DEFIANCE, Ohio – The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference recently released its 2009 preseason coaches' poll. Defiance College was picked to finish sixth in the eight-team league and placed four student-athletes on the HCAC Players-to-Watch List. [HCAC Release]
Franklin (61.5), Mount St. Joseph (50) and Rose-Hulman (47.5) each received first-place votes in the preseason poll and figure to lead the charge in a potentially wide-open race for the HCAC Championship. Anderson (39), Manchester (30) and Defiance (28) rounded out the projected top six, while Hanover (19) and Bluffton (13) ended a distant seventh and eighth.
The Jackets ended the 2008 campaign on a four-game winning streak and finished among the top three in the HCAC standings for the fourth-straight season. The Purple and Gold will look to extend that streak to five in 2009.
The performance of DC's offensive line will play a major role in the success of the Jackets this season and figures to be a strength of the squad. HCAC Preseason Players to Watch Nick Nicol and Kent Corthell will anchor that front line and are joined on the Watch List by returning strong safety Travis Guisinger and defensive lineman Joel Billings.
DC will lift the lid on its 2009 campaign on September 5, when it hosts Muskingum at 1:30 pm.