- The football coaches of the Northern
Athletics Conference tabbed Benedictine University as the 2011
favorite in the preseason coaches' poll. The Eagles received 58
poll points and three of the eight first-place votes, just a slim
favorite over the Spartans of Aurora University (55 points, 3
first-place votes) for the top spot in the poll.
The Eagles finished last season with a perfect 7-0 record in conference play, claiming their first NAC title. They were 8-3 overall, falling in the first round of the NCAA III Championship to St. Thomas (Minn.).
The Eagles were second in the league in scoring offense (34.4) and third in scoring defense (22.4), but were the best red zone team in the conference on both sides of the ball in 2010. They converted on 86 percent (36-of-42) of their offensive possessions while holding their opponents to 68 percent (17-of-25) of their attempts in the red zone.
Benedictine lost its first team all-conference quarterback-wide receiver combo of Mike Marotta and Mike Trombetta to graduation, but returns first-teamers Jon Borsellino (Jr., RB), Bryan Wiesemann (Sr., TE) and Kevin Novacich (Jr., OL) to their potent offense.
The Spartans finished third last season with a 5-2 conference record (7-3 overall), yet each of their losses came by just seven points. Aurora had the top defense in the league, allowing just 255.9 yards per game, which was also No. 18 in the nation.
Concordia University Chicago (8-2, 6-1 NAC) earned the third spot in the poll with 42 points and Wisconsin Lutheran College (6-4, 4-3) was fourth with 40. Both the Cougars and the Warriors received a first-place vote. The Cougars had the top offense in the conference last season, and was fourth-best in NCAA Division III, but lost the NAC Offensive Player of the Year, running back Khyree Copeland, and 2009 Co-Offensive Player of the Year, Mike Marotta, to graduation as the end of last season.
The last four spots in the poll went to Concordia Wisconsin (36 points; 2-8, 2-5), Lakeland (30; 4-6, 3-4), Rockford (16; 0-10, 0-7) and Maranatha (11; 1-9, 1-6).
All eight teams open up their nonconference schedule on Saturday, Sept. 3, while the conference portion of the schedule begins on Saturday, Oct. 1. Benedictine and Aurora meet Oct. 8, in Lisle, Ill., for the preseason No. 1-2 match up.
The Northern Athletics Conference champion becomes the league's automatic qualifier in the 2011 NCAA III Championship.
2011 Northern Athletics Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Benedictine (3), 58
2. Aurora (3), 55
3. Concordia Chicago (1), 42
4. Wisconsin Lutheran (1), 40
5. Concordia Wisconsin, 36
6. Lakeland, 30
7. Rockford, 16
8. Maranatha, 11
first-place votes in parentheses
voted on by the eight head coaches
April 20, 2012 2012 Football junior varsity schedule announced
December 27, 2011 Pass defense ranked first in national rankings
November 28, 2011 Concordia Single Season Football Records
November 24, 2011 Football NAC-MIAA Challenge begins next fall
November 18, 2011 NAC Football Awards: Damaschke is Co-Freshman of the Year
November 17, 2011 Football’s pass defense ranked No. 2 in latest NCAA football rankings
November 12, 2011 CUW football comes back to defeat Lakeland 28-23
November 10, 2011 Battle for the Cheese Bowl on November 12th
November 10, 2011 Falcon Special Teams gearing up for Lakeland
November 9, 2011 Falcon ’N Focus: Walker leads CUW Defense
November 5, 2011 Concordia Chicago interceptions lead to 31-14 win over CUW
November 4, 2011 Cougar football hosts CUW on Saturday
October 29, 2011 Lutheran Bowl: CUW at WLC
October 29, 2011 Furious comeback falls short, Football drops NAC road contest
October 24, 2011 Damaschke earns NAC Player of the Week honor
October 22, 2011 Football handles Aurora; Damashke throws for 215 yards, 3 TDs
October 19, 2011 Aurora Spartans visit CUW on Saturday
October 15, 2011 Football drops Homecoming contest to Benedictine
October 13, 2011 Falcons take on pre-season NAC favorite Benedictine
October 11, 2011 Joseph Paul is NAC Offensive Player of the Week
October 8, 2011 Damaschke, Paul lead Football to 59-7 NAC victory
October 6, 2011 Falcon football travels to Maranatha Saturday
October 1, 2011 Football routs Rockford for first win of the season
September 28, 2011 CUW football travels to Rockford Saturday
September 17, 2011 Falcons fall to Carthage 20-3
September 14, 2011 ”Out of the frying pan...”
September 13, 2011 Football Players Lead Second Annual Youth Clinic
September 10, 2011 No. 6 Bethel Runs Past CUW in Non-Conference Action
September 9, 2011 Football Hosts No. 6 Bethel in Non-Conference Action Saturday
September 3, 2011 Football Drops 34-31 Thriller to Augsburg
September 2, 2011 Football Proud To Announce Military Veterans Day
September 2, 2011 Football Senior Class Honors Veterans with Memorial Bench
September 1, 2011 Augsburg comes to Century Stadium Saturday
August 26, 2011 Czerwiec’s Role as Falcon Team Leader Grows
August 17, 2011 Football Opens Camp With Two-Hour Practice
August 15, 2011 Football Coaches Tab Benedictine for 2011 Title
August 8, 2011 Football 2011 Season Preview: Defense Will Dictate
August 5, 2011 15th Annual Football Golf Outing a Success
August 3, 2011 Rogers, May Named To IWS Preseason All-State Team