Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bishops picked 3rd in USA South Preseason Football Poll

DANVILLE, Va. - The USA South Athletic Conference held its 2012 Football Media Day last week at Averett University. Each of the Conference's eight football coaches addressed the media and gave their thoughts on the upcoming season. The preseason poll was also released at the event with N.C. Wesleyan earning a 3rd-place billing. 

The Battling Bishops are looking to rebound from a 2-8 season a year ago and hope to return to the league dominance that saw the Bishops capture three of the previous four regular season titles. NCWC, in fact, boasts a remarkable 32-10 mark versus league competition over the past six years.

At press conference, fifth-year head coach Mark Henninger remarked that the disappointment of last season acted as a strong motivator during a solid spring season for the Bishops. He is pleased to return 47 players from last year's squad, including four All-Conference selections.

Leading the way is senior Dwayne Hollis, who was tabbed a Third Team All-Region selection by last season, while also garnering Honorable Mention All-American status by Beyond Sports Network. Additionally, he was a USA South First Team pick at both defensive back and return specialist, becoming the first player in Wesleyan history to garner such honors at two different positions.

Hollis was recently named a preseason All-American by BSN, and the Battling Bishops will look to him to anchor a defense that will likely play a major role in the team's 2012 success.

Christopher Newport University, under the direction of head coach Matt Kelchner, was picked in the preseason coaches' poll to defend its USA South Athletic Conference football title.CNU received six of eight first place votes (48 points) as head coaches do not vote for their own teams in the balloting. Last season's second-place team, Ferrum College, finished second in the voting with the remaining two first place votes and 43 total points. The entire poll follows.

In preparation for the press conference, the Conference posted its 2012 Football Media Guide. The guide previews the upcoming seasons of all eight USA South football institutions. The publication consists of last season's results, all-conference teams and statistics, as well as composite and team-by-team 2012 schedules. The guide can be found HERE or by visiting the football page of the USA South website, which will also host clips from the press conference.

The 2012 USA South football schedule kicks-off on Saturday, September 1st, as all eight teams begin their seasons with non-conference action. Wesleyan will host Ohio Northern University at 1:00 pm at the Northern Nash Football Complex.
2012 USA South Coaches Preseason Poll
Institution (1st Place Votes)
Christopher Newport (6)
Ferrum (2)
N.C. Wesleyan

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