Once again picked to win the American Southwest Conference championship, the Mary Hardin-Baylor football team marks their 15th season with that accolade and is Division3Sports.com’s pick to repeat as NCAA Division III Champions.
In the ASC vote, UMHB tallied 27 of the 30 first-place votes of the league’s head coaches, sports information directors, and selected media, and totaled 297 points in the ballot.
Hardin-Simmons is the pick for the second-place slot with 272 points, with East Texas Baptist coming in third with 214 points.
Two of the three ASC Player of the Year honors went to UMHB, with quarterback T.J. Josey picking up the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and defensive tackle Haston Adams earning POY on the defensive side of the line.
Josey will make the move back to quarterback this season, after catching 52 passes for 1,063 yards last season as a receiver – he was the #3 QB on the depth chart his freshman season. Adams, an All-American last season tallied 53 total tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss, and 5.5 sacks last fall and returned to fumbles for touchdowns.
With a 10-7 win over Wisconsin-Oshkosh in last season’s Stagg Bowl XLIV, the Cru earned a National Championship and are expected to return 40 lettermen and six starter on both sides of the line from that team.
UMHB finished the 2016 campaign with a 15-0 overall record, and 6-0 in the ASC. They have won at least a share of 14 of the last 15 ASC crowns and has a 13-year streak advancing to at least the Second Round of the NCAA DIII Championship.
The Cru will kick off their season at home against Sul Ross State on September 9th with a 6:00pm start.
Remainder of our Top-10 for 2017
2. Mount Union
3. St. Thomas
4. St. Johns (MN)
5. John Carroll
7. Johns Hopkins