Manchester University was picked seventh on the 2014 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference coaches' preseason poll, released Wednesday, Aug. 6.
The Spartans, coming off a 3-7 overall and 3-5 HCAC record from 2013, received 34 ranking points, placing them ahead of Earlham College and Anderson University. Bluffton University of Ohio was just nine points ahead of them for sixth.
Four-time defending champion Franklin College earned the top spot with 79 points and seven first-place votes. Mt. St. Joseph University of Ohio was tabbed second with 65 points and two first-place votes. The complete poll can be accessed at www.heartlandconf.org.
Seven Black and Gold team members were named to the league's "Players to Watch" list. Senior running back Austin Adams (Dowagiac, Mich.); senior wide receiver Collin Huffine (Centerville, Ind.); senior defensive lineman Stephen Coble (Edwardsburg, Mich.); senior defensive lineman Jon Scribner (Fort Wayne, Ind.); junior defensive back Taylor Anglemeyer (Wakarusa, Ind.); junior offensive lineman D'Ante Dorsey (Indianapolis, Ind.); and sophomore wide receiver Dakota Nelson (Fairland, Ind.) were noted.
MU opens the 2014 season Friday, Sept. 5, with Trine University's visit to Carl W. Burt Memorial Field.