PERU, Neb. – The Peru State Bobcat football team was picked fourth in the Heart of America Athletic Conference (Heart) 2017 Football Coaches’ Preseason Poll.
Two-time defending division champions Grand View (Iowa) and Baker (Kan.) were each picked to repeat as North and South Division winners, respectively, in the poll.
For the second-straight preseason, Grand View received five of six first place votes and earned the maximum of 50 points (teams do not vote for themselves). North Division co-champion William Penn (Iowa) claimed the remaining first place tally and was picked to finish second with 45 points after posting a 4-1 mark in division play for the second-straight season. Benedictine (Kan.) tallied 43 voting points to get picked in third place, while Peru State, Graceland (Iowa) and Culver-Stockton (Mo.) rounded out the divisional prediction.
All 12 head football coaches spoke at the Heart Media Day held Monday in Olathe, Kan., as part of the Heart Summit. Additionally, the new head coach for Clarke talked about the building process for the team they will field in 2018.
Bobcat head coach Steve Schneider shared his thoughts on his Peru State team for 2017 after wishing all of his fellow head coaches best of luck during the season. Schneider discussed where he saw things at both offensively and defensively at this point, noting the defense was among the best in the Heart last season. Also, he noted the coaching changes which has taken place at Peru State over the summer. The Bobcats’ first game will be against Avila on August 26 at 1 p.m. It will be “Jerry Joy Day” in the Oak Bowl as well as annual Swenson presentation to the top male and female athlete for 2016-17.
Baker also received five of six first place votes for a maximum 50 points as the Wildcats went unbeaten at 5-0 in the South Division for the second-straight season. Missouri Valley tallied the final first place vote and was picked second with 46 points, while MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) earned 42 points to get picked third. Evangel (Mo.) edged Central Methodist (Mo.) by two points for fourth place in the poll, with Avila (Mo.) rounding out the South division table.
The 2017 season kicks off with a special Thursday night clash on Thursday, August 24 as Evangel travels to Des Moines, Iowa for a matchup against Grand View at 6:30 p.m. The remainder of the conference opens the campaign later that weekend on Saturday, August 26. The third season of the Heart Game of the Week on ESPN3, KSMO and Mediacom will kick off in Atchison, Kan. as Benedictine hosts Missouri Valley inside Larry Wilcox Stadium at 11:00 a.m.
|#||School (1st Place Votes)||Points|
|1||Grand View (5)||50|
|2||William Penn (1)||45|
|#||School (First Place Votes)||Points|
|2||Missouri Valley (1)||46|