Statesmen Again Predicted to Place Second in North

William Penn University Football

Oskaloosa–The William Penn football enters the 2017 season in familiar territory as the Heart of America Athletic Conference preseason coaches’ polls were released Monday.

WPU (7-4 last year, 4-1 North) received 45 points and one first-place vote to sit in second in the North Division. The navy and gold were also second a year ago.

Defending champion Grand View is once again at the forefront in the division with 50 points and the other five first-place nods. Benedictine (43), Peru State (38), Graceland (34), and Culver-Stockton (30) round out the poll.

Baker, which reached the national championship game last fall, is expected to defend its South crown with 50 points and five first-place votes. Missouri Valley is a near mirror image of William Penn, taking second with 46 points and the last first-place vote. MidAmerica Nazarene is third with 42 points, while Evangel (37), Central Methodist (35), and Avila (30) wrap up the rating.

All 12 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.

The Statesmen open the fall with back-to-back road games, beginning with a trip to Baldwin City, Kan. on August 26 (1 p.m.) to face Baker. The team’s home opener is September 9 versus MidAmerica Nazarene at noon; four additional home contests will also be played at Lacey Complex Stadium, including Homecoming on September 30 against Avila (1 p.m.).

WPU will be featured on ESPN3, KSMO, and Mediacom as part of the Heart-Niles Media Game of the Week on both October 21 at Peru State and October 28 in Oskaloosa versus Benedictine; both games start at 11 a.m.

The NAIA has yet to release its preseason poll, but the Heart had strong representation last spring with Baker at #2, Grand View at #9, Missouri Valley at #11, Benedictine at #24, and William Penn at #25.

2017 Heart North Division Preseason Coaches’ Poll
School Points (First Place Votes)
1. Grand View–50 (5)
2. William Penn–45 (1)
3. Benedictine–43
4. Peru State–38
5. Graceland–34
6. Culver-Stockton–30

2017 Heart South Division Preseason Coaches’ Poll
School Points (First Place Votes)
1. Baker–50 (5)
2. Missouri Valley–46 (1)
3. MidAmerica Nazarene–42
4. Evangel–37
5. Central Methodist–35
6. Avila–30



Posted by on Aug 1 2017. 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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