(FAYETTEVILLE, NC) - Huntingdon College, under the direction of 14th-year Head Coach Mike Turk, and Maryville College, led by third-year Head Coach Shaun Hayes, tied atop the 2017 USA South Athletic Conference Preseason Football Coaches Poll. The Hawks and Scots shared last year's USA South championship but it was Huntingdon who earned the Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament by way of its 28-24 win over Maryville during regular season play. The Hawks fell in the first round of the playoffs and finished with a 9-2 overall record while Maryville completed the 2016 campaign with an 8-2 overall mark. The USA South championship was the second consecutive for Huntingdon and the third for Maryville in its history.
The USA South will welcome its newest football-playing member, Brevard College, this season. The Tornados are currently reclassifying from NCAA Division II status. Brevard is not included in this year's preseason poll as the Tornados are not eligible for championship honors this season.
Huntingdon and Maryville each received 45 total points while the Hawks collected four first-place votes to the Scots' three. Behind the co-leaders in third place was N.C. Wesleyan College with 37 total points followed closely by Ferrum College who earned 32 points and grabbed the final first-place vote. Averett University ranked fifth with 25 points as LaGrange College collected 17 points to place sixth. Rounding out the poll were Methodist University with 16 points and Greensboro College with seven points.
The 2017 USA South football schedule kicks off on Thursday, August 31 as Methodist travels to Campbell in non-Conference play. The remaining USA South teams begin their seasons with non-League action on Saturday, September 2.
Learn more about all the teams in the 2017 USA South Football Prospectus by clicking HERE.
|2017 USA South Coaches Preseason Football Poll|
|Rank||Institution (1st Place Votes)||Pts.|
|*Ineligible for USA South Championship (Div. III Reclassifying Member)|