Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mount Union No. 1 in preseason poll

Mount Union's legendary coach retired and the Purple Raiders return just five starters.

None of it matters to those who follow Division III football. released its preseason poll Thursday, and a panel of coaches, Sports Information and media members selected Mount Union as No. 1. The Purple Raiders, who went 15-0 last season, received 606 points, eight more than St. Thomas (Minn.). Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas), Linfield (Ore.) and Wesley (Del.) complete the top five.

The biggest story in Division III involves the coaching change at Mount Union. Larry Kehres retired as football coach in May. His 37-year-old son Vince takes over. Larry Kehres, who accumulated a 332-24-3 record in 27 seasons, is serving as the school's athletic director. The younger Kehres spent the last eight seasons Mount Union's defensive coordinator.

Ohio has strong representation in the top 25, with No. 10 Wittenberg, No. 14 Heidelberg and No. 23 Baldwin Wallace joining Mount Union. Otterbein and Ohio Wesleyan also received votes. Heidelberg, Baldwin Wallace and Otterbein join Mount Union in the Ohio Athletic Conference.

-- Guy Cipriano | @newsheraldguy


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