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Saint Francis sits atop preseason NAIA football poll

Saint Francis celebrates its 2016 NAIA national title last December in Daytona Beach, Fla. (News-Sentinel file photo by Reggie Hayes)
Saint Francis celebrates its 2016 NAIA national title last December in Daytona Beach, Fla. (News-Sentinel file photo by Reggie Hayes)

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For more on Saint Francis football, follow Reggie Hayes on Twitter at reggiehayes1

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press

Cougars open season Sept. 2 on the road.

Monday, August 07, 2017 07:12 pm

The University of Saint Francis remains No. 1 in NAIA football.

The Cougars received all 16 first-place votes in the NAIA Football Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll, released Monday.

Saint Francis finished 13-1 in 2016 and claimed its first national title with a 38-17 win over Baker (Kan.) in the championship game last December in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Baker is ranked No. 2 in the 2017 preseason poll. Rounding out the Top 5 are Reinhardt (Ga.), Morningside (Iowa) and Marian. Marian handed Saint Francis its only loss last season.

Saint Francis will have its first fall practice next Monday and opens the 2017 season Sept. 2 at Jamestown, N.D.

Kevin Donley, entering his 20th season as Saint Francis' only coach, leads the NAIA with 302 career wins.

Saint Francis returns several starters from last year's team, including quarterback Nick Ferrer, running back Justin Green, linebackers Spencer Cowherd, Piercen Harnish and Eric Dunten and defensive tackle Eric Hemmelgarn.

NAIA Preseason Coaches Poll

1. Saint Francis

2. Baker (Kan.)

3. Reinhardt (Ga.)

4. Morningside (Iowa)

5. Marian

6. Montana Tech

7. Eastern Oregon

8. Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)

9. Grand View (Iowa)

10. Tabor (Kan.)

11. Doane (Neb.)

12. MissouriValley

13. Robert Morris (Ill.)

14. Sterling (Kan.)

15. DickinsonState (N.D.)

16. Southeastern (Fla.)

17. Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)

18. Arizona Christian

19. Montana Western

20. Kansas Wesleyan

21. Georgetown (Ky.)

22. Langston (Okla.)

23. William Penn (Iowa)

24. Saint Xavier (Ill.)

25. Southern Oregon

More Information

For more on Saint Francis football, follow Reggie Hayes on Twitter at reggiehayes1

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