GREENSBORO, N.C. – Guilford College's football team was picked seventh in the preseason Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Coaches' Poll released Friday. Click here to see the ODAC's 2011 Virtual Media Guide.
Defending league champion Washington and Lee University garnered five first-place votes and 35 points to take the top spot in the seven-team poll. Fellow NCAA Division III playoff participant Hampden-Sydney College ranked second with one first-place vote and 31 points. Bridgewater College received the remaining first-place vote and placed third in the poll, followed by Randolph-Macon College, Emory & Henry College, Catholic University of America and Guilford.
The Quakers return 13 starters among 52 letter winners from last year's 0-10 club. Redshirt-junior receiver Ben King is one of the most decorated veterans after receiving Second Team All-ODAC recognition in 2010. King led the Quakers with 79 catches for 1056 yards and nine touchdowns in his first Guilford season. Senior cornerback Kenneth Hyman III was a Second Team All-ODAC selection in 2009 and will serve as a team captain in 2011 along with classmates Chris Jessup and Brad Gayhardt.
Chris Rusiewicz took over as Guilford's head coach last January after 10 seasons as a defensive assistant at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania. Rusiewicz served as the Division III Bears' associate head coach and defensive coordinator for his final four years and won the 2010 American Football Coaches Association's Division III Assistant Coach of the Year Award.
Guilford opens its 105th football season Sept. 3 versus crosstown-rival Greensboro College in the 16th Annual Gate City Soup Bowl. Kickoff at Grimsley High School's Jamieson Stadium is set for 1:00 p.m. The Quakers open their home schedule two weeks later versus Averett University at 7:00 p.m. in the Armfield Athletic Center. Click here for information on Guilford's football season-ticket plans.
2011 ODAC Football Preseason Coaches' Poll (first-place votes in parentheses)
1. Washington and Lee (5) 35, 2. Hampden-Sydney (1) 31, 3. Bridgewater (1) 25, 4. Randolph-Macon 21, 5. Emory & Henry 15, 6. Catholic 14, 7. Guilford 6.
2011 Guilford College Football Schedule (1:00 pm kickoff unless otherwise noted)
9/3 at Greensboro, 9/10 at Methodist, 9/17 AVERETT (7:00 pm), 10/1 at Washington and Lee* (1:30 pm), 10/8 SOUTHERN VIRGINIA, 10/15 at Bridgewater*, 10/22 RANDOLPH-MACON*, 10/29 HAMPDEN-SYDNEY*, 11/5 at Catholic*, 11/12 EMORY & HENRY*