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SEASON PREVIEW: 2015 Concordia football

Contributed by admin on Sep 04, 2015 - 10:28 PM
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By Jake Knabel, Director of Athletic Communications

Head coach: Vance Winter (28-37, six years)
2014 Record: 5-6 overall; 4-5 GPAC (T-6th)
Key Returners: OL Ben Balduc; RB Bryce Collins; TE Seth Fitzke; WR Jared Garcia; DL Michael Gill, K Adam Meirose; DB Tarence Roby; DB Tait Sibbel; TE Josh Slechta
Key Losses: OL Adam Aschenbrenner; OL Glenn Manninger; DB Landon Oelke; WR Logan Otte; OL Josh Powell; DL Kyle Rakow; QB Von Thomas
2014 GPAC All-Conference: Bryce Collins (first team); Adam Meirose (first team); Josh Powell (first team); Seth Fitzke (second team); Jared Garcia (second team); Kyle Rakow (second team); Tarence Roby (second team); Adam Aschenbrenner (honorable mention); Ben Balduc (honorable mention); Sandy Fisher (honorable mention); Michael Gill (honorable mention); Michael Hedlund (honorable mention); Glenn Manninger (honorable mention); Landon Oelke (honorable mention); Logan Otte (honorable mention); Tait Sibbel (honorable mention); Von Thomas (honorable mention)

Outlook
After a 2014 season filled with close calls (five losses by seven points or less), Concordia looks to turn the page with a more experienced squad. Explosive skill players such as 1,000-yard running back Bryce Collins and record-setting receiver Jared Garcia give this roster plenty of pizazz. Said seventh-year head coach Vance Winter of the 2014 season, “Our highlight film was probably the most entertaining we’ve ever had – flashy with a ton of big plays.”

The 2015 edition promises to bring even more flash and sizzle. Even with the graduation of perhaps the program’s best ever quarterback in Von Thomas, the Bulldogs possess a level of skill talent unprecedented for a school known more for rugged defense than for standout athletes jumping over and running past the opposition.

While there are obvious question marks as to how four starters get replaced along the offensive line, there appear to be playmakers in abundance. Winter thinks this will be the most talented team he’s fielded since taking over as head coach in 2009. Say’s Winter, “I think this will be a team that can really run.”

Senior Ben Balduc, 6-foot-3, 290-pound native of Roanoke, Texas, provides a stabilizing force up front as the team moves on without first team all-conference guard Josh Powell. Balduc started at left guard last year but could slide to strong tackle this season depending upon how the other pieces of the unit come together. Balduc says that having exceptional skill players will help take the pressure off the new starters on the line.

“There’s probably going to be a lot of records broken this year with Bryce, Jared and TJ (Austin),” Balduc said. “It’s no joke. Those guys are going to break some records this year. I can feel it.”

Balduc helped pave the way for Collins to become the fifth 1,000-yard rusher in school history. The native of Boerne, Texas, averaged more than 100 yards rushing per game and ranked sixth among all NAIA players in all-purpose yards per contest (173.2). He was complimented perfectly in the passing game by Garcia, whose 11 touchdown catches represented a new single-season school record. The deadly red zone target piled up 184 receiving yards in week two at Hastings.

Despite the loss of Thomas, the quarterback position is less of a question mark thanks to the late-season play of Austin after No. 10 missed time due to injury. Austin, built more like a fullback or linebacker, threw for 440 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another 168 yards in five games of action in 2014. He’s listed atop the depth chart for Saturday’s game at Southwestern College (6 p.m. kickoff) with senior Garrett Folchert and sophomore Riley Wiltfong following.

“TJ is a different type of guy than Von,” Winter said. “He’s built a little bit differently than Von. He looks like a linebacker playing quarterback. He brings some things to the table we’re really excited about. He showed some great things in those last three games. That gave us a sense of optimism going into the offseason.

“I really feel great about the quarterback position going into this season.”

Whoever plays quarterback will have the services of a pair of big tight ends in senior Josh Slechta and junior Seth Fitzke. Last season Fitzke stepped in when Slechta suffered an injury in fall camp. The Seward native earned second team all-conference in 2014 after catching 15 passes and serving as an excellent blocker.

While the offense appears in good hands a season after breaking the program record for yards of total offense per game, coordinator Patrick Daberkow’s defensive group plans to move up from its 48th national ranking in terms of total yards from a year ago. With ball-hawking corners Tarence Roby and D’Mauria Martin having put a full season behind them, this unit figures to look more like the dominant 2013 Bulldog defense.

Roby is the defense’s most dynamic playmaker. The transfer from Northern Illinois University notched five interceptions, broke up eight passes and took a pair of returns (one fumble, one kickoff) back for touchdowns in his first season as a Bulldog. Consider him the Collins or Garcia of the defense.

“I think Roby and D’Mauria both had outstanding offseasons,” Winter said. “I’m really fired up about their growth. Roby had never played corner until about two days before the Sterling game (2014 season opener). He may have played a little in high school, but we moved him really late in the process. He’s got a chance to be really special. For me, D’Mauria is right up there too.”

The corners may be the biggest strengths of the defense, but there are other potential stars in linebackers Michael Hedlund and Tait Sibbel and defensive lineman Michael Gill. Sibbel has racked up 181 tackles and eight interceptions as a three-year starter at safety. He’ll move to outside linebacker this season. Up front, Gill has been a disruptive force, totaling 16.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks over the past two seasons.

Despite the loss of Kyle Rakow on the defensive line, the unit has potential to be more productive with the rise of juniors Trey Barnes and Ronald Jackson. All in all, it’s a defense with a good mix of size and speed.

“I believe strongly that this defensive group has the capability of being as good as we’ve had,” Winter said. “A lot of it’s youth, but I feel like this is a group that can really run around. We’ve got some guys that can cover. We’ve got to get better quickly, the sooner the better. There’s a lot of youth in this group. I really feel like the talent is there to be great.”

The special teams units return a senior at both kicker and punter in Adam Meirose and Sandy Fisher, respectively. Meirose has been one of the program’s most productive kickers ever. He’s nailed 15 of 21 field goals and 71 of 75 extra point attempts over the last two years. The biggest question mark on special teams is who will return punts. Both Collins and Roby served as dangerous options on kick return in 2014. Potentially dynamic freshman Qyalan Clay is listed as the No. 1 kick and punt returner this week.

Winter and the Bulldogs believe they have the makings to post their second winning record in three seasons. Now they must come through in down-to-the-wire contests that are sure to arise. After all, eight of last year’s 11 games were decided by eight points or less.

“It’s usually just those one or two plays that we have to make,” Balduc said. “A lot of those didn’t happen for us last year. You go back to the film and you think, ‘wow, we should have beaten that team.’ It’s a lot of motivation for us coming into this fall.”

Added Collins, “I just feel like we’re right on the edge. We just need to gel and start making some noise. Everybody else had been making noise for Concordia. Football just seems like the last thing people were thinking about (last year). That’s a big motivator for me. I talked to a couple other guys and they thought the exact same thing. We need to contribute to the success of Concordia as a whole. That’s a big motivator.”


SAGU football loaded with veteran leadership for 2015 season

Contributed by admin on Aug 31, 2015 - 10:05 PM
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Waxahachie, Texas- August 29, 2015- In the 2015 season, the Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) football team will have a completely different look.  From over 50 new players to a different coaching staff, the team is ready to begin a new era of SAGU football. 

“The players are responding really well to the new energy of the coaches,” explains first year head coach Frank Tristan, “Players are drawn to energy and enthusiasm and our new coaches bring both.”

In 2014, the Lions ended 4-6 and in second place behind Langston University in theCentral States Football League (CSFL).  The biggest loss from that squad was graduating five offensive linemen, four of which were starters.  According to Tristan, filling those positions was of upmost priority, “When it came to recruiting, we wanted to secure our offensive line after losing so many players to graduation." 

 

Senior Derius Griffin and junior Javier Lopez are returning starters for the offensive line.  Two freshmen; Dayne Maclin and Malik Garrett, will see significant playing time in the o-line position. 

The Lions return sophomore quarterback CJ Collins.  As a freshman, Collins led the CSFL in passing, averaging nearly 200 yards per game.  Tristan expects even bigger things for Collins this season, “CJ is definitely more comfortable this year and is picking up the new offense well.  He has been very accurate during preseason camp.”

Wide Receiver Andrez Brewster was Collins’ favorite target in 2014.  Brewster returns for a final season.  Sophomore Toras Hill will look to replace Dylan Moore.  Moore was a two-time CSFL pick. 

First-year assistant coach Paul Hansen will be leading the offense.  This year the offense will have a different tempo, “Coach Hansen likes to run a fast-paced game.  You can guarantee he will be getting more guys involved,” explains Tristan.

Pre-Season All-American Ethan Eastwood will be back in the linebacker position for SAGU.  Last season Eastwood averaged over 10 tackles a game.   Senior linebackerJeremiah Maat will be returning to the lineup after sitting out last season due to injury.  In 2013, Maat averaged nearly eight tackles a game. 

Defensive end Matt Lighter led the Lions in sacks last season and will be returning for his sophomore year.  Sophomore Carl Morgan, senior Shakeem Taylor and juniorDeonte Morrison all were starters as defensive backs, all three players will be returning. 

Kicker Chadd Dearen will be returning for a junior season.  Dearen was named as theCSFL Special Teams Player of the Year in 2014.  He was also picked as a NAIA Pre-Season All-American. 

In the CSFL preseason poll, SAGU was picked to once again end in second place, behind Langston University.  Tristan agrees Langston has earned number one pick, “From our performance last year, this is a very fair ranking.  Langston deserves to have that top spot as they have been the team to beat the last several years.”

 

SAGU will kick-off the 2015 season on Saturday, September 5th.  The Lions will hostWestminster College (Fulton, MO).  The game will be played at Midlothian ISD Stadium at 11am.  You can watch the game live at SAGU.tv.  This is the first time SAGU and Westminster College have played. 

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.

Contact: Natalie Tristan, SAGU SID, ntristan@sagu.edu


New Football Season Opens With Big Challenge for No. 4 Saint Xavier

Contributed by admin on Aug 27, 2015 - 09:42 PM
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CHICAGO – When No. 4 ranked Saint Xavier University opens its 2015 football season this Saturday evening, it will be the farthest thing from a dress rehearsal.  In fact, it may prove to be one of SXU's toughest match-ups of the season as the Cougars host No. 1 Marian University (Ind.), the 2014 NAIA national runner-up, for a 6 p.m. Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) crossover match-up at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field in Chicago.  Making the match-up even more challenging is that the Knights return 19 of their 22 starters from a year ago.  Saint Xavier has many familiar faces back on the field as well, including nine starters from an offensive juggernaut that averaged 38.1 points per game in 2014 and scored 65 points against MU in Indianapolis in last year's season opener, the most points allowed by Marian in the history of St. Vincent Health Field. 

"I guess if you're a fan of small college football, Saint Xavier University will be the place to be this weekend," said Feminis.  "Marian deserves to be the preseason No. 1.  They're the national runner-up and return 19 starters.  But I'd like to think we're pretty good too and have the same bitter taste in our mouth that they do with both of us losing to 2014 NAIA National Champion Southern Oregon last December.  It should be a great game between two of the top NAIA teams in the country and I think there's a mutual respect, even though our rivalry isn't that old."

Junior quarterback John Rhode (Chicago Heights, Ill./Montini Catholic) returns to start at quarterback for the Cougars.  Rhode threw for 3,609 yards last season with 31 touchdown passes.  Three of his favorite targets from a year ago also return at wide receiver in senior Randall Wells (Matteson, Ill./College of DuPage/Marian Catholic) and juniors Stephen Simms (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) and Ryan Carroll (Evergreen Park, Ill./Marist).  The offensive line is a veteran group as well led by 2014 NAIA All-American Second Team honoree Kevin Lonergan (Oak Lawn, Ill./Oak Lawn Community), a junior left tackle.  The running back position also has plenty of experience with senior Austin Feeney (Morris, Ill./Morris), senior Joshua Hunter (South Holland, Ill./Thornridge) and sophomore Mike Ivlow (Channahon, Ill./Joliet Catholic) all expected to see plenty of time on the field.

The Saint Xavier defense brings back plenty of talent as well this fall.  The defensive line will be bolstered by the return of senior defensive tackle Nick Cemeno (New Lenox, Ill./Providence Catholic), who totaled 11.0 tackles for losses and 5.5 sacks a year ago.  Two of the team's starting linebackers remain in seniors Dan Fitzgerald (Chicago, Ill./St. Rita) and Michael Mettille(Morris, Ill./Pennsylvania/Joliet Catholic).  Fitzgerald led the defense last season with 92 total tackles.  The secondary will also feature some veterans in seniors Doug Ruggles (Mission Viejo, Calif./Saddleback JC/Mission Viejo) and Mark Williams(Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township) returning as well as junior Matt Johnson (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic).  In addition, the Cougars have the benefit of two experienced special teams weapons with sophomore placekicker Abdul Mahdi (Chicago, Ill./Bogan) and sophomore punter Joe Bailey (Lemont, Ill./Lemont) both back on the field.  Each was recognized as a MSFA Midwest League Second Team selection as freshmen last season.

The following notes provided by Alan Grosbach, NAIA Manager of Communications and Sports Information:

Around NAIA Football
• This weekend marks the first full week of football action in the NAIA, as 24 games are on the docket, including 10 contests that feature programs ranked in the preseason coaches' poll.
• The inaugural game of 2015 featured Montana State-Northern and Dickinson State (N.D.) on August 22. The Blue Hawks, aided by a pair of Montana State-Northern turnovers, won the contest 17-7. Dickinson State quarterback Robert Sterling accounted for 170 of the Blue Hawks 222 total yards and was responsible for both of the team's touchdowns – one rushing and one passing.
• For the first time since the NAIA moved to one division in 1997, two teams – Southern Oregon and Marian (Ind.) – tied for the No. 1 ranking in the NAIA Football Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll. For the complete release, click here.
• NAIA football fans will have to wait another week to see defending national champion and top-ranked Southern Oregon in action. The Raiders enter 2015 looking to build off a historical 2014 campaign that included the program's first-ever national title. Prior to last season, Southern Oregon had never advanced past the quarterfinals. The quest back to the title game is not an easy one, as the Raiders open the year with a road trip to No. 4 Carroll (Mont.) on Sept. 5 before returning home to host inner-state rival No. 13 Eastern Oregon on Sept. 12.
• Southern Oregon returns six starters on offense and seven on defense, highlighted by junior running back Melvin Mason and junior wide receiver Matt Retzlaff. Mason ran for 1,013 yards and 17 touchdowns last season with seven of those scores coming during the playoffs. Retzlaff was a key cog in Southern Oregon's top-ranked passing attack with 56 catches for 785 yards and six touchdowns en route to Second Team All-Frontier Conference accolades in 2014.
• National runner-up Marian (Ind.) faces perennial powerhouse No. 4 Saint Xavier (Ill.) in arguably the marquee game of the weekend. The Cougars boast a 8-1 all-time record against Marian with their only loss coming in 2011 (27-9). Saint Xavier won the 2014 meeting by the score of 65-38.
• No. 3 Morningside (Iowa), possibly one of the most dominant teams in NAIA football over the past 11 years, looks to continue that trend this season. The Mustangs have advanced to at least the semifinals of the NAIA Football Championship Series (FCS) each of the last three years, including a title game appearance in 2012. Morningside returns eight starters on offense and seven on defense from a team that went 11-2 a season ago and won a fourth-consecutive Great Plains Athletic Conference championship. Since 2004, the Mustangs own a record of 112-23 (.830). Morningside kicks off the season at Sterling (Kan.) on Sept. 5.
• Lyon (Ark.) will play its first varsity intercollegiate game in 64 years on Saturday when it hosts No. 22 Tabor (Kan.). The Scots, who are members of the Central States Football League, also host No. 7 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (Sept. 5) and No. 18 Langston (Okla.) (Sept. 31) this season.
• With the addition of Grand View (Iowa) and William Penn (Iowa), the Heart of America Athletic Conference will break into two divisions for the first time in its history. The winner of each division will earn an automatic berth into the 2015 FCS.
o North Division – Benedictine (Kan.), Culver-Stockton (Mo.), Graceland (Iowa), Grand View, Peru State (Neb.) and William Penn
o South Division – Avila (Mo.), Baker (Kan.), Central Methodist (Mo.), Evangel (Mo.), MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) and Missouri Valley
• This week's Top 25 schedule:
   o Thursday – Cumberlands (Ky.) at No. 16 Campbellsville (Ky.)
   o Saturday – No. 1 Marian (Ind.) at No. 4 Saint Xavier (Ill.)
   o Saturday – No. 15 Baker (Kan.) at No. 6 Grand View (Iowa)
   o Saturday – Culver-Stockton (Mo.) at No. 8 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)
   o Saturday – No. 19 William Penn (Iowa) at No. 9 Missouri Valley
   o Saturday – No. 13 Eastern Oregon at College of Idaho
   o Saturday – No. 17 Valley City State (N.D.) at Jamestown (N.D.)
   o Saturday – No. 22 Tabor (Kan.) at Lyon (Ark.)
   o Saturday – No. 24 Webber International (Fla.) at Arizona Christian
   o Saturday – Evangel (Mo.) at No. 25 Benedictine (Kan.).
• Sterling (Kan.) head coach Andy Lambert enters the year six wins shy of No. 100. Lambert and the rest of the Warriors open the year on Sept. 5 against Morningside.
• Three NAIA football coaches – Monty Lewis of Friends (Kan.), Paul Troth of Missouri Valley and Mike Feminis of Saint Xavier – are within striking distance of the 150-win plateau. Lewis and Troth both sit with 145 victories, while Feminis owns 144.
• For the second consecutive year, the NAIA Football National Championship will take place at Municipal Stadium in Daytona Beach, Fla. Prior to last year's title game, the game had been held in Rome, Ga., the previous six years. Municipal Stadium, which was built in 1988, is the home field of NCAA Division I Bethune-Cookeman (Fla.). 


Tiger Football Ready to Roar in Opener against Rival Dakota State

Contributed by admin on Aug 26, 2015 - 11:45 PM
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MITCHELL, S.D. – For the first time since the early 1920s, the Dakota Wesleyan University football team completed a fourth straight winning season in 2014.  The Tigers are hoping to build on momentum with another step toward a Great Plains Athletic Conference title in 2015.

Fourth-year head coach Ross Cimpl is back to lead the Tigers after graduating a senior class that tied the school record for most wins in a four-year span at 27.  The Tigers will be looking to some familiar faces to lead a new group of players in 2015 after the graduation of key contributors.

"The 2015 team has a great deal of depth, talent, and ability to do something very special," Cimpl said.  "We have a group of upperclassman that have been part of the most successful years in DWU history.  That leadership has to come to the forefront for us to have a special season.  This group has worked extremely hard to accomplish their goals.  It will be very exciting to see these guys put all their hard work and dedication to the program on the line every game."

In 2014, the Tigers had the benefit of playing five of their first six games at Joe Quintal Field in Mitchell, and DWU treated its fans to some thrilling contests.  The cardiac cats of 2014, posted heart-pounding comebacks at home, including against the University of Wisconsin-Stout, an NCAA Division III program, in the season opener.  The Tigers scored 16 unanswered points in the fourth quarter against Stout to erase a 12-point deficit and avenge a loss on the road a season earlier.

After narrow wins against GPAC foes Briar Cliff University, Hastings College and rival Dakota State University, the Tigers headed into a showdown on Oct. 11 against Doane College.  Down 23-7 midway through the fourth quarter, all looked lost for DWU.  But big plays on defense and special teams ignited the Tigers, who rallied with three touchdowns in less than four minutes to pull ahead for good.  The win pushed the Tigers to No. 16 in the NAIA rankings.

DWU suffered several key injuries in 2014, which hampered the team down the stretch, as the Tigers dropped three of their final five games, all coming in the GPAC.  DWU finished the season 7-4 and 5-4 in the conference to tie for fourth place.

Heading into 2015, the expectations remain high.  Cimpl will look to replace the production of DWU's all-time leading rusher Francois Barnaud, who finished his stellar four-year career with 3,558 yards, surpassing former teammate Josh Endres for the top spot in Tiger history.  After setting the single-season rushing mark at 1,893 yards in 2013, Barnaud battled through leg injuries throughout the 2014 season, still posting 1,409 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns.

When 2014 started, Cimpl had the task of replacing the most decorated quarterback in DWU history, Jon Bane.  In stepped true freshman Dillon Turner.  After coming in midway through the first game of the season to lead the Tigers to a win, Turner cemented himself as the starter for the remainder of the year.  The Salem, Ark., native saw peaks and valleys in his first season under center, but showed the DWU fans his ability as a playmaker.  Turner is a dual-threat quarterback who keeps the defense honest with his legs.  Turner finished the season with 1,741 yards through the air and 13 touchdown passes, along with 357 yards on the ground and eight more scores.

"The quarterback position has really matured over the off season and summer," Cimpl said.  "The guys have done a great job of learning the offense and becoming comfortable leading the offense.  In terms of improvement, having a year of experience will help, but we need to be able to throw the ball downfield.  We need to open up our run game with a vertical passing game.  With that, protecting the football will be critical for the quarterback position."

With seven starters returning on offense, DWU will have a solid core back in 2015.  Each loss on offense will be felt as all four were All-GPAC performers in 2014.  Along with Barnaud, DWU will need to replace three key members of its offensive line in 2015 with the graduation of Kyle Hencke, Jake Verry and Spencer Bloch.  Seniors Taylor Haley and Jonathan Knight will bring experience to a young group up front for the Tigers this season.

"Barnaud and the experience on the offensive line being gone is going to require more players on the offensive side of the football to step up and rise to the occasion," Cimpl said.  "John Fabrizius is someone who has been in our program and shown great ability in his time as a redshirt freshman.  We are also looking to play some young running backs that have a great deal of ability, but lack experience."

Cimpl is excited about his wide receivers and tight ends, which all have the ability to make plays on the outside and down the field.  Returners Kodi LarsonDustin LivingstonTrevor SchroederHayden Adams and Lewis Hofer give the Tigers depth at the receiver positions. After a year away from football, wide receiver Arthur Brown has come back to Mitchell for his senior season after a standout junior year in 2013.

"The most surprising group has to be the receivers," Cimpl said.  "There is a great deal of talent at that position and multiple guys who can have a big game or play at any time.

On the defensive side of the ball, DWU returns seven starters, including former All-American linebacker Brady Bonte.  The senior led the Tigers in tackles for a second straight season in 2014 with 83.  The Garretson, S.D., native added a team-high five sacks and 22 tackles-for-loss in his junior campaign.  Junior Adam Bormann will add depth to the Tiger linebacker corps in 2015, after a 69-tackle season as a sophomore.

The Tiger defensive backfield sees the return of All-GPAC performer Tanner Munk, a senior from Dell Rapids, S.D., who tied for team high in interceptions with four.  Munk has a knack for being around the ball, finishing second on the team with 73 tackles in 2014.  He also led the team with 14 pass breakups a year ago.

Defensively we have a great deal of experience coming back.  We have some great playmakers at the linebacker position in Brady Bonte and Adam Bormann.  We are very excited about the depth we have at the corner position with Tanner Munk, Cody Bonte and Trevin Island.  The defensive line has some experience mixed with some young players that will need to stay healthy to play at a high level.

Special teams returns three starters, including kicker and punter Daniel Porter, a senior from Plattsmouth, Neb.  Porter will be pushed this season by a group of incoming Tiger freshman kickers.  The return game will get a boost from All-GPAC returner Livingston, who continually got stronger in 2014 and was named GPAC Special Teams Player-of-the-Week after the season-ending game against Dordt College.  Livingston took a punt back 70 yards for a score in the snow against the Defenders.

After graduating just seven seniors, albeit key members of the team, the Tigers should be deeper in 2015, with several sophomores and redshirt freshmen joining Cimpl's largest-ever recruiting class of more than 40 players.

"There has been some great competition at all positions, but we have some great battles going on with the wide receiver group, the outside linebacker group, as well as the safety position on defense," Cimpl said.  "We are fortunate that we have some depth at those positions with older and younger players.  We have some options to put on the field."

Looking at Dakota State:

When DWU and Dakota State University meet on the football field fans know what to expect. The game has gone down to the wire the last two seasons despite a perceived advantage on the Tiger side of the ball. With several former high school teammates lining up across from each other, it makes for a great storyline.

DWU will open the 2015 season against DSU at 6 p.m. Saturday in Madison, S.D.  The Tigers hold a 38-30-1 advantage over the Trojans all time. DSU finished the 2014 season with a

Last season, the Tigers outlasted the Trojans 27-22. DWU rallied after falling behind 9-0 in the first quarter. After pulling away 27-16 with a 43-yard touchdown reception by Trevor Schroeder, DWU looked to be in control midway through the fourth quarter, but DSU answered with a 75-yard touchdown pass from Brendon Waldner to Justin Summers. The Tigers held on a fourth-and-one late in the game on a tackle by Bormann to secure the win.

The game was one of the best of the season for Turner, who completed 21-of-35 passes for 22 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Turner also rushed for another score.


2015 Bobcat Football Season Preview

Contributed by admin on Aug 26, 2015 - 12:15 AM
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(Peru, Neb.) - The 2015 Peru State Bobcats football team will look to rebuild off the injury-plagued 2014 campaign.  The Bobcats completed the season with a 3-8 overall record and were 2-7 in the Heart of America Conference (Heart), which tied for eighth out of ten teams.
 
Peru State will try to begin a winning trend after ending last season losing four of their last five games.  The Bobcats will look to replace 14 seniors from last year's squad, many of whom played key roles a season ago.
 
However, the second season of the renovated Oak Bowl will spark life into the Peru State football program and allow for another promising recruiting class. The future for the program is bright, as well as, the expectations. 

The Offense
 
The Bobcats will look to continue a high-powered rushing offense from the last couple seasons.  Tyler Audsley (Prescott Valley, Ariz.), a 2013 honorable mention all-conference, who took the snaps last season, will play a versatile role this year by seeing time on both sides of the ball in a multitude of positions. Freshman Travis Carnahan (Wahoo) and sophomore Tommy Wilson (Wildomar, Calif.) will join the quarterback fray as fall camp begins.
 
The ball carriers for the Bobcats will be a mix of young talent and experienced veterans. The backfield will be led by senior Nate Tromblee (Lincoln) and sophomore James Sluka(Exeter). Fullbacks Aaron Smith (Houma, La.) and Eric Morrison-Smith (San Diego, Calif.), both of whom saw important minutes last season will again have key roles to this year's offense.  Also in the mix will be redshirt freshman Ricardo Williams (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) along with sophomore Levi Wasser (Seward) who both had good springs. 
 
The Bobcat wide receivers will rely heavily on senior Jon Frink (Hooper) as well as sophomores AJ Flodman (Hickman) and Jacob Coughlin (Omaha).  Former defensive end junior Jason Park (Ridgecrest, Calif.) in addition to several underclassmen will challenge one another for playing time. Those in the mix are sophomores Jake Merrill (Elkhorn),Gabe Hoins (Papillion)Don Wilkerson (Fresno, Texas), and redshirt sophomore David Bond (New Port Richey, Fla.).
 
The offensive line will return key players whom will be critical to the Peru State rushing attack. The big hosses up front will be led by senior Dillon Bruggeman (Lincoln). Also returning will be juniors Joe Hobert (Wichita, Kan.) and Hayden Krautner (Port Richey, Fla.).  Other potential starters include redshirt-freshmen Mason McCann (Omaha),Christian Vinsky (Murrieta, Calif.), Quentin King (Omaha), and Rob Baker (Omaha). Creating holes and protecting the quarterback is no easy job. Look for these men to step up to win the battle in the trenches. Others expected to push for playing time include senior Brian Farley (Ralston), junior Doug Kelsey (Council Bluffs, Iowa), and freshman Chase Latscha (Olathe, Kan.) and Greg Robinson (Springfield, Mo.).
 
The tight end position will be led by sophomores Andrew Robinson (Imperial Beach, Calif.) and Erik Osborne (Pawnee City).  In addition, Chance Baumann (Beatrice) Grant Jensen (Lincoln), Nolan Gloe (Hickman), and Jacob Anthens (Nebraska City) will compete to see time on the field. The flexible role of tight-end requires these players to be solid run blockers and have the skill to run routes and catch balls in the passing game.  
 
Defense
 
The 2015 Bobcat defense will reload from a year ago returning eight of their 11 starters. 
 
The defensive line will be led by senior Jon Draeger (Dunbar).  Competing on the other side of the d-line from Draeger will be sophomores Rashad Baker (Tempe, Ariz.) andDavid Horvath (O'Fallon, Mo.).   Junior Matt O'Neill (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) will return at the nose guard position.  In addition, Alan Barnes (Murdock) will see playing time at all three defensive line positions.  This defensive line will have to find others to step up after the graduation of Derreon Richardson (St. Louis, Mo.) who led all Bobcat defensive linemen in tackles for loss.  Also looking for time on the defensive line will be Andrew Shackelford (Bradenton, Fla.) and Nolan Siesmonsa (Plattsmouth).
 
The line-backing corps for the Bobcats will have to fill the holes left by last year's leader in assisted and total tackles Shane Lloyd (Ridge Crest, Calif.).  A couple linebackers returning such as Elijah Hawkins (Omaha) and Ben Watkins (Omaha) will be relied on heavily this year for Peru State.
 
Look for Tom Martig (Omaha) and Justin Barnes (Tallahassee, Fla.) to play a major role as outside linebackers for the 'Cats this season.  Other linebackers in the mix for playing time will be sophomores Nick Lechtenberg (Omaha) and Gunnar Orcutt (Omaha).
 
The secondary will look to tighten its reins on opposing HAAC wide-outs. Leading the charge will be seniors Logan Paben (Columbus) and Briar Burr (Wood River).  Also, expect a heavy dose of sophomores Neiman Sneed (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Darius Finley (Roanoke, Ala.) in the secondary for the Bobcats.  Look for juniors Jordan Steffen (Murdock) andGarrett Harring (Salem) to battle for playing time this upcoming campaign as well.
 
Special Teams
 
The Peru State coaches understand the importance of special teams. Therefore, every position on each special team is earned. There will be several players who play key roles on offense and defense and play an important role on special teams. Returning both punts and kicks for the season is expected to be Paben and Sluka.
 
Also returning will be kicking specialist senior Greg Conry (Harlan, Iowa).  In addition, Conry will battle Jon Frink and Miguel Garcia for punting duties.    
 
Other potential threats as return specialists include Flodman, Finley, and Sneed.  Look for Barnes to continue his long-snapping duties as well as Gabe Hoins as the holder.

<figure class="caption figure_object_image" style="margin: 10px auto 0px; padding: 0px; display: inline-block; background-color: #e6e6e6;">4834<figcaption style="display: table-caption; caption-side: bottom; padding: 5px;">2015 Football Coaches (l to r): Cody Piotrowski, Lou Varley, Tyreece Palmer, Dustin Gerdes, Brian Maher, De'Ontae
Pannell, Derreon Richardson, Andy Kohls, Steve SchneiderChuck MizerskiJim SimpsonCody Sullivan, and
Derek Derr. Not pictured: Jeff Reed</figcaption></figure>


Coaching Staff
 
The Bobcat football family is continuing to build upon the early successes of the 24th coach in program history. Entering his fourth year as the head coach of the Bobcats, Steve Schneider looks to lead a team with aspirations of another winning season. Continuing to build a strong program will allow Peru State to make a run at the playoffs and take back its rightful place as one of the NAIA powers. The staff is a blend of longevity and youth which should serve the Bobcats well.
 
Besides Schneider, there will still be plenty of familiar faces on the Bobcats sidelines. Schneider will serve as the quarterbacks coach and will be joined on the offensive side by assistant coaches Lou Varley – wide receiver coach; Andy Kohls – offensive line; and Brian Maher – tight ends.
 
Defensively, the coaches include Derek Derr – linebackers and coordinating the defense; Peru State and Nebraska Football Hall of Fame member Chuck Mizerski – defensive line; and Jeff Reed – secondary and safeties.
 
The two new graduate assistants are De'Ontae Pannell who will help with the secondary and cornerbacks while Tyreece Palmer will assist with the running backs.
 
Jim Simpson is serving as the punting/kicking assistant coach and is in charge of quality control.
 
Student assistants this year, all of whom were on the Bobcat team at one point, include Dustin GerdesCody SullivanDerreon Richardson, and Cody Piotrowski.
 
Heart 2015
 
The Bobcats will look to climb the mountain, so to speak, when taking on some of the NAIA's top competition within the Heart. The conference had four teams in the Top 25 with three teams in the Top 10, who all made the playoffs. This year will be a great challenge with no easy road wins when traveling through Missouri, Iowa, and Kansas. The 'Cats look to continue to improve their record as they enter the fourth year in the conference.  During their first four years in the Heart, Peru State finished: 2011: 2-8, 2012: 5-6, 2013: 7-4, and 2014: 2-7. Time will only tell if the Pale Blue and White can make a run at a playoff berth.
 
In 2015, the Heart has solidified itself as the best football conference in the NAIA with two additions from Iowa, Grand View University in Des Moines and William Penn University in Oskaloosa. Grand View won the 2013 NAIA Football National Championship and William Penn has competed at a high level over recent years. Peru State is no stranger to either school beating Grandview in its program's first year of football in 2008 winning 18-17. PSC traded wins with William Penn in 2009 Peru won 20-12 and lost the following year 70-6.
 
The Schedule
 
The Bobcats look to welcome fans, alumni, and guests to the second year in the newly-renovated Oak Bowl. The 'Cats will host six home games this season. This year the entire schedule will feature a complete conference slate. Peru State will face members of the southern division during the first six weeks. All Heart teams will have the same bye week on Oct. 10. Starting Oct. 17, the teams within their respective divisions will face each other.
 
The Bobcats will open the season on August 29 at 6:00 p.m. when they battle Central Methodist University.  The following week, the Bobcats will go on the road to face Evangel University in Springfield, Mo., which is also a night game.  The third week of the season, Peru State will be back home at the Oak Bowl to play Avila University on September 12 at 1:00.
 
The following three weeks will be tough tests for the 'Cats as they will face three straight top 15 preseason teams (#9 Missouri Valley, #8 MidAmerica Nazarene, and #15 Baker) before heading into the bye week on Oct. 10.
 
Coming off of the bye, Peru State will play at home against one of the two new conference additions, William Penn University.  The following week, the Bobcats will travel Des Moines, Iowa, to battle Grand View University, the other addition to the Heart of America Conference.  The 'Cats will end the month of October with Homecoming on Halloween at 2:00 p.m. versus Graceland University.  Peru State will then hit the road to Canton, Mo., to face Culver-Stockton College before returning home for the regular season finale against Benedictine College on Senior Day, November 14. 

<figure class="caption figure_object_image" style="margin: 10px auto 0px; padding: 0px; display: inline-block; background-color: #e6e6e6;">4835<figcaption style="display: table-caption; caption-side: bottom; padding: 5px;">2015 Bobcat football seniors (l to r): Camden Grasmick, Greg Conry, Robert Georges, Nate Tromblee, Alan Barnes, Jon Frink,
Briar BurrTyler AudsleyLogan PabenDillon Bruggemann, Ben WatkinsBrian Farley, and Jon Draeger</figcaption></figure>

 
Coach Schneider's Outlook
 
Schneider is cautiously optimistic going into the fall, but knows full well that the competition in the Heart will be tough every single week, especially having six teams ranked in the first preseason poll. 
 
"Our guys are excited to get the season going.  We had a great offseason and are ready to go." stated Schneider.  He added, "We have a nucleus of players back.  This is my fourth year as head coach and this is as much experience as we've had."
 
"In my tenure as head coach, when you have experience and depth it usually pays off and is likely for success.  For example, six of the eight returning defensive starters have multiple years of starting experience," stated Schneider.  Continuing, Schneider said, "My view on successful football teams starts with staying healthy.  Also, we have to win the big play battle and the turnover ratio."  Schneider concluded, "In 2013, we had a 7-4 season where we did all three of those things.  Whereas in 2014, we did not succeed in any of those three areas."
 
Complete Schedule
 



DATE HAAC OPPONENT LOCATION TIME/RESULT
8/29/2015 * Central Methodist University (Swenson Presentation) Peru, Neb. 6:00 p.m.
9/5/2015 * Evangel University Springfield, Mo. 6:00 p.m.
9/12/2015 * Avila University (Winter-Spring Student-Athletes Recognition) Peru, Neb. 1:00 p.m.
9/19/2015 * Missouri Valley College Marshall, Mo. 1:30 p.m.
9/26/2015 * MidAmerica Nazarene University (Hall of Fame Day) Peru, Neb. 1:00 p.m.
10/3/2015 * Baker University Baldwin City, Kan. 2:00 p.m.
10/10/2015 BYE WEEK
10/17/2015 * William Penn University (1990 Football Championship 25th Anniversary) ESPN 3 Televised Peru, Neb. 11:00 a.m.
10/24/2015 * Grand View University Des Moines, Iowa 12:00 p.m.
10/31/2015 * Graceland University (Homecoming) Peru, Neb. 2:00 p.m.
11/7/2015 * Culver-Stockton College Canton, Mo. 12:00 p.m.
11/14/2015 * Benedictine College (Senior Day) Peru, Neb. 1:00 p.m.

 
Media/Internet Coverage
 
All of the Bobcats will be broadcast live on Big Apple Radio 103.1 of Nebraska City.  Once again, the voice of the Bobcats will be Dwight (Doc) Wininger with color provided by Daryl Obermeyer.
 
In addition, home games will be shown via Livestream.  For radio and the Livestream, fans can link to those via the Bobcats' website athttp://www.pscbobcats.com/schedule.aspx?path=football.  Fans may also follow the live stats on the Bobcats' Dak-Stats page. 
 


Eagles Football Preview: Offense

Contributed by admin on Aug 24, 2015 - 11:46 PM
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Fayette, Mo. – The Eagles football team is just days away from their 2015 season opener at Peru State and still many questions have yet to be answered on the offensive side of the ball. The number question on most fans mind, is who will be the starting quarterback?
 
"We are lucky to have Caleb Bedford who transferred in from Texas A&M Kingsville and Tyler Creath who transferred in from Lincoln University, both of them are working really hard," said CMU head football coach Jody Ford. "We also have Justin Connaway, who is originally from Moberly. He transferred in from Missouri Baptist. We also have a couple of young guys with Justin Baylard and Jeremy Gremminger."
 
To this point, the quarterback race is still open heading into Saturday, but both Bedford and Creath seem to have the best shot at nailing down the starting job.
 
The Eagles will look to run the ball a lot this year, with their new feature back in Kevin Denis. Denis is a transfer from NCAA Division 1 Utah State University.
 
"Denis has been an awesome addition," said Ford. "He is really tough and a great story. He got two of his front teeth knocked out in practice and we were worried that we would be without him for two weeks. However he showed up to practice the next day with a mouth guard ready to play. We expect a good year out of him."
 
Other running backs on the roster include: Tyler Steinkamp, Point University transfer Rufus Mason, and fullbacks Ronald McClean, Edward Bernard and John Fuller.
 
"It's a good group of running backs and very stable," said Ford. "We also have Jeremiah Jackson, so it should be a good year for our run game."
 
The other key position on the offensive side of the ball is the receiving corps. With question marks at quarterback, the receivers will have to work quickly to build a relationship whichever quarterback wins the job. The receivers are once again led by senior Jamall Williams.
 
"Shawn Whitley was All-Conference last year in punt returns and ranked in the top 10, along with Keenan Honroe who is our fastest guy on the team," said Ford. "Adam Weiland has played some wide receiver/tight end for us, and he presents match-up problems for other teams. Dillon Britt is having a good camp and Brandon Harrison is another guy that has been doing very well for us."
 
From the tight end stand point, both Brandon Elkins and Josh Hulsey have had good preseasons and had a good spring for the Eagles too.
 
Of course none of this will even matter, if the Eagles don't have a strong offensive line.
 
"The guys up front are doing well for us up on the line," said Coach Ford. "Max Hotelling can play anywhere on the line for us. Wayman Yeldell returns for his senior year, alsoRemington Slama will be really good for us and Karstan Luchini is doing some great things. Nick Franey is doing really well at the center position for us. And both Danny Wolf andAlex Black are two freshman that are really impressing us so far."
 
CMU kicks-off the season this Saturday night, when they travel north to Peru, Nebraska to face Peru State. The Eagles will return home to Fayette the following week, when they 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.


Football Picked Third in Conference Preseason Poll

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 11:15 PM
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AVE MARIA, Fla. – The final Sun Conference preseason coaches' poll of the fall sports season was released on Friday.  Webber International University was picked to repeat as football conference champions by the league's six head coaches.

The Warriors collected three first place votes and 20 total points to claim the top spot.  Southeastern University was a close second with 19 total points and two first place votes. 

The Royals of Warner University came in third in the poll with 17 total points.  Ave Maria University picked up the final first place vote and sat fourth in the poll with 14 points.  Edward Waters College and Point University took up the final two spots in the poll with 11 and nine points respectively.

The Royals were 3-2 in the inaugural year of football in the Sun Conference in 2014.  The Royals picked up wins against Webber International (14-10), Ave Maria (17-7) and Point University (37-7).  Their two losses came on the road against Southeastern and Edward Waters.

In 2015, the Royals begin conference play in week three of the regular season against Southeastern University at Vikings Stadium on the campus of Lakeland Christian School.  Weeks five and six bring back to back league games for the Royals as Ave Maria and Point come to town.  The Royals and Gyrenes will meet at Vikings Stadium on Sept. 26 for 12 p.m. kickoff.  The Skyhawks of Point University come to Legion Field in Lake Wales on Oct. 3 also for a 12 p.m. kickoff.

Edward Waters and Webber International close out the regular season for the Royals.  The Royals take on the Tigers for Senior Day on Nov. 7 at Vikings Stadium before facing off against their biggest rivals on Nov. 14.

In a move supported by both institutions, the Royals and Warriors will now meet in the final week of the season every year.  The Warriors will serve as the home team in 2015; the two sides have split their first two meetings on the gridiron with the Warriors winning in 2013 and the Royals evening the series last year.

To view the complete preseason poll, click here.

To purchase tickets for the Royals' five home games, click here.


Football Tops Sun Conference Preseason Coaches Poll

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 05:32 PM
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AVE MARIA, Fla. - In the 2015 Sun Conference Football Preseason Poll, the coaches have selected Webber International to repeat as conference champions. The preseason poll, which was voted on by the league's six head coaches, was released Friday by the conference office.
                                                                                                                                             
With 20 total points and three first place votes, the Warriors narrowly edged out Southeastern who tallied 19 total points and two first place votes. Ave Maria received the final first place vote.
 
After a tough start to the 2014 season, Webber International ran off seven straight wins to finish with a 7-3 overall mark and a 4-1 record against conference opponents. The Warriors, who enter the season ranked 24th in the NAIA Football Coaches Preseason Top-25 Poll, return five of their 10 all-conference honorees from last season, including playmakers Darius Page and Prince Holloway.
 
Page set the Warriors single season rushing record with 950 yards on the ground and eight rushing touchdowns while Holloway set Webber's single season mark with 338 punt return yards with two punt returns for touchdowns.
 
Following a strong inaugural season, Southeastern, who finished 2014 with a 7-3 overall record and a 3-2 mark in conference play, is picked to finish second. The Fire return four first team all-conference members from a year ago including Sun Conference Player of the Year and 2015 The Sporting News Preseason NAIA All-American Jarrell Reynolds.
 
Reynolds rushed for 1,469 yards and 26 touchdowns last season and ranked fifth in the NAIA in total rushing and third in rushing yards per game. He finished in the top 11 in the NAIA in eight different offensive categories including rushing, scoring, and all-purpose yardage.
 
Warner is picked to finish third with 17 points followed by Ave Maria with 14 points and one first place vote. The Royals are coming off a 5-5 campaign and return their leader on the defensive side in first team all-conference member Loronza Smith. The rising junior linebacker led the conference with 119 total tackles (all positions) and ranked seventh in the NAIA in tackles (all positions) per game with 11.9.
 
Ave Maria returns two all-conference honorees from a year ago including AFCA-NAIA Second Team All-American offensive lineman Jeff Lindenmoyer. The Blue and Green also welcome back quarterback Clayton Uecker who enters his third season as the Gyrenes starting quarterback. The rising junior passed for 2,494 yards and 20 touchdowns last season. AMU finished 2014 in a tie for second place with Southeastern and Warner with a 3-2 mark in conference play.
 
Edward Waters has been tabbed to finish fifth after tallying 11 points with Point grabbing nine points to round out the six team preseason poll. First team All-Sun Conference honoree and dual threat quarterback Tyler Mahla will once again lead Edward Waters for the 2015 campaign. Last season, Mahla led the Tigers on the ground with 541 rushing yards and through the air with 1,616 passing yards.
 
Point returns seven of eight all-conference selections including return specialist Brandon Robertson and AFCA-NAIA All-American kicker/punter David Strickland. Robertson averaged 13.5 yards per punt return and nearly 25 yards per kick return while returning two kicks and one punt for touchdowns in 2014. As a wide receiver, he also totaled 26 receptions for 226 yards and two touchdowns. Strickland led the NAIA in punting by averaging 44.6 yards per punt on 47 attempts and 2,095 total yards. He also garnered first team All-Sun Conference honors, as well as the Sun Conference Champion of Character award.
 
Point, Warner, and Webber International begin their 2015 campaigns on Aug. 29, while Ave Maria, Edward Waters, and Southeastern officially get underway on Sep. 5.
 
2015 Sun Conference Football Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Webber International – 20 (3 first-place votes)
2. Southeastern – 19 (2)
3. Warner – 17
4. Ave Maria – 14 (1)
5. Edward Waters – 11
6. Point – 9


EAGLE NOTES: Defense should be a strength for Faulkner in '15

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 05:28 PM
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. – For the past four years, through the exploits of talented quarterbacks Josh Hollingsworth and Terrell Robinson, the Faulkner football program developed a reputation for building its success on the offensive side of the ball.

Defensively things were a challenge at times, with the Eagles getting into frequent scoring shootouts with their Mid-South Conference opponents. There was steady improvement from year to year, but head coach Charlie Boren senses a big change heading into the 2015 season. And he can't help but smile when thinking of the possibilities.

"I think one reason I expect things to be dramatically different has been our recruiting," Boren said. "We placed a heavy emphasis last spring and this summer on filling some spots on defense and we feel we've brought in some guys who are really going to help us."

Three of those players will help anchor the defensive line – Anthony Smith, a 6-0, 330-pound transfer from Texas Tech,Sean Watson, a 6-3, 285-pound transfer from Jacksonville State and Karsmann Johnson, a 6-3, 265-pound transfer from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M.

"Up front, where it starts on the defensive side of the ball, this is probably the best group this program's ever had," Boren said. "We were talking the other day with some people who have seen the growth over the nine years of our program, and most feel potentially this could be the best. We've had some great defensive linemen, but collectively we think this one could separate itself."

Caleb Taylor and Ray Smith are back to shore up the inside linebacker position, and a newcomer to the secondary could prove to be special according to Boren. Quan Latham, a 5-10, 185-pound cornerback from East Mississippi Community College, has also raised the bar on the back end.

"He brings a talent level that we just haven't had back there," Boren said. "To be honest, our receivers – and we have some good ones – can't get him off of them. He's going to be a lockdown guy for us back there. It basically cuts the field in half, and allows us to play man and not be forced to do something special to try and stop another team's top receiver.

"He's a good kid too. His head is on straight and he's a leader."

Taylor was second on the team in tackles last season with 78 total stops, and is the leading returning tackler. He had six tackles for loss and a pair of sacks on the year.

The new-look Faulkner defense has been bolstered by the hiring of a couple of new coaches – defensive coordinator Cam Clark, who was an Eagles' assistant for three years between 2008-2010, returns to Faulkner after having spent the last two seasons as a defensive graduate assistant at Auburn, and Marcus White, who was a member of the Texas Tech staff a year ago.

"Cam and Marcus have done a great job designing a system that fits our talent, and then having those connections in recruiting to go out and find the guys who can come in and complement our system," Boren said. "They work closely together. Both have tremendous backgrounds, and it's really made things exciting for us on that side of the ball."

Faulkner, which has made back-to-back trips to the NAIA playoffs, begins its season on Sept. 5 against Southeastern in Lakeland, Fla. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. CST.


Football #21 In NAIA Preseason Poll

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 05:02 PM
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KANSAS CITY, Mo - The Friends University football team maintained their position from the spring poll, coming in #21 in the 2015 NAIA Football Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll as announced by the conference office Monday afternoon.

The Falcons gained five votes from the previous poll in April, going from 59 to 64.

Friends is joined in the poll by fellow KCAC members Ottawa (#14), Tabor (T#22), and Sterling (RV). Defending national champion Southern Oregon and national runner-up Marian (Ind.) tied atop the poll with 304 points. Southern Oregon receiving eight of the 14 first place votes. Marian received five and Carroll (Mont.) received the other. Carroll ranks #4 overall in the poll.

The first regular season poll will be released on September 14th.

Friends opens the 2015 season at home against Nebraska Wesleyan in the GPAC/KCAC Challenge. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00pm on Saturday, September 5th. 

2015 NAIA Football Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll (August 10)



RANK LAST TIME^ SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) 2014 RECORD TOTAL POINTS
T1 1 Southern Oregon (8) 13-2 304
T1 2 Marian (Ind.) (5) 11-3 304
3 3 Morningside (Iowa) 12-2 289
T4 4 Saint Xavier (Ill.) 10-3 277
T4 5 Carroll (Mont.) (1) 10-2 277
6 6 Grand View (Iowa) 11-2 254
7 7 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 10-3 240
8 9 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 9-2 227
9 8 Missouri Valley 9-4 222
10 10 Faulkner (Ala.) 9-3 200
11 11 Georgetown (Ky.) 8-3 198
12 12 Northwestern (Iowa) 9-2 181
13 13 Eastern Oregon 8-3 172
14 14 Ottawa (Kan.) 9-3 148
15 16 Baker (Kan.) 8-3 138
16 15 Campbellsville (Ky.) 7-4 136
17 17 Valley City State (N.D.) 9-2 105
18 19 Langston (Okla.) 7-5 98
19 18 William Penn (Iowa) 7-4 95
20 20 Robert Morris (Ill.) 8-3 90
21 21 Friends (Kan.) 8-3 64
T22 22 Doane (Neb.) 7-3 51
T22 24 Tabor (Kan.) 7-4 51
24 23 Webber International (Fla.) 8-3 42
25 25 Benedictine (Kan.) 7-4 36

Others Receiving Votes: Sterling (Kan.) 9; Saint Francis (Ind.) 9; Montana Western 9; Reinhardt (Ga.) 3. 

^ Top 25 ranking from 2015 Spring Top 25 Poll

Click here to read the full national release.


Football selected fifth by coaches, sixth by media at KCAC Football Media Day

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 04:46 PM
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WICHITA, Kan. – Kansas Wesleyan was picked to finish on Friday afternoon at KCAC Football Media Day at The Hotel at Old Town Conference Center. 

After finishing 2-9 last season in head coach Matt Drinkall's first season, the Coyotes have drastically improved through recruiting for the upcoming season and look to continue to move forward with the Coyote football program.

 

Ottawa was the pick by the coaches with 89 points and eight of ten first place votes, followed by Tabor with 79 points and two first place votes. Friends was third, Sterling was fourth, Wesleyan fifth, Saint Mary sixth, Bethany seventh, McPherson eighth, and Bethel and Southwestern tied for tenth.

 

There was a tie for first place in the media poll between Friends and Tabor, both tallying 137 points, but Friends held the tiebreaker with nine first place votes, while Tabor had six. Ottawa was picked third, followed by Sterling in fourth, Saint Mary in fifth, Wesleyan in sixth, Bethany in seventh, Bethel in eighth, Southwestern in ninth and McPherson in tenth.

 

Drinkall hopes that around 130 will report for fall camp which starts Monday.

 

Kansas Wesleyan will open the season on August 29 at Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa. The game marks the first time in school history that Wesleyan will open the season in the month of August. The home opener is the following week on September 5 when KWU hosts Midland (Neb.) University at 6 p.m. in Salina.

 

KCAC FOOTBALL MEDIA DAY POLLS

 

COACHES POLL (FIRST PLACE VOTES)
1. Ottawa – 89 (8)
2. Tabor – 79 (2)
3. Friends – 76
4. Sterling – 66
5. Kansas Wesleyan – 54
6. Saint Mary – 49
7. Bethany – 47
8. McPherson – 30
9. Bethel – 25
9. Southwestern – 25

 

MEDIA POLL (FIRST PLACE VOTES)
1. Friends – 137 (9)
2. Tabor – 137 (6)
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


Honor the Tradition, Forge the Legacy. 2015 Bethany Football Preview

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 04:43 PM
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LINDSBORG, Kan. - The Swedes are entering their first season under Head Coach Paul Hubbard. Hubbard takes over after a two year stint by Manny Matsakis. The Swedes were 2-9 the first season and jumped to 7-4 a year ago. 

With a new staff, Hubard will have a tough task of meshing new talent to replace key losses, while focusing existing players on one goal. Fortunately for the new coaching staff, the Swedes retained some top players from last year's talented roster.

"We have a strong core of players returning. Our returning players' importance is not only on the field with their playing ability, but more importantly through their leadership. We have a specific way of doing things at Bethany and it is very important for the returners to show the newcomers the way," said coach Hubbard.

Jasaan Eley and Nile Daniel are back to lead the Bethany offensive attack. Eley led the Swedes rushing game with 4.6 yards per carry, 760 rushing, and eight touchdowns. Daniel hauled in four touchdowns and nearly 300 yards on just 21 catches. The Swedes will also have experienced signal callers in Bo Savage and Virgil Bridges. The two combined for nearly 700 yards through the air, 150 yards rushing, and four touchdowns.

Bethany also returns important pieces on the defensive side of the ball as well as in their special teams. Tayler Stull was sixth on the team in tackles while playing in just seven games. Chris Washington and Micah Collins will play a big role in stopping the run game after combining for 14 tackles for loss and four sacks.

Bethany will also return both kickers, Brett Crome and Adam Maisch. Crome had 43 punts last season, which tallied 1,627 for an average of 38 yards per kick. He holds the Bethany and KCAC record for longest punt of 84 yards. Maisch was third in scoring last season with 49 points on five field goals and 34 extra points.

The Swedes will lose the leadership of their middle linebacker Steven Williams, who graduated after last season. Bethany will look to sure up their back end after losing Trevor Smith and Jarrot Bell as well. Smith recorded 55 tackles and had two interceptions, while Bell led the team with three interceptions and also recorded 36 tackles.

Bethany will welcome new faces such as freshman linebacker Mickey Farnham and defensive back Keondre Woods. The Swedes will also look for an impact on the offensive side of the ball from junior transfers Rodrick Haynes, offensive line, and Anthony Jackson, wide receiver. 

"Our staff is very optimistic for the upcoming season. We feel that our success will be a direct result of the hard work the coaches and players have put in for preparation for the season. It will be a season of peaks and valleys, but that is no different from any season. The only way to be ultimately successful through the trials and tribulations is through hard work, discipline, the drive to stay the course, and the character of our team," later added Hubbard. "Our playing goals will never change from working to win the next game and the long term goal of competing for championships. Although we will change our game plan for each opponent, our demeanor will never falter from being a team of hardnosed football players, that will out-work and out-tough our opponents."

Bethany was voted to finish seventh in the Media and Coaches' poll at the KCAC Media day held in Wichita last week. The Swedes will open their season on the road at 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


Northwestern Recognized In NAIA Preseason Poll

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 04:31 PM
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Northwestern College earned a spot in the NAIA Football Coaches' preseason top 25 poll announced by the national office earlier today. 

The Red Raiders held down the 12th spot in the initial ranking of the 2015 season, the same ranking they held in the final poll of the 2014 season. Northwestern joins two other GPAC teams, Morningside (3) and Doane (T22). 

Defending champion Southern Oregon and national runner-up Marian (Ind.) share the top spot in the preseason poll, totaling 304 points each. Following Morningside, Saint Xavier (Ill.) and Carroll (Mont.) round out the top five. 

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 22nd-ranked Tabor under the lights in Hillsboro, Kan. on Sept. 5. 


Presentation College football picked to finish 4th in NSAA Pre-Season poll.

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 04:21 PM
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The Presentation College Saints have been picked to finish 4th out of the 7 teams in the 2015 North Star Athletic Association preseason poll.  Head coach Andy Carr and his Saints are coming off a school best 6-4 record, including a program best ever 3-3 mark in the NSAA.  For the complete preseason poll, click here.

The Saints open 2015 on the road in the Dakota Dome against Briar Cliff University Saturday, August 29th.  The Saints open conference play on Saturday, September 19th, when they host Dickinson State.  Kick off is set for 7:00pm.


JOURNAL: Reyes Ready for Return to the Cliff

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 04:14 PM
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Andre Reyes is no armchair quarterback. He would much rather be playing football.

Two years after leading Briar Cliff in tackles he was forced to sit on his couch and watch last season's Charger home games streaming over the internet.

"It was nerve-racking man," the senior inside linebacker said. "I just wanted to see them do good, and I know how much work them boys put in because I was with them the year before. I just wanted to see them do good and wish I was out there to contribute.

"Getting the chance to play in spring ball, it was relieving to be back out there."

After taking time off to work, Reyes is glad to be back on the field.

"It means the world to me because I missed last season and watched my teammates online," he said. "So I was getting reacquainted with the team during spring ball and really got the opportunity to know each other better."

Reyes led the Chargers with 103 tackles – setting the school record --in 2013 which included 4-1/2 tackles for loss. He may need to repeat those kinds of numbers with Briar Cliff having to replace its top four tacklers off  last year's squad.

Defensive back Johnathan Carter is the team's leading returning tackler with 62 tackles.

"As a group we always work on tackling, we always work on fundamentals," Reyes said.

Briar Cliff Coach Tom Rethman is certainly glad to have another difference-maker on the defensive side of the ball.

"It is nice to bring back a guy that set the tackle record the year before," he said. "I think (erasing mistakes) is something that Andre is able to do with his speed. He is able to cover up maybe some mistakes in some areas.

"Inside linebacker was an area of concern and up the middle was an area of concern, but I think we are going to have a very good defensive front."

There will be plenty of youth for the Chargers on the defensive side of the ball, but Reyes has been impressed with the talent and attitude of the younger players.

"(Sophomore) Nate Ericson, a safety, I have played with a lot of good safeties as you know like Steven (Trujillo) and Kenny (Hanes), and this guy is really stepping up," Reyes said. "He flies around, makes plays, causes turnovers. I am really excited."

Reyes, who is one of two linebackers making calls for the defense this season, is focusing on leading, something he wasn't asked to do two years ago.

"My only focus is for me to stay healthy and to lead these guys and help the younger guys," he said. "I always led by example, but now I can get more vocal with some of the guys. I believe all 11 guys out there lead in their own way. It is working out well."

"I think he is a little more hungry even though he has always had a great motor," Rethman said. "Absence makes the heart grow fonder. To have to be away from football for a year definitely increased his fire and burn for the game."

The Briar Cliff defense will also be anchored by Tyler Dean as the junior racked up 12 tackles for loss and led the team with 6-1/2 sacks.

Story by Jeff Budlong from the Sioux City Journal.


Fighting Tigers rank No. 16 in preseason poll

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 03:49 PM
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Football season is on the horizon and Campbellsville University continues in the NAIA Top 20 after finishing the 2014 season ranked No. 15. The Fighting Tigers dropped one spot from last year and will start the 2015 season at No. 16 in the NAIA Football Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll.

The Tigers picked up 136 voting points from the national raters who are made up of a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and independents.

For the first time since the NAIA moved to one division in 1997, two teams enter the season tied atop the rankings. Defending national champion Southern Oregon and national runner-up Marian (Ind.) share the post, with the Raiders grabbing eight first-place votes and 304 points, while the Knights collected five first-place votes and 304 points.

Southern Oregon enters the year looking to build off a historical 2014 campaign that concluded with the Raiders winning their first-ever NAIA national title. Prior to last season, Southern Oregon had never advanced past the quarterfinals of the Football Championship Series.

Morningside (Iowa) checks in at No. 3 with 289 total points, while Carroll and Saint Xavier are tied at No. 4 with 277 points, respectively. The Fighting Saints, who were picked as the favorite to win the Frontier Conference by the league's coaches, also gathered one first-place vote.

Mid-South Conference rival Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) cracked the Top 10 with a No. 7 ranking, picking up 240 points. Faulkner (Ala.), which was crowned MSC West Division co-champs with Campbellsville in 2014, rounded out the Top 10 with 200 voting points.

Georgetown (Ky.) missed the Top 10 by two points, staying at No. 11 with 198 points.

Campbellsville is tabbed to win the MSC West Division, as Lindsey Wilson and Faulkner were picked by conference coaches to finish in a tie for third. Georgetown is the favorite to win the MSC East Division.

All 12 NAIA football conferences are represented in the preseason poll.

The first regular season Top 25 Poll will be announced Sept. 14.

Campbellsville kicks off its 2015 campaign at home under the lights against University of the Cumberlands. Kickoff is schedule for 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, Aug. 27 at Finley Stadium.

Information from this release was made available by Alan Grosbach, NAIA manager of communication and sports information.


Off and running: Lights camp is underway

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 03:42 PM
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New Montana State University-Northern head football coach Aaron Christensen has been waiting to get his football team on the field and finally, Thursday evening, he got the chance to do just that.

The Lights, who are just 16 days away from their season-opening game on the road against traditional rival Dickinson State University, took part in their first practice of fall training camp as nearly 100 players were on the field for the opening day of drills.

"I thought it was a good day," Christenson said. "I thought that there was some good and bad, but it's kind of hard because for almost 50 of these kids, it was their first practice with us. So they just don't know enough and still have a lot to learn before they can really compete. We are just trying to get guys lined up and learning skills. Just going through the basics."

Overall though, it was a productive first day for the Lights, who are coming off a 3-8 season under then interim head coach Jake Eldridge, who has since resumed his duties as defensive coordinator.

Eldridge had his defenders going through drills Thursday, both as an entire defensive unit, then split into positions, with a focus on technique and the recognition of offensive formations. It seems like simple stuff, but even at the collegiate level, strong fundamentals are the key to success.

On the offensive side of the ball, things were about the same. Quarterbacks and receivers worked on route combinations and threw passes against air, while the offensive line worked on footwork and blocking techniques. The running backs, were also given a chance to run and catch the football against air as backs Zach McKinley and Mario Gobatto, routinely looked like two of the better athletes on the field for MSU-N.

One notable player who was in attendance but not in pads was transfer quarterback Herman Smith. Smith is expected to do battle with returning sophomore quarterback Jess Krahn, who actually has some starts under his belt and led the Lights to an upset victory over Rocky Mountain College in the final game of the 2014 season.

Krahn and Smith are likely going to duke it out for the starting quarterback job, according to Christensen, but at this point, he just wants to get every player on the field and on the same page, so he can give each of them an equal opportunity to make an impression on the coaching staff.

However, Smith, who took part in spring practice, has a big advantage on the rest of the newcomers, who have just over a week to go before the Lights first and only scrimmage of fall, which gives them precious little time to get acclimated to the system and make enough of an impact to warrant playing time.

"Right now things are completely wide open," Christenson said. "We anticipate Herman and Jess competing for the quarterback job, but we have so many kids, that we are leaving pretty much everything wide open right now. We could end up redshirting a lot of kids, but if we can get them to stay and to be on the field, that will be a good thing for us."


Roger Miller

Montana State University-Northern running back Mario Gobatto runs through drills on the first day of Lights football practice Thursday at the MSU-Northern practice fields.

The Lights ran through individual and team drills in the hour and 45 minute practice, but they weren't padded up and therefore ran plays against air instead of lining up the offense and defense in 11-on-11 action. There was also no 7-on-7 on day one, but that action is soon to come as the Lights will wear the pads tonight during the second of two practices scheduled for today.

MSU-N will practice twice today and Saturday before going back to a single session for Sunday, which will also be in pads. Christensen said he is hoping to get as much work done as possible this weekend, as the final scrimmage of fall camp is set for Aug. 15 at the Northern practice field at 1 p.m. After that, the team will begin preparing for Dickinson State and the chance to earn a spot in the starting lineup may be harder to come by.

"Right now we are just trying to get everybody up to speed and see where they are at," Christensen said. "But, yeah, it's a quick turn around for our first game, so the guys need to take advantage of every opportunity they have to make I'm impression."


Eagles Receiving Top 25 Votes in Preseason Poll

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 03:37 PM
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WALESKA, Ga. - Reinhardt's football team will start 2015 in a similar position as to how it ended 2014 as the Eagles are receiving votes in the NAIA Preseason Top 25 poll. The poll was released late Tuesday.

While the Eagles are one of two picks to win the Mid-South Conference West Division according to the conference's coaches, RU will start the year with three top 25 votes, the last team on the "receiving votes" line. Across all NAIA sports, there is typically very little change between the final poll of the previous season and the preseason poll before a new season. This might be why Lindsey Wilson and Faulkner, teams that are picked to finish in a tie for third in the MSC-West, are ranked No. 7 and No. 10, respectively, the exact spot they closed out 2014.

Campbellsville, picked to be co-champions of the MSC-West with Reinhardt, is in the preseason poll at No. 16. Last year, Campbellsville closed the season ranked No. 15.

In addition to Campbellsville, LWC, and Faulkner, the Eagles will also face Georgetown, which is ranked No. 11 in the preseason poll. No other Mid-South Conference team is in the preseason poll or receiving votes.

The Eagles will open the 2015 season at Point in Valley, Ala., August 29 at noon.


Football ranked No. 7 in NAIA Preseason Coaches' Top 25 Poll

Contributed by admin on Aug 21, 2015 - 12:01 AM
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COLUMBIA, Ky. – The Lindsey Wilson football team is ranked No. 7 in the 2015 NAIA Football Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll, released on Monday by the national office.

The No. 7 position is the highest preseason ranking in program history, surpassing the No. 18 preseason ranking the Blue Raiders received prior to the start of the 2014 campaign.

Lindsey Wilson received 240 total voting points from the panel of national raters.

The Blue Raiders are coming off a 2014 season in which they claimed the Mid-South Conference East Division title and advanced to the NAIA Football Championship Series Quarterfinals.

Southern Oregon and Marian (Ind.) are tied atop the poll each with 304 points. Southern Oregon received eight first-place votes while Marian garnered five. Morningside (Iowa) is third with 289 points while Saint Xavier (Ill.) and Carroll (Mont.) are tied for fourth with 277 points, Carroll garnering one first-place vote. Grand View (Iowa) is the final team ranked ahead of the Blue Raiders at No. 6 with 254 points.

Lindsey Wilson is the top team from either Mid-South Conference Division ranked in the poll, beating out No. 10 Faulkner (Ala.), No. 11 Georgetown (Ky.) and No. 16 Campbellsville (Ky.).

The Blue Raiders open the 2015 season on the road at Lyon (Ark.) on Sept. 5.


MSC East coaches pick GC as preseason favorite

Contributed by admin on Aug 20, 2015 - 11:34 PM
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Preseason Mid-South Conference poll has Georgetown College Tigers the heavy favorite for the East Divisional crown announced by the league Wednesday afternoon.

Five of the six head coaches picked the Orange & Black, which finished second the past two seasons, to take the league for a 19th time and first since 2012. University of the Cumberlands, the 2013 champions, picked up the lone other first-place vote.

The Tigers garnered 25 points. The next closest team was University of Pikeville with 18. UC and Kentucky Christian University each received 14 voting points to tie for third. Union College was picked fifth with 12 points and Bluefield College rounds out the division with seven voting points.

Georgetown's 18 titles is the best in the league and five of those are MSC East crowns.

It was much tighter in the other division as Lindsey Wilson College, the 2014 East champion, moved back to the West.

Campbellsville University and Reinhardt University were co-leaders with 21 points and two first-place votes each. Hot on their tails was LWC and Faulkner University tied for third with 17 points and a first-place nod to each.

Finally, Bethel University and Cumberland University finished tied for fifth with seven points each.


Grand View No. 6 in NAIA Football Coaches' Preseason Poll

Contributed by admin on Aug 20, 2015 - 11:18 PM
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Grand View will start its new era ranked as the No. 6 team in the nation in the 2015 NAIA Football Coaches' Association Preseason Top 25 Poll released Monday. The Vikings, who start their first year in the Heart of America Conference, were 11-2 last season and made the program's third playoff appearance and won their fourth-straight conference title.

Defending champion Southern Oregon and Marian (Ind.) share the top spot in the poll. Morningside (Iowa) is the No. 3 team in the poll followed by Carroll (Mont.) and Saint Xavier (Ill.) who tied at No. 4

The Vikings, predicted to be the top team in the Heart in 2015, kick off their season at home on August 29 against Baker (Kan.) at 11 a.m.

Complete NAIA Preseason Top 25 here.


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.


Viking Football Ranked No. 9 to Start Season

Contributed by admin on Aug 20, 2015 - 11:11 PM

Marshall, Mo. (August 10, 2015)- The Missouri Valley College football team is ranked No. 9 in the 2015 NAIA Football Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll released Monday.  The Vikings have now been ranked in 117 consecutive coaches' polls, the second longest active streak in the NAIA.

 

The Viking football program is coming off a 2014 season that included a 9-3 overall record, a fourth-straight Heart of America Athletic Conference championship and a fourth-straight appearance in theNAIA Football Championship Series.  Missouri Valley advanced to the quarterfinal round of the FCS for the third-straight year and finished No. 8 in the final 2014 coaches’ poll.

 

Last week, the Vikings were picked to finish second in the Heart of America Athletic Conference South Division, behind MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) University.  Grand View (Iowa) University was picked to finish atop the conference’s North Division.  The Heart will be divided into two six-team divisions beginning with the 2015 season.

 

Other Heart teams ranked in the preseason poll include No. 8 MidAmerica Nazarene, No. 15 Baker (Kan.) University and No. 25 Benedictine (Kan.) College.  New conference members Grand View (Iowa) University and William Penn (Iowa) University are ranked No. 6 and No. 19 respectively.

 

The Missouri Valley football team opened practice for the 2015 season Monday, and will play its first regular season game August 29, at home against William Penn at 6 p.m.


Saints Ranked Fourth in Preseason NAIA Poll

Contributed by admin on Aug 20, 2015 - 10:55 PM
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Carroll College Fighting Saints Football team tied for the No. 4 ranking in the NAIA Football Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll, released Monday.
 
The Saints moved up one spot from the spring ranking where they were ranked fifth. NAIA defending national champion Southern Oregon tied for the No. 1 spot with runner-up Marian.
 
Carroll opens the season against SOU on Sept. 5, at Nelson Stadium in Helena.
 
Eastern Oregon just missed out on the playoffs in 2014 and received the No. 13 ranking in the poll, they were the only other Frontier Conference school to land in the top 25. Montana Western just missed the poll and finished in a tied for the most votes outside of the top 25.
 
The Saints were picked to win the conference in the Frontier Conference preseason Coaches' Poll released at the Frontier Conference Media Day.
 
Fall camp begins Thursday for the Saints with just over three weeks until the matchup with the Raiders. 


EOU Football Tabbed No. 13 in NAIA Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll

Contributed by admin on Aug 20, 2015 - 10:44 PM
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Eastern Oregon University football team notched its highest preseason ranking in program history, as the Mountaineers were selected as the No. 13 team in the country according to the 2015 NAIA Football Coaches' Preseason Top 25 poll, the national office announced on Monday afternoon.

A total of three teams from the Frontier Conference cracked the top 25, while Montana Western managed to receive nine votes in the poll. Southern Oregon split the No. 1 slot with Marian (Ind.), marking the first time since 1997 that two teams shared the top spot in the poll. Meanwhile, fourth-ranked Caroll (Mont.) shared its ranking with Saint Xavier (Ill.).

EOU's last preseason top 25 recognition came in 2012, as the Mountaineers were ranked No. 16 in the poll. Last season, the Mountaineers registered an 8-3 record en route to earning a No. 13 ranking in the NAIA Football Coaches' Spring Top 25 poll.

To view the complete preseason poll, click here

The Mountaineers open their season on Aug. 29 against College of Idaho in Caldwell, Idaho, at 1 p.m. MT. 

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