)), will provide immediate assistance at corner and safety, respectively. Returner Michael Guerrero (5-10, 187, Jr., Amarillo, Texas / Caprock HS) will look to fit into the mix as well. Guerrero made the transition late last season to the defensive side and has seen great improvement since the end of the season.

 

"Guerrero is getting better and better with every second," Drinkall said. "Marks and Wright will be of immediate help to us as well."

 

Look for returners Eric Reed (5-8, 166, Jr., Denver, Colo. / Manual HS), Sam Pierce (6-1, 176, So., Newton, Kan. / Newton HS),Blake Harris (6-0, 190, Jr., Copperas Cove, Texas / Copperas Cove HS) and Jacob Griese (5-10, 186, Fr., Houston, Texas / Mayde Creek HS) to fit into the mix as well. Griese made the change from quarterback to defensive back in the off-season after redshirting last season.

 

"Pierce has made a ton of improvement for us over the summer," Drinkall said. "Jacob will be a load for us in the back end for the next four years. He is one of our most physical defensive backs."

 

SPECIAL TEAMS
The Coyotes will step out of convention on special teams this season. The punting duties will be handled by both quarterbacks out of the offensive formations by design.

 

"Jake and Kelly will do the punting for us this year as we don't have a true punter on the roster," Drinkall said.

 

Kicking duties will be split between three players, all with a different task. Tony Gallegos (5-8, 190, Sr., Bell, Calif. / LA Harbor College (Calif.)), who played soccer for the Coyotes last season will handle kickoff duties. Most likely, Cordova will be kicking extra points and offensive lineman Mark Ayala (5-8, 283, So., Santa Paula, Calif. / Santa Paula HS) will be the field goal kicker.

 

THE SCHEDULE
The Coyotes will open the season in August for the first time in school history when they hit the gridiron on August 29 at Waldorf College.

 

The season opener will be played in Forest City, Iowa with kickoff slated for 7 p.m. from Bolstorff Field on the Waldorf campus. The contest will also be the first-ever meeting between the teams. Waldorf is affiliated with the North Star Athletic Association. The Waldorf game came about after an originally scheduled contest against Haskell Indian Nations University was dropped from the schedule when Haskell made the decision to suspend its football program for the 2015 season.

 

The next week, September 5, the Coyotes will host Midland University in the KCAC/GPAC Challenge Series game. It will be the first-ever meeting between the Warriors and Coyotes. Kickoff for the game is scheduled for 7 p.m.

 

After a bye week on September 12, the first mid-season bye week for the Coyotes since 1999, Wesleyan opens conference play at home on September 19 at 6 p.m. against Sterling College. The game will be Community Day.

 

Wesleyan then heads to Winfield on September 26 to face Southwestern College in a 6 p.m. kickoff against the Moundbuilders.

 

The Coyotes return back home for back-to-back home games the next two weeks. October 3 will be Homecoming for the Coyotes as Wesleyan welcomes McPherson College to the Graves Family Sports Complex for a 6 p.m. kickoff. The following week will be Wesleyan's first afternoon game of the season as the Coyotes host Friends for Youth Day on October 10 in a 3 p.m. kickoff.

 

Road contests against nationally-ranked Tabor (October 17) and at arch-rival Bethany (October 24) are next on the schedule for the Coyotes. The Bethany game will be the 103rd all-time meeting in the series between the schools. Bethany holds a 56-41-5 lead in the series.

 

Wesleyan returns home on October 31 to host Bethel College at 1:30 p.m. for Military Appreciation Day, before heading back on the road to face nationally-ranked Ottawa on November 7 at 1:30 in Ottawa. The Coyotes will wrap up the regular season on November 14 against Saint Mary at home in a 1:30 kickoff.


Football Voted Seventh at the KCAC Media Day

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 04:42 PM
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WICHITA, Kan. -- The Bethany College football team has been picked to finish seventh in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference in the 2015 season in both the coaches' and media polls. The polls were conducted and announced at the end of the annual KCAC Football Media Day held at the Hotel at Old Town in Wichita.

Friends University, Ottawa University and Tabor College were the favorites in both polls. Ottawa took the first place vote in the coaches' poll gaining eight first place votes. The Blue Jays were voted second in both polls and had votes for first place in both polls. Friends was voted third by the coaches, but jumped to first place in the media poll with nine first place votes.

Sterling College was slated to finish fourth in both polls, while Kansas Wesleyan University and the University of Saint Mary each held the fifth and sixth place positions in one of the polls. The Swedes held the seventh place vote in both polls while McPherson College, Southwestern College, and Bethel College were in the final three spots in both polls.

Bethany is coming off a 7-4 season and 5-4 in the KCAC and have reloaded, bringing in nearly 70 new recruits. The Swedes also revealed their new-look helmets. After a short stint with silver helmets, the coaching staff decided to bring back the traditional gold helmets.

Head coach Paul Hubbard is looking to bring back the rich Bethany football tradition and to change a culture with the Swedes. At one point in his interview, Hubbard said, "We're going to be built off of character and discipline."

The Swedes will start off the season by traveling to Houston Baptist University on September 5 at 7:00 pm. Bethany will welcome Langston University in their home opener the following weekend on September 12, before they open KCAC play on the road in North Newton at Bethel College. 

2015 KCAC Pre-Season Football Media Poll
T1. Friends: 137 (9 First Place)
T1. Tabor: 137 (6 First Place)
3. Ottawa: 126
4. Sterling: 87
5. Saint Mary: 81
6. Kansas Wesleyan: 76
7. Bethany: 61
8. Bethel: 57
9. Southwestern: 42
10. McPherson: 21

2015 KCAC Pre-Season Football Coaches' Poll
1. Ottawa: 89 (8 First Place)
2. Tabor: 79 (2 First Place)
3. Friends: 76
4. Sterling: 66
5. Kansas Wesleyan: 54
6. Saint Mary: 49
7. Bethany: 47
8. McPherson: 30
T9. Bethel: 25
T9. Southwestern: 25

To view the KCAC Football Media Day, visit the KCAC stretch internet portal


GPAC Football Poll Released

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 04:39 PM
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(Friday, August 7; Sioux Center, Iowa) The Great Plains Athletic Conference pre-season coaches’ poll has been released for the 2015 season.

The Dordt College Defenders, who open the season on Saturday, September 5 in a non-conference game against Dakota State at Madison, South Dakota, were voted tenth in the poll.

Coach Greg Youngblood’s Media Day comments

The Defenders will open the GPAC season at home on Saturday, September 12 against Northwestern at 6:00.  The Dordt schedule includes six home games and a second non-conference game against Trinity Bible (North Dakota) on October 10.

Morningside took nine first place votes in the voting and with 81 points is the pre-season pick to repeat as regular season champions.

Here is the complete 2015 GPAC Pre-season Football Coaches’ Poll:
1-Morningside-81 (9)
2-Northwestern-73 (1)
3- Doane 65
4- Dakota Wesleyan 51
5- Hastings 48
6- Concordia 46
7- Nebraska Wesleyan 27
8- Midland 25
9- Briar Cliff 24
10-Dordt 9

Points are awarded on a 9-1 basis (first place vote worth nine points) and coaches are not allowed to vote for their team.

Games for the 2015 season kick off on Saturday, August 29 with Briar Cliff traveling to Benedictine (Kansas) in non-conference play.  The GPAC schedule will consist of nine games with one bye week in the conference.  League games begin September 12.

2014 Standings:
Morningside   8-1/ 11-2
Northwestern  8-1/9-2
Doane   7-2/7-3
Dakota Wesleyan 5-4/7-4
Hastings  5-4/6-4
Concordia  4-5/5-6
Nebraska Wesleyan 4-5/4-6
Briar Cliff  2-7/2-9
Dordt    1-8/2-9
Midland  1-8/2-8

 


Warrior football poised to rebound in 2015 behind senior leadership

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 04:33 PM
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Sioux City, Iowa – Midland University head football coach Josh Gehring is ready turn the page on what he called a disappointing 2014 campaign and start fresh in the 2015 season. Gehring, along with the nine other GPAC coaches, gathered for the 16th annual football media day on Thursday afternoon.

"We were devastated with injuries last year," Gehring said during his time at the podium. "Despite that, and turnovers which became our Achilles Heel, we were in almost every game we played. Our biggest takeaway from last season is that we've closed the gap [in competition] within our conference. I'm excited to get back to work this year."

The Warriors suffered 15 season-ending injuries on the roster in 2014, possibly none bigger than Ethan Renner. The junior linebacker saw his season come to an end in the midst of Midland's 28-14 upset victory over then-No. 24 Peru State College on the road to open the year. The Warriors went on to shutout Dordt College, 35-0, the following week and improved to 2-0 on the young season.

However, that would stand as Midland's final win of the 2014 campaign as the Warriors dropped eight straight to close the season. Gehring commented on the noticeable difference on the field without Renner. "When he went down, we really felt that one."

"You never underestimate the talent of any of your players, but in the case of Ethan we may have underestimated just how big of an impact he made on our team," noted Gehring. "He is a young man that does all the right things on and off the field, and provides significant leadership."

Renner, who also serves as the Warriors' kicker and punter on top of his duties as outside linebacker, is healthy and looks to close out his career on a high note in 2015.

Renner is one of 26 total seniors expected to be on Midland's roster this season, which is an asset that has Gehring chomping at the bit to return to the field with his team. "This is the most excited I've been about a senior group in my tenure at Midland."

"There isn't another group of young men that I'd want to lead our team. These guys want to succeed and I'm excited to see the intensity they bring to camp."

Other seniors that Gehring mentioned include: Brock DunnLane HeinertTroy RodriguezLucas Schawang,Taylor Standerford and Alex Williams. Those players are expected to anchor the Warrior defense, which Gehring noted as the Warriors' strength, "I'm fired up about our defense. They are a relentless group and I love the work they put in last spring."

"Lane is a leader and an incredible athlete who we can move around because he can do so many things in the defensive back field," Gehring said. "Alex is a guy who has been waiting on his chance, and now he has the opportunity to really step up."

On the offensive side of the ball, the quarterback position remains a question mark for Midland with camp slated to begin next week. One option is senior Zach Couey who is returning from a knee injury after appearing under center in seven games last year for the Warriors. He threw for 814 yards with four touchdowns with a 55 percent completion rate in 2014. Junior Kyle Weiss is another option for the starting role along with some newcomers expected to compete for the job.

One thing that is certain though, is that Gehring expects big things from sophomore wide receiver Tristin Kamaka, regardless of who is throwing him the ball his way. Kamaka recorded 22 catches and three touchdowns in his rookie season, but will have big shoes to fill in 2015. Midland will be without the services of First Team All-GPAC recipientKail Walker this season, due to his decision to graduate early. Walker set single-season records last year for receiving yards (891) and yards in a game (207), while tying the single-season mark with three touchdowns in a game.

Gehring closed his remarks at Thursday's media day by mentioning three keys to success for the Warriors in 2015: special teams, turnovers and senior leadership.

At the conclusion of the press conference, Midland was selected to finish the season eighth in the GPAC in both the media and coaches' poll.

Gehring's Warriors report to camp next Thursday and will have just over two weeks to prepare for their season opener on Saturday, August 29 at Olivet Nazarene University. Midland will play three consecutive road games to begin the year prior to its home opener on September 19th against Dakota Wesleyan University at Heedum Field in Fremont, Nebraska. 

For complete GPAC preseason polls, click here.


Red Raiders Picked Second In GPAC Poll

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 04:30 PM
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Northwestern College was picked second in both preseason polls announced today at the end of the 2015 GPAC Football Media Day held at the Marina Inn located in Sioux City, Iowa. 

The Red Raiders totaled 73 points and earned one first place vote in the coaches' poll, finishing second behind Morningside with 81 points and nine first place votes. Northwestern also was picked second behind Morningside in the media poll, totaling 80 points compared to the 90 points for the Mustangs. Doane was picked third in both polls, followed by either Hastings and Dakota Wesleyan depending on the poll.

Kyle Achterhoff returns for his seventh season as the Red Raiders' head coach and guided his team to the 2014 GPAC Championship, sharing the title with Morningside, with an 8-1 record. Achterhoff returns 19 starters, seven on offense, eight on defense and all four on special teams, along with 41 letterwinners. Northwestern opens the season on the road against Tabor under the lights in Hillsboro, Kan. on Sept. 5. 


Bulldog football ready to kick-off the 2015 season

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 04:27 PM
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The University of Montana Western Bulldogs football team received nine votes to earn a #26 national ranking in the 2015 NAIA Football Coaches’ Preseason Poll. 
The recognition comes after a strong finish to the 2014 football season that saw Montana Western win its last four contests, including a 60-15 rout over MSU-Northern in the season finale. The Bulldogs finished with a 6-4 conference record and a #27 ranking in the final NAIA Football Coaches Poll of 2014. 

Third-year head coach BJ Robertson, felt honored that the team was recognized by voters, although he understands that the votes come from the end of the 2014 season and Montana Western is ready for the 2015 season. 

“We hope to ride that momentum into the 2015 season but this is Team 84 not Team 83.  Team 84 wants to be ranked in the polls at the end of the season when it counts,” said Coach Robertson.

This years’ team will have a very different look to it after losing three Frontier Conference selections, offensive linemen Nick Brown and defensive end Phil Selin, who are both returning to the sideline as coaches in 2015, and All-American safety Jesse McCloud. The Bulldogs will also look to replace two-year starting quarterback Tyler Hulse.

Despite the losses of some very talented players, Montana Western returns four Frontier all-conference selections in 2015; second team selections Sam Rutherford a junior from Centerville, Mont. coming off the first 1,000 yard rushing season in Montana Western history, senior linebackers Joe Coker and AJ Wilson from Helena, Mont., and first team honoree, offensive linemen Will Thacker from Winnemucca, Nev., as well as a solid core of returning players. 

Offensively the Bulldogs will be led by Co-captains Will Thacker and senior running back from Laurel, Mont. Dylan Kramer. Kramer has been a staple of the Bulldog football team for the past three seasons. He has compiled 2,880 career all-purpose yards and 12 total touchdowns during his career, which includes 908 yards of total offense and six touchdowns as a true freshmen. The offense will also return their leading receiver from the 2014 campaign, junior Beau Brekke from Salmon, Idaho. Brekke compiled over 600 yards on 40 receptions and collected six touchdowns as a sophomore.

On defense, Montana Western will be led by Co-captains AJ Wilson and senior defensive back Dakota Pineda from Idaho Falls, Idaho. The entire linebacker crew returns from the 2014 season to join all-conference selections AJ Wilson and Joe Coker, including seniors TJ Benson from Libby, Mont. and Dakota Wainwright from Palmer, Alaska who led the Bulldogs with 78 and 72 tackles respectively. Benson returned his only interception for a touchdown. 

There will be familiar faces on the field for the Montana Western special teams as both the starting punter, George Sherwood a sophomore from Kalispell, Mont., and kicker, junior Connor Greth from Minden, Nev., return for the 2015 season. Sherwood averaged 38.6 yards per punt in his 36 attempts in 2014 and had five punts of 50+ yards, including a long of 55 yards. Greth connected on 32 extra points and 10 field goals last season to score 62 points for the Bulldogs, he has a career long field goal of 47 yards.

Even with all of the returning talent, national recognition in the polls, and high expectations that the Bulldogs have set for themselves, they understand the rigors of playing in the Frontier Conference, which has three teams ranked inside the Top 15; #1 Southern Oregon, #4 Carroll College, and #15 Eastern Oregon University. 

“Every week you have to be ready to give it your best.  Nothing but your best will be good enough in this league,” said Robertson, “the next step in our program is being consistent week in and week out.  If we can do that we have a chance,” he continued. 

The challenge the Frontier Conference has to offer is one that Montana Western is ready to take head on behind the leadership of 22 seniors. Coach Robertson expects this large group of seniors to demonstrate the pride, hard work, and physicality it takes to be competitive every week in the Frontier Conference.

Montana Western will open its season on September 5th at Rocky Mountain College, kickoff will be at 1 p.m.

The home opener will be on September 12th again College of Idaho, kickoff will be at 1 p.m.

For more information about the NAIA Coaches’ Preseason Poll use the following link: 

http://www.naia.org/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=640523&SPID=96219&DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=27900&ATCLID=209819150


NWU Football Picked 7th in GPAC Preseason Poll

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 04:22 PM
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SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Neb. -- The Nebraska Wesleyan University football team was picked to finish 7th in the 2015 preseason Great Plains Athletic Conference Coaches' poll that was released on Thursday (Aug. 6).  The poll was voted on by all 10 coaches at the 16th Annual GPAC Football Media Day that was held at the Marina Inn in South Sioux City, Neb.  NWU was picked to finish 7th in the 2015 media poll.

The Prairie Wolves received 33 total points for 7th place.  Three-time GPAC Champion Morningside College received 81 points and nine first place votes to earn the top spot in the GPAC Coaches poll, while Northwestern College had 73 points and one first place vote for second place.

Nebraska Wesleyan will report to camp on Wednesday, Aug. 12th.  The Prairie Wolves are expecting around 120 players to report to 2015 fall preseason camp.  The first practice of the season will be Aug. 13.

Head Coach Brian Keller, who begins his 20th season as coach of the Prairie Wolves, returns 11 starters (6 offense, 5 defense) and 37 total letterwinners from the 2014 squad.  NWU finished the 2014 season with a 4-6 overall record, ending the year tied for 6th place in the GPAC standings with a 4-5 conference record.

The Prairie Wolves open the season on Sept. 5 when they travel to Wichita, Kan., to face Friends University, a team  ranked #21 in the NAIA Spring poll.  NWU will open conference play on Sept. 12 with a trip to three-time reigning GPAC Champion Morningside College.

2015 GPAC Football Coaches' Poll

<tbody style="box-sizing: content-box;">

Place School (1st Place Votes) Points
1. Morningside (9) 81
2. Northwestern (1) 73
3. Doane 65
4. Dakota Wesleyan 51
5. Hastings 48
6. Concordia 46
7. Nebraska Wesleyan 33
8. Midland 24
9. Briar Cliff 20
10. Dordt 9


2015 GPAC Football Media Poll

<tbody style="box-sizing: content-box;">

Place School (1st Place Votes) Points
1. Morningside (9) 90
2. Northwestern 80
3. Doane 70
4. Hastings 56
5. Dakota Wesleyan 52
6. Concordia 45
7. Nebraska Wesleyan 39
8. Midland 30
9. Briar Cliff 22
10. Dordt 11

Presentation College football gears up for 2015 with opening of fall camp.

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 04:19 PM
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Presentation College head football coach Andy Carr and his staff will look to build on last year's 6-4 record with the opening of their 2015 camp beginning Friday, August 7th.  Coach Carr and his staff would like to extend an invitation to all family, friends, and fans of the Saints to attend the first full team workouts. 
 
Practice sessions will be open to the public from 9:00am to 11:30am beginning on Sunday, August 9th and ending with their annual intra-squad scrimmage on Saturday August 22nd.  All dates and times are subject to change based on weather conditions.
 
Coach Carr enters his 5th campaign at the helm coming off a program best ever 6 win mark, including 3 North Star Athletic Association conference victories, also a program best.  In addition, the Saints return 3 NSAA All-Conference members:                    

<figure>2507<figcaption>Hayden Zenner</figcaption></figure>

 
Hayden Zenner  RB
Anthony Bricker  WR
Garret Fraser  LB
 
Presentation College's record performance one year ago saw them finish in the top 20th of several NAIA final season statistics:
 
5th in Division I in First Downs per Game (24.800)
7th in Division I in Total Offense Yards per Game (454.400)
7th in Division I in Opponent 4th Down Conversion (31.000)
10th in Division I in Rushing Offense per Game (229.100)
10th in Division I in Scoring Offense per Game (36.600)
17th in Division I in Total Rushing Offense (2291)
17th in Division I in Total Scoring Offense (366)
20th in Division I in Pass Defense per Game (173.100)
 
The Saints will kick off their 2015 season on the road in the Dakota Dome against Briar Cliff University on Saturday, August 29th.  Game time is set for 1:00pm.  Coach Carr and his staff will open their home campaign on Saturday, September 5th when they host Trinity Bible College.  Kick off for that contest is set for 6:00pm.
 


FOOTBALL PATRIOTS PICKED 3RD IN EAST IN MSC PRESEASON POLL

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 04:17 PM
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The University of the Cumberlands (UC) Football program is looking ahead to next week as the Patriots will return to campus for fall preseason camp.  The Patriots are poised to enter the season with a drive to improve off a 3-7 season in 2014.  On Wednesday, the Mid-South Conference (MSC) released its annual Preseason Coaches' Poll and the Patriots would garner some attention in the East Division. 

UC received 1 of the 6 first place votes in the MSC East Division and 14 total voting points, placing them 3rd in the division in preseason voting.  The Patriots had a tough season in 2014, going 3-7 overall but winning their final two games of the year to carry some momentum into the offseason.  UC would also go 2-4 in MSC East Division play in 2014, earning victories over Kentucky Christian and Bluefield.  The Patriots look to rebound and make a charge towards their 7th MSC Championship.

Georgetown College earns the nod as the favorite in the MSC East earning the other 5 first-place votes and 25 voting points overall.  The University of Pikeville follows the Tigers in 2nd place with 18 total voting points.  Kentucky Christian sits in 4th with 14 voting points overall as well.  Union College and Bluefield round out the MSC East Division rankings in 5th and 6th with 12 and 7 total points respectively.

The Patriots will begin their 2015 season on the road in Campbellsville, Kentucky as they take on Campbellsville University on Thursday, August 27th.  Kickoff is set for 7:00 pm EST.


Chargers Tabbed Ninth in GPAC Coaches' Poll

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 04:11 PM
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The 16th Annual GPAC Football Media Day was held this afternoon at the Marina Inn in downtown South Sioux City, Nebraska.  The event included team breakdowns from each of the league's 10 head coaches as well as the release of both the 2015 GPAC Preseason Coaches' Poll and the GPAC Preseason Media Poll.  After going 2-9 (2-7) a season ago, the Chargers of eighth-year head coachTom Rethman were picked to finish ninth in both the coaches' poll and in the media poll. 

GPAC Coaches' Preseason Poll:

1. Morningside 81 (9)
2. Northwestern 73 (1)
3. Doane 65
4. Dakota Wesleyan 51
5. Hastings 48
6. Concordia 46
7. Nebraska Wesleyan 33
8. Midland 24
9. Briar Cliff 20
10. Dordt 9

GPAC Media Preseason Poll:

1. Morningside 90 (9)
2. Northwestern 80
3. Doane 70     
4. Hastings 56
5. Dakota Wesleyan 52
6. Concordia 45
7. Nebraska Wesleyan 39
8. Midland 30
9. Briar Cliff 22
10. Dordt 11

Rethman addressed the crowd while his returning players checked in on campus.  He noted that his returning players give him a lot to be excited about. "We have a great group of players coming back and everyone is excited for the upcoming season," said Rethman. "We had young players who went through growing pains last year but are expected to be better and greatly contribute this season." While the Chargers will soon be getting after it on the practice field, their season-opener is still a few weeks away (Aug. 29).  Kick-off that day against the Saints of Presentation is set for 1 p.m. at the DakotaDome.


DWU Football Picked 4th by Coaches at Media Day

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 03:59 PM
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SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Neb. – The 2015 Great Plains Athletic Conference football season is right around the corner and the GPAC hosted the 16th annual Football Media Day Thursday at the Marina Inn in South Sioux City, Neb.

The event provided Dakota Wesleyan University Head Coach Ross Cimpl a platform to discuss the upcoming season, his fourth campaign with the Tigers, who were picked to finish the 2015 GPAC schedule fourth (51 points) by the coaches and fifth (52 points) by the media after a fourth-place finish in 2014.

Morningside College was picked first in both polls, while Northwestern College took both second-pace nods. Doane College was picked third in both polls. The Mustangs and Red Raiders shared the 2014 GPAC title.

"I'm excited to compete and excited to be here," Cimpl said. "That word compete is one we throw around a lot with our team."

Cimpl opened by saying he is thrilled to be tied at the top of the conference at 0-0 heading into the year, as this always creates the opportunity for big things to happen. He added that with this being his fourth year, all of the players on the roster are his players that were brought in by Cimpl and his staff. He also highlighted that this class of seniors has the chance to be the winningest of any in program history with a successful year.

"Those guys (the 2015 senior class) came to DWU on a vision," Cimpl said. "I don't think they have accomplished all of their goals yet, but they have put us in a position to be talked about and to do great things."

The 2015 recruiting class is the largest for Cimpl in his tenure at DWU. The class stands at 48. Cimpl emphasized the push to recruit close to home, with the majority of the incoming freshman coming from South Dakota, Nebraska and other surrounding states.

"This is our backyard and we are going to win in our backyard with recruiting," Cimpl said of his 2015 class of newcomers.

The Tigers return seven starters on both sides of the ball and three players are coming back on special teams. DWU graduated just seven seniors after the 2014 season, but all left a hole that needs to be filled heading into the fall. The biggest loss for the Tigers comes in the running game, with the school's all-time leading rusher Francois Barnaud and three All-GPAC members of the offensive line graduating. Cimpl said he thinks highly of what sophomore running back John Fabrizius can do and he will be pushed by five incoming freshmen in the backfield.

Cimpl is optimistic about the return of starting quarterback Dillon Turner, who started 10 games as a true freshman and progressed each week in 2014. The DWU wide receiving corps will be experienced with several leaders coming back, including tight end Trevor Schroeder and Kodi Larson.

The defense will be led on the line by Brady Mudder and Sam Kiger, while Brady Bonte and Adam Bormann are back to boost the linebacking corps. The defensive backfield sees the return of Tanner Munk and Cody Bonte, while sophomore Trevin Island comes back to DWU after a year apart from the program in 2014.

"For us it's our guys trusting what we are doing," Cimpl said. "We have some great players. Our guys move in Friday and we will find out Saturday morning after our conditioning test who is ready to go and who is not. I have a good feeling that a lot of those guys have prepared mentally, physically and hopefully some of them spiritually."


Langston Voted League's Top Team In Preseason Poll

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 03:55 PM
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Ryan Hintergardt, CSFL SID

August 5, 2014 – Langston University was voted as the top team in the 2015 Central States Football League (CSFL) preseason poll, which marks the third consecutive season the Lions have been favored as the No. 1 team in the league's preseason poll. Langston received a total of 60 votes, including 12 first place votes. The poll is comprised of the league's coaches and sports information directors.Langston was eight points ahead of second-ranked Southwestern Assemblies of God University (Tex.), who received 52 total points and a pair of first place votes. Bacone College sewed up third place with 37 points, as only one point separated Arizona Christian University and Wayland Baptist University (Tex.), who finished in fourth and fifth place, respectively. Lyon College (Ark.) received 19 points to rank them in the sixth spot and Texas College rounded out the poll as the number seven team with 17 points. During the 2015 season, seven teams will compete for the CSFL title, including three teams from Texas, two schools from Oklahoma and one University out of California. The CSFL is comprised of Arizona Christian University, Bacone College, Langston University, Lyon College (Ark.), Southwestern Assemblies of God University (Tex.), Wayland Baptist University (Tex.), and Texas College.

The 2015 season is the inaugural season for both Arizona Christian University and Lyon College.

Head Coach Donnie Yantis had this comment after seeing the poll, "At ACU, we are excited to be joining and playing in the CSFL. We earned some respect from the CSFL members in our first season in 2014 by winning 3 games against non-conference opponents. The CSFL's pre-season poll has ACU ranked #4 in the conference. We have some work to do to get to the top of the CSFL. We had a great spring and even better recruiting class. We have a current roster of 132 student-athletes that we took the field with this past Monday. The talent level of our team has increased significantly.We are looking forward to competing for CSFL Championships every year! That is our goal, and it is also our goal to get into the playoffs and be a national contender every year. Our team has a solid foundation of godly men of great character and integrity, and when we take the field in 2015, you will see that. ALL IN, Roll Storm!"

2015 CSFL Preseason Poll

Rank School Points (1st place votes)

1. Langston University 60 (12)

2. Southwestern Assemblies of God (Tex.) 52 (2)

3. Bacone College 37

4. Arizona Christian University 34

5. Wayland Baptist University (Tex.) 33

6. Lyon College (Ark.) 19

7. Texas College 17


Fighting Tigers are favorites to win MSC West

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 03:48 PM
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COLUMBIA, Ky. — Coming of its first Mid-South Conference title since 1997, Campbellsville University football is the favorite to win the MSC West Division officials announced on Wednesday, Aug. 5.

The Tigers and Reinhardt (Ga.) both picked up 21 voting points and two first place votes to sit atop the MSC West preseason poll.

"This is just a preseason poll," said CU coach Perry Thomas. "We're glad our peers respect us enough to vote us high but we have a great deal of work to do in order to make it out of this division."

Campbellsville shared the West Division title last season with Faulkner (Ala.) while Reinhardt finished a game back. The Tigers upset a pair of nationally ranked teams in the Top 5 on their way to making a trip to the NAIA Championship Series for the first time since 2001.

Reinhardt begins its third season after back-to-back 6-4 records during its first two seasons against varsity competition.

Faulkner and Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) are tied for third in the preseason poll with 17 points each. Both programs garnered a first-place vote in the polling. The Eagles and Blue Raiders -- who captured the East Division title in 2014 -- each made the playoffs last season with Lindsey Wilson reaching the national quarterfinals.

Bethel (Tenn.) and Cumberland (Tenn.) are tied for fifth in the poll with seven voting points apiece.

No. 7-ranked Lindsey Wilson, No. 10 Faulkner and No. 15 Campbellsville join East Division foe and 11th-ranked Georgetown (Ky.) in the NAIA Football Coaches' Spring Top 25 Poll.

Lindsey Wilson's move to the West in 2015 comes on the heels of Belhaven (Miss.) leaving the Mid-South Conference as an affiliate member. The two divisions each boast six teams.

"The division has three teams that went to the playoffs last year and finished in the Top 20," said Thomas. "Also, four teams have won or shared division titles over the past two seasons. This doesn't even include Bethel who won 5-of-6 and Cumberland University, a team that beat us last year. We have some big shoes have to be filled on both sides of the ball before we can begin dreaming about being West Division Champs."

East Division

Georgetown (Ky.) is the near-unanimous pick to win the Mid-South Conference East Division in 2015 after receiving 25 voting points and six first-place votes.

Georgetown finished second last season in the East en route to earning a berth into the NAIA Football Championship Series. The Tigers have won five East Division titles and a Mid-South-best 18 conference crowns.

Pikeville (Ky.) is second in the voting with 18 voting points while Cumberlands (Ky.) and Kentucky Christian are tied for third in the poll with 14 voting points each. Cumberlands received the final first-place vote.

Union (Ky.) is fifth in the poll with 12 voting points while Bluefield (Va.) is sixth with seven voting points.

Coaches only voted within their division and were not allowed to vote for their own team in the poll. Campbellsville opens the 2015 season on Thursday, Aug. 27, as the Tigers host University of the Cumberlands at 7 p.m.

 



EAST DIVISION

Pos.

Team

Points (First Place Votes)

2014 Division Record

2014 Overall Record

1.

Georgetown (Ky.)

25 (5)

5-1

8-3

2.

Pikeville (Ky.)

18

4-2

5-6

3.

Cumberlands (Ky.)

14 (1)

2-4

3-7

 

Kentucky Christian

14

2-4

5-6

5.

Union (Ky.)

12

1-5

1-9

6.

Bluefield (Va.)

7

1-5

3-8

 



WEST DIVISION

Pos.

Team

Points (First Place Votes)

2014 Division Record

2014 Overall Record

1.

Campbellsville (Ky.)

21 (2)

4-1

7-4

 

Reinhardt (Ga.)

21 (2)

3-2

6-4

3.

Faulkner (Ala.)

17 (1)

4-1

9-3

 

Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)

17 (1)

6-0*

10-3

5.

Bethel (Tenn.)

7

2-3

5-6

 

Cumberland (Tenn.)

7

2-3

6-5

 * Lindsey Wilson's East Division record

   


Pioneers picked 5th in CSFL preseason poll

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 03:46 PM
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Wayland Baptist is picked to finish fifth in the Central States Football League, according to a poll of the league's head coach and sports information directors. The Pioneers came in one point behind league newcomer Arizona Christian.

The CSFL features seven teams this season, having lost Oklahoma Baptist (NCAA Division II) while adding Arizona Christian and Lyon College of Batesville, Ark.

Wayland took fourth place last year in a six-team CSFL. The Pioneers finished 3-8 overall and 2-3 in conference.

Langston University was voted as the top team for the third consecutive season. Langston received a total of 60 votes, including all but two of the 14 first-place votes.

Langston was eight points ahead of Southwestern Assemblies of God University, which received the other two first-place votes. Bacone College was third with 37 points, and only one point separated Arizona Christian and Wayland. Lyon received 19 points to rank in the sixth spot and Texas College rounded out the poll with 17 points.

The Pioneers open the season by hosting Southwestern College (Kan.) on Aug. 29.
 

2015 CSFL Preseason Poll

Rank      School                                                                  Points (1st place votes)
1.            Langston University (Okla.)                                          60 (12)
2.            Southwestern Assemblies of God (Texas)                      52 (2)
3.            Bacone College (Okla.)                                                37
4.            Arizona Christian University                                          34
5.            Wayland Baptist                                                          33
6.            Lyon College (Ark.)                                                      19
7.            Texas College                                                              17


Langston followed by SAGU in Central States Football League Preseason Poll

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 03:44 PM
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Waxahachie, Texas- August 5, 2014 – Langston University was voted as the top team in the 2015 Central States Football League (CSFL) preseason poll, which marks the third consecutive season the Lions have been favored as the No. 1 team in the league’s preseason poll. Langston received a total of 60 votes, including 12 first place votes. Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) received the second place vote in the preseason picks. 

“It’s a great compliment to our seniors who have worked hard and earned the respect of conference coaches,” says first-year head coach Frank Tristan. 

Langston was eight points ahead of second-ranked SAGU, who received 52 total points and a pair of first place votes. SAGU’s placement in the preseason poll corresponds to last year’s finish for the Lions.  SAGU placed second in the CSFL behind Langston after a 38-10 loss to the number one team. 

Bacone College (Ok.) sewed up third place with 37 points, as only one point separated Arizona Christian University and Wayland Baptist University (Tex.), who finished in fourth and fifth place, respectively. Lyon College (Ark.) received 19 points to rank them in the sixth spot and Texas College rounded out the poll as the number seven team with 17 points.

During the 2015 season, seven teams will compete for the CSFL title, including three teams from Texas, two schools from Oklahoma, one University out of Arizona and one from Arkansas. The CSFL is comprised of Arizona Christian University, Bacone College, Langston University, Lyon College (Ark.), Southwestern Assemblies of God University (Tex.), Wayland Baptist University (Tex.), and Texas College.

The 2015 season is the inaugural season for both Arizona Christian University and Lyon College.  The poll is compromised of the league’s coaches and sports information directors. 
 

2015 CSFL Preseason Poll
 
Rank      School                                                                  Points (1st place votes)
1.            Langston University                                                        60 (12)
2.            Southwestern Assemblies of God (Tex.)                     52 (2)
3.            Bacone College                                                               37
4.            Arizona Christian University                                          34
5.            Wayland Baptist University (Tex.)                                33
6.            Lyon College (Ark.)                                                         19
7.            Texas College                                                                  17

About SAGU:
Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private, Christian university located 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Waxahachie, Texas. The university was established in 1927, and now offers more than 70 associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees on campus or online. More information is available at www.sagu.edu or by calling 1-888-YES-SAGU.
Press Release by Ryan Hintergardt
Edited by Natalie Tristan 


Lights go to work

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 03:40 PM
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At 4 p.m. Thursday, the countdown clock will officially begin for the Montana State University-Northern football team. That's because the Lights will take to the practice field for the first time.

Northern opens its season on the road at Dickinson State University Aug. 22, so that gives first-year head coach Aaron Christensen 16 days to prepare his troops.

"Excited to get started," Christensen said ahead of last week's Frontier Conference media day, where the Lights were picked eighth in the Frontier Conference Preseason Coaches Poll.

And the Lights should be excited to get going. Northern had a productive spring, implementing Christensen's new offensive system and engaging in some great competition through two full scrimmages. The Lights also took some positive momentum into spring, and the beginning of the Christensen era when they toppled Rocky Mountain College in the final game of the 2014 season last November in Billings.

Now, however, the Lights, with nearly 40 new recruits in fall camp, will use the next 16 days to get ready to play the rival Blue Hawks and to get ready for the rugged Frontier Conference. Northern went 3-8 a year ago, and while there will be plenty of new faces in fall camp, MSU-N does have key players to build around.

At the top of that list are junior running back Zach McKinley and junior defensive end Tyler Craig. McKinley led the Frontier in rushing a season ago and was a First-Team All-Conference performer, while Craig led the league in sacks. Running back Mario Gobbatto, defensive tackle Patrick Barnett, linebacker Tucker Dunn, cornerback Malcolm Manual and lineman Pete Morales also give the new Lights a veteran presence in camp.

Northern begins fall camp Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. Camp will continue through Aug. 20, before the Lights travel to Dickinson, North Dakota, to open the season Aug. 22. MSU-N will then have a week off before playing its home and conference opener against Montana Tech Sept. 5.


Preseason Poll Pegs Eagles to Tie for Mid-South West Title

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 03:36 PM
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WALESKA, Ga. - Any hopes of sliding into a low-pressure first year on the job for Reinhardt head football coach Drew Cronic went by the wayside Wednesday as the Eagles were picked to finish in a tie for first with Campbellsville in the Mid-South West Division in the MSC's preseason coaches poll.

"It's great that people think that highly of us," said coach Cronic. "It's where we are at the end of the season that really matters. We're just going to line up and play our brand of football the best that we can."

Cronic cracked a joke and incredulously said, "Absolutely," when asked if more pressure came along with being picked to finish highly. Then, a reflective Cronic said, "No, we've got to worry about us. We've just got to work to be the best that we can be as a football team. If we finish in first, great. If it means we finish in fourth, great. We've just got to be the best that we can be, but it's nice that people are taking notice of us."

RU and Campbellsville each had two first-place votes and finished with 21 points in the poll to tie for the top spot. In a tie for third are Faulkner and Lindsey Wilson. Faulkner and Campbellsville tied for first last year in the MSC-West, while Lindsey Wilson won the Mid-South's East Division last year but will transition to the other side of the conference ledger for 2015. Picked to place fifth are Bethel and Cumberland.

The Eagles will face the top two teams from the MSC-East's preseason poll. Georgetown is picked to win the East with five first-place votes and 25 total points, while Pikeville racked up 18 points to place second.

The Eagles will open the season Aug. 29 at Point before opening the home slate Sept. 12 against Kentucky Christian. Season tickets are still available for the 2015 season, with online sales at http://www.reinhardteagles.com/f/tickets.


UPIKE Football Picked to Finish Second in MSC East

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 03:33 PM
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<b style="box-sizing: content-box;">PIKEVILLE, Ky. -- The University of Pikeville football team was picked to finish second in the Mid-South Conference East Division, according to a preseason poll of the league's coaches released by conference officials on Wednesday.

It's a new starting point for the Bears, earning their highest spot in the preseason poll in program history. While the pick adds good vibes heading into fall camp, it'll be the performance on the field for the opener that second-year head coach Allan Holland Jr., is looking forward to.

"It's an honor for all the coaches in our league to pick us second, but we have to continue to work hard during camp," said Holland Jr. "It's just preseason, but we want to finish at the top, year in and year out our goal is to be East Division champions. We have a lot of work ahead of us and our guys are ready to go to work."

UPIKE opens the 2015 season under the lights at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, Aug. 27 against MSC-East foe Bluefield (Va.) at the Hambley Athletic Complex. The Rams were picked sixth in the preseason poll.

Leading the way in the East is Georgetown with 25 points and five first-place votes, followed by Pikeville with 18 points. Cumberlands (14 points, one first-place vote) and Kentucky Christian (14 points) are tied for third, while Union is one spot in front of Bluefield with 12 points.

Out in the West the poll was tight as Campbellsville and Reinhardt (Ga.) are tied for top honors with 21 points and two first-place votes each. Faulkner (Ala.) and Lindsey Wilson are locked in third with 17 points and a first-place votes each, while Bethel (Tenn.) and Cumberland (Tenn.) are tied for fifth with seven points each.

One change to the MSC this season is defending East Division champion Lindsey Wilson moving to the West to take the place of Belhaven (Miss.) which transitioned to NCAA Div. III.

Georgetown won the East in 2014 with a 5-1 divisional record, while UPIKE claimed second place with a 4-2 mark.

 

<b style="box-sizing: content-box;">MSC Preseason Coaches' Poll (First-Place Votes in Parenthesis)

<b style="box-sizing: content-box;">East Division

1. Georgetown (5) - 25

2. UPIKE - 18

3. Cumberlands (1) - 14

3. Kentucky Christian - 14

5. Union - 12

6. Bluefield (Va.) - 7

<b style="box-sizing: content-box;"> 

<b style="box-sizing: content-box;">West Division

1. Campbellsville (2) - 21

1. Reinhardt (Ga.) (2) - 21

3. Faulkner (Ala) (1) - 17

3. Lindsey Wilson (1) - 17

5. Bethel (Tenn.) - 7

5. Cumberland (Tenn.) - 7



Mid-South Conference Releases Preseason Coaches' Poll

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 03:31 PM
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COLUMBIA, Ky. - The Mid-South Conference announced the 2015 Preseason Football Coaches' Poll on Wednesday afternoon, and the Union College football team comes in fifth in the Eastern Division of the rankings.

Leading the Eastern Division in the poll is Georgetown (Ky.), who garnered 25 points in the ranking and five of six first place votes. Pikeville (Ky.) comes in second in the ranking with 18 total points, while Cumberlands (Ky.) is in third with 14 points and one first place vote.

Kentucky Christian follows Cumberlands in the poll in fourth with 14 points, followed by the Bulldogs in fifth with 12 total points. Bluefield (Va.) rounds out the ranking in the Eastern Division with seven total points. On the other side of the Mid-South, Campbellsville (Ky.) and Reinhardt (Ga.) shared the top spot in the Western Division with 21 total points and two first place votes, each.

Union, who opens 2015 preseason camp this week, will come into the year off a 1-9 campaign in 2014 (1-4 in the Mid-South). Led by second year head coach Zak Willis, the Bulldogs return several standouts from last years team, including junior quarterback Chandler Whittlesey (JR/Columbus, Ga.) and senior linebacker Jake Johnston (SR/Melbourne, Ky.) (an All-Mid-South selection  in 2014).

The Bulldogs open their 2015 season on September 5th at Williamson Stadium on the Union campus, hosting Warner (Fla.) in an out-of-conference match-up.

To view the full 2015 schedule, click here.



EAST DIVISION

Pos.

Team

Points (First Place Votes)

2014 Division Record

2014 Overall Record

1.

Georgetown (Ky.)

25 (5)

5-1

8-3

2.

Pikeville (Ky.)

18

4-2

5-6

3.

Cumberlands (Ky.)

14 (1)

2-4

3-7

 

Kentucky Christian

14

2-4

5-6

5.

Union (Ky.)

12

1-5

1-9

6.

Bluefield (Va.)

7

1-5

3-8


Football picked fifth in MSC Preseason Poll

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 03:28 PM
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LEBANON, Tenn. – Cumberland University was tied for fifth in the West Division in the 2015 Mid-South Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll announced Wednesday by the league office.

The Bulldogs and third-year head coach Donnie Suber were tied with Bethel University for the final spot in the West Division. CU finished 6-5 overall but 2-3 in the MSC West last season, dropping its final three games of the season.

Cumberland returns 35 letterwinners and six starters on both sides of the ball but must replace senior quarterbacks Reed Gurchiek and Broc Loveless, who accounted for 952 rushing yards and 1,511 passing yards along with 27 total touchdowns in 2014.

Junior linebacker Nathan Jernigan, a First Team All-Mid-South performer last season, returns after leading the club with 99 tackles along with 8.0 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. Another junior and First Team All-MSC selection a year ago, junior Justus Dauscha ranked ninth nationally with 9.5 sacks and 24th in tackles for loss with 16.0.

Campbellsville University and Reinhardt University tied for the top spot in the West Division, each receiving two first-place votes, while Faulkner University and Lindsey Wilson tied for third, each with one first-place vote. Lindsey Wilson won the Mid-South East Division last season and reached the quarterfinals of the NAIA Playoffs.

Georgetown College picked up five first-place votes and 25 total points for first place in the MSC East, with the University of Pikeville in second and the University of the Cumberlands in third. UC also received the remaining first-place vote in the East Division. Kentucky Christian, Union College and Bluefield College round up the East voting.

Cumberland opens the season at home against Georgetown College on September 5 and also faces Pikeville, the Cumberlands and Kentucky Christian from the East Division as well as its five West Division opponents this season.

Mid-South Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll

WEST DIVISION



School Points (First-Place Votes) 2014 Overall 2014 MSC
t1. Campbellsville Univ.  21 (2) 7-4 4-1
t1. Reinhardt Univ. 21 (2) 6-4 3-2
t3. Faulkner Univ. 17 (1) 9-3 4-1
t3. Lindsey Wilson 17 (1) 10-3 6-0
t5. Bethel Univ. 7 5-6 2-3
t5. Cumberland Univ. 7 6-5 2-3

EAST DIVISION



School Points (First-Place Votes) 2014 Overall 2014 MSC
1. Georgetown College  25 (5) 8-3 5-1
2. Univ. of Pikeville 18 5-6 4-2
t3. Univ. of the Cumberlands 14 (1) 3-7 2-4
t3. Kentucky Christian 14 5-6 2-4
5. Union College 12 1-9 1-5
6. Bluefield College 7 3-8 1-5


Football picked to finish tied for third in MSC Preseason Coaches’ Poll

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 12:00 AM
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COLUMBIA, Ky. – The Lindsey Wilson football team has been picked to finish tied for third in the Mid-South Conference West Division Preseason Coaches' Poll, the conference office announced on Wednesday.

The Blue Raiders received 17 total voting points from the head coaches within the West Division. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team.

Also tied for third place is Faulkner (Ala.) with 17 voting points and one first-place vote.

Campbellsville (Ky.) and Reinhardt (Ga.) are the favorites atop the preseason poll with 21 voting points and two first-place votes apiece. Tied for fifth in the poll is Bethel (Tenn.) and Cumberland (Tenn.) with seven voting points each.

Campbellsville and Faulkner shared the West Division title in 2014 as Reinhardt finished one game behind.

Lindsey Wilson captured the 2014 MSC East Division title with a perfect 6-0 record. The Blue Raiders move back to the West Division for the 2015 season as former affiliate member Belhaven (Miss.) departed from the MSC. Each division now has six teams.

Lindsey Wilson, Faulkner and Campbellsville were all ranked in the 2015 NAIA Spring Coaches' Poll, with the Blue Raiders garnering the highest ranking at No. 7.

In the East Division, Georgetown has been picked as the favorite with 25 points and five first-place votes.

Last season, the Blue Raiders posted a 10-3 record while capturing the first conference title in program history. Lindsey Wilson won their first NAIA Football Championships Series game in their first postseason appearance, advancing to the national quarterfinals.

The 2015 season kicks off for the Blue Raiders on Sept. 5 with a road contest in Batesville, Ark., against Lyon (Ark.) College.


Football is a month away from season-opener

Contributed by admin on Aug 20, 2015 - 11:31 PM
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Georgetown College football opens the 2015 season in one month, Sept. 5 in Lebanon, Tenn. The Tigers will battle Cumberland University for the first time since 2009. Kickoff is set for 2:30 pm EST.

Follow the game live with a 2 pm GC broadcast streaming live on 93.3 with Chris Labar doing the play-by-play. This game will be a Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Awareness Game, an initiative started by GC assistant coach Dwayne Ellison.

"Our spring practices went well, and we are excited to get going," said GC coach Bill Cronin. "Both teams will be ready after spending the previous month or so in preseason practices."

The two teams squared off 13 times in 15 years, but additional teams joining the Mid-South Conference has shifted this series to the backburner the past five seasons. Cronin is 9-2 all-time against the Bulldogs, including a 4-2 record on the road.

This will start a season where the Tigers will need to be road warriors, six of the 10 regular season games are away from Toyota Stadium including a three-game stretch at the end.

Georgetown is 10-3 all-time against the Bulldogs, but dropped the 2009 meeting 31-21 in Lebanon. The Tigers won the previous seven meetings. The series started out as one of the most competitive in the GC history books, 2-2 before the seven straight wins for the Orange & Black.

"This is a tough battle and hopefully something that helps us focus our guys once we get to practicing," Cronin said. "This is an unknown opponent to all our student-athletes and an important road game to start the season."

Game updates can also be followed through live tweeting by following GCAthletics. Following the Sept. 5 game in Lebanon, the Tigers return to Georgetown for the lone home stand playing Lindsey Wilson College on Sept. 12 and Reinhardt University on Sept. 19.


The Heart Of America Football Media Day A Big Success

Contributed by admin on Aug 20, 2015 - 11:28 PM
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Olathe, Ks. – The Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) held their annual conference meetings and their football media day this past Monday in Olathe, Kansas.
                                              
"This is the start of everything," said Central Methodist Head Football Coach Jody Ford. "I have a lot of respect for all of the coaches in this conference. I am very proud to be associated with all of these guys and I am very fortunate to be surrounded by everybody in this league."
 
While the conference meetings took up the larger portion of the day, the late afternoon was blocked off for the conference's football media day. Radio and television crews ventured to Olathe, Kansas for the chance to sit down with each teams head coach and star players. Representing CMU was head coach Jody Ford and senior wide receiver Jamall Williams.
 
When asked about where the Eagles were picked in the preseason poll, Coach Ford said, "Its right where we thought we would be. It's not a shocker to us after going 6-5 last season. We know that we are a much improved team from last season and we are excited for the chance to show that to folks this season."
 
Central Methodist is picked to finish in fifth place in a tough southern division. MidAmerica Nazarene received four first place votes, while Missouri Valley and Baker each received one first place vote.
 
On the northern side, Grand View University out of Des Moines, Iowa received four out of the six first place votes. The Vikings are a perennial contender each year and will be competing in "The Heart" for the first time in 2015.
 
The football season kicks-off for Central Methodist on Saturday August 29th, when the Eagles travel north to Peru, Nebraska to face Peru State. CMU returns home to Fayette the following week, when the Eagles entertain Grand View University for the 2015 regular season home opener at Davis Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30pm, with the game being televised on ESPN3.
 
For more information about Central Methodist University athletics, visit http://www.cmueagles.com. Follow CMU athletics on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cmathletics and on Twitter twitter.com/cmueagles.   

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