Football Picked Fourth in SAC Pre-Season Coaches Poll


ROCK HILL, SC -- The Carson-Newman Eagles, who have not won a SAC title since 2004, are expected to reclaim the conference title in a vote of the league’s head coaches.  The Eagles have won 18 conference titles under head coach Ken Sparks. Carson-Newman received three first-place votes and 44 out of a possible 49 total points.  Catawba received 29 points, one behind Wingate, to finish fourth in the poll.

The Catawba Indians return 2006 SAC Defensive Player of the Year Ron Ellington, who was also listed as a preseason All-American by Street & Smith and Lindy’s.  Catawba returns 19 starters, including nine on offense and eight on defense.  The Indians will open on Aug. 25 on the road at Chowan.

Newberry, last year’s league champion, picked up the other four first-place votes and finished one point behind the Eagles in the voting. The Indians are ranked 13th in the national Division II preseason poll by Street & Smith College Football Yearbook and 17th by Lindy’s College Football Magazine.

Wingate, which finished second last year, is the pick to finish third. The Bulldogs received 30 total points.  Tusculum picked up 27 points to finish fifth in the poll.  Mars Hill received 15 points for sixth place.  Lenoir-Rhyne, under new coach Fred Goldsmith, received eight points.  Brevard is entering the 2007 season as a provisional member and is not eligible for the league championship.

SAC Coaches Preseason Poll
1. Carson-Newman (3) - 44
2. Newberry (4) - 43
3. Wingate - 30
4. Catawba - 29
5. Tusculum - 27
6. Mars Hill - 15
7. Lenoir-Rhyne - 8
(First-place votes in parenthesis)

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