SMSU FOOTBALL: SMSU picked 11th in NSIC preseason poll
BURNSVILLE – The Southwest Minnesota State University football team was picked to finish 11th overall and seventh in the South Division in the annual 16-team Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll released on Wednesday.
Minnesota State was chosen as the overall favorite to win the conference, along with the NSIC South Division title. The Mavericks received 14 first place votes (coaches cannot vote for their own team) and recorded a total of 224 points in the overall poll. Minnesota Duluth was picked second overall with two first place votes and 208 points while also earning the top spot in the NSIC North Division. Sioux Falls was selected third overall with 187 points followed by Winona State in fourth place with 182 points while Bemidji State rounded out the top five overall with 169 points.
Augustana was picked to finish sixth overall with 158 points, followed by MSU Moorhead with 138 points, St. Cloud State ranked eighth with 134 points while Concordia-St. Paul (109) and Northern State (90) round out the top 10. SMSU and Upper Iowa both finished in 11th place with 79 points.
In the NSIC South Division Poll, Minnesota State earned 49 points including seven first place votes, followed by Winona State with 39 points. Sioux Falls was selected to finish third with 37 points, Augustana was fourth with 34 points (one first place vote), followed by Concordia-St. Paul with 25 points, Wayne State with 16 points and SMSU and Upper Iowa both receiving 12 points.
Sioux Falls senior running back Gabe Watson was named South Division Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, with Winona State senior linebacker Nick Pridgeon earning South Division Preseason Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Minnesota Duluth junior quarterback John Larson was named the North Division Preseason Offensive Player of the Year while Bemidji State junior linebacker Gabe Ames was named North Division Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
Senior wide receiver Daniel Davis and senior cornerback Cory Hollowell were tabbed a “Player to Watch” in the NSIC for the Mustangs.
Southwest Minnesota State reports for fall practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, and opens the 2019 season on Sept. 7 hosting Minnesota State at 6 p.m. for the annual “Ag Bowl” game.
of SMSU Athletic Communications