Statesmen Picked Second in North

by Wade Steinlage

Oskaloosa–The William Penn football team is projected to bounce back after a disappointing 2018 season as the Heart of America Athletic Conference preseason coaches’ polls were released Monday.

WPU (4-7 last year, 2-3 North) received 45 points and one first-place vote to take second out of six programs in the North Division.

Defending champion Grand View again heads the North, earning 50 points and five first-place votes. Culver-Stockton (41), Peru State (40), Graceland (33), and Clarke (31), which begins its first gridiron campaign next month, round out the poll.

With the addition of Clarke, defending national runner-up Benedictine has been moved to the South Division. The Ravens assume the top spot in the South with 50 points and five first-place votes. Evangel and defending division champion Baker are tied for second with 44 points apiece; Evangel holds the final first-place nod. MidAmerica Nazarene is third with 37 points, while Missouri Valley (35) and Central Methodist (30) wrap up the rating.

All 11 teams will play each other in a true round-robin format. The winners of each division will receive automatic berths to the NAIA Football Championship Series.

WPU begins the fall at Statesmen Stadium, hosting Evangel on August 31 at noon. The Statesmen are the home team a total of five times in 2019, including Homecoming on October 19 versus Graceland at 2:30 p.m. Senior Day will be against Peru State on November 2 at noon.

The NAIA has yet to release its preseason poll, but the Heart was well represented in last year’s postseason ranking with Benedictine at #2, Baker at #5, Grand View at #15, and Evangel at #17.

The 2019 Heart slate will begin on August 31, highlighted by Clarke’s first-ever football game. Divisional play will begin on October 16.

2019 Heart North Division Preseason Coaches’ Poll
School Points (First Place Votes)
1. Grand View–50 (5)
2. William Penn–45 (1)
3. Culver-Stockton–41
4. Peru State–40
5. Graceland–33
6. Clarke–31

2019 Heart South Division Preseason Coaches’ Poll
School Points (First Place Votes)
1. Benedictine–50 (5)
2. Evangel–44 (1)
2. Baker–44
4. MidAmerica Nazarene–37
5. Missouri Valley–35
6. Central Methodist–30

Posted by on Jul 30 2019. Filed under College Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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