GREENWOOD, IND. – The Defiance College football team, backed by first year head coach Aaron Mershman, was selected to finish sixth in the preseason Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference coaches' poll that was released on Thursday.
Defending co-HCAC champions, Franklin and Rose-Hulman sit in the top two of the season opening poll, followed by Bluffton, Mount St. Joseph, and Hanover to round out the top five. The Yellow Jackets then place sixth, with Manchester, Anderson, and Earlham rounding out the field.
Defiance, fresh off of a 5-5 overall and 5-3 HCAC mark in 2016, have also posted eight players on the 2017 HCAC Players to Watch list. These include three returning first team All-HCAC honorees, senior defensive lineman Greg Ward (Ypsilanti, Mich./Ypsilanti), senior linebacker Markell Moncrief (Detroit, Mich./Southfield Lathrup), and sophomore receiver Devonte' Cravin (Ama, La./Hahnville).
Also making the HCAC Players to Watch list are seniors Tyler Gillig (Tiffin/Columbian), Dan Delorieux (Tampa, Fla./East Bay), and Reed Guerin (West Palm Beach, Fla./Park Vista); as well as juniors Jalin Nealy (Pontiac, Mich./West Bloomfield) and Casey Helton (Defiance/Tinora).
Defiance opens the 2017 campaign at home against Baldwin Wallace University on Saturday, Sept. 2 at Justin F. Coressel Stadium. Two weeks later, DC will open conference play with a road matchup with preseason favorite, Franklin College.
2017 HCAC FOOTBALL PRESEASON POLL
|1||Franklin||88 (7)||8-2 (7-1)|
|2||Rose-Hulman||80 (1)||8-3 (7-1)|
|3||Bluffton||70 (1)||7-3 (5-3)|
|4||Mount St. Joseph||62||6-4 (6-2)|