Mustangs tabbed 13th in NSIC preseason coaches’ poll

From staff reports

MARSHALL — The 14 football coaches in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference recently voted on the preseason poll ahead of the 2022 season.

Southwest Minnesota State University, under the direction of first-year head coach Scott Underwood, was picked to finish 13th in the 14-team conference and sixth out of six programs in the NSIC South Division. SMSU finished the 2021 season at 2-9 overall, 1-5 NSIC South.

Augustana University was selected to win both the NSIC South Division title and overall championship, while senior defensive back and Dawson-Boyd graduate Eli Weber was named the NSIC South Division Preseason Player of the Year. Augustana finished the 2021 season 9-3 overall and 5-1 within the NSIC South.

Bemidji State University was selected to finish second overall and first in the NSIC North Division after the Beavers were conference champions in 2021 with a 9-2 record overall and 6-0 within the NSIC North.

Senior running back Jesse Sherwood and senior linebacker Onte Burns were selected as players to watch for the Mustangs this season.

Sherwood finished 2021 with 787 yards and a team-high six touchdowns, while Burns has led the NSIC in tackles the past two seasons with a combined 214 stops.

“Onte is a three-year starter that anchors the Mustang defense and leads our team both on and off the field,” Underwood said in a statement. “Jesse has been an impact player for the program since joining in the spring of 2021. His explosiveness, vision, and athleticism make him an every-down back in our system.

Players are set to report for fall camp this weekend, with the first on-field practice scheduled for Monday.

The Mustangs will open the 2022 season on Thursday, Sept. 1, at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. The team’s season debut at Mattke Field will be Saturday, Sept. 10, against Concordia-St. Paul as part of the annual Ag Bowl festivities.


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