Northwestern 2nd, Dordt 3rd In GPAC Football Polls

Sioux City, Iowa –   The Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) held their 20th annual football media day on Tuesday, July 30, at the Delta Hotels South Sioux City Riverfront Conference Center in South Sioux City, Nebraska.  The day featured comments from all ten of the league’s football coaches in preparation for the 2019 season.

One of the highlights of the day is the release of the preseason coaches’ poll.  Defending NAIA National Champion Morningside is the preseason pick to win the GPAC championship.  The Mustangs totaled 81 points and nine (9) first place votes.  Northwestern was picked second, and Dordt was third.

The Red Raiders earned one first place vote and totaled 73 points in the coaches’ poll, second only to reigning GPAC Champion Morningside. Northwestern accounted for 108 points in the media poll, 12 behind the Mustangs, who were also picked to win the conference by the media in attendance. Dordt, Midland and Briar Cliff round out the top five in both polls.

Northwestern finished second in the GPAC regular season last year with an 8-1 record, 9-2 overall, and finished their season in the NAIA FCS First Round with a 6-14 loss to Dickinson State University. 15 starters (9 offense, 6 defense, 4 special teams) and 42 letter winners return from last year’s squad.

Dordt took 62 points in the voting done by the 10 GPAC football coaches.  The Defenders posted a 7-3 record last season and finished third in the final GPAC standings and were no. 23 in the final NAIA Poll released at the conclusion of the 2018 season.

Dordt will open the 2019 season on August 29 at home against Keiser (Florida) in a 7:00 kickoff.  The Defenders will play an 11-game schedule in 2019 and are home for two games to start the year with Waldorf on the schedule for a September 7 date.  Dordt opens the GPAC slate the following weekend on the road against Morningside on September 14.

2019 GPAC Preseason Football Coaches’ Poll:

Place     Team                    Pts (1st Place Votes)
1.             Morningside                         81  (9)
2.             Northwestern                       73  (1)
3.             Dordt                                     62
4.             Midland                                58
5.             Briar Cliff                             46
6.             Doane                                   41
7.             Hastings                               34
8.             Concordia                           22
9.             Dakota Wesleyan               18
10.           Jamestown                           15

For the seventh year a media poll was conducted among those present at the press conference.  Morningside was tabbed in the media poll to win the GPAC with 119 points and 11 first place votes, while Northwestern second with 109 points and one first place vote. Dordt was picked third with 87 points and Midland fourth by the GPAC media with 84 points.

2019 GPAC Preseason Football Media Poll:

Place     Team                     Pts (1st Place Votes)
1.             Morningside                         119  (11)
2.             Northwestern                       109  (1)
3.             Dordt                                    87
4.             Midland                                84
5.             Briar Cliff                              66
6.             Doane                                  64
7.             Hastings                              48
8.             Concordia                            35
9.             Dakota Wesleyan                 24
10.          Jamestown                            23

Games for the 2019 season kick off on Thursday, August 29, with Dakota Wesleyan traveling to Dakota State at 7 PM. Also in action on opening weekend are Doane (vs. Ottawa University – Arizona), Jamestown (at Valley City State) and Dordt (vs. Keiser University) all in non-conference play.  The GPAC schedule will consist of nine games in the conference.  League games will begin on September 7th and 14th.



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