SALEM, Va. – Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) football coaches picked Guilford College third in their annual preseason ratings released Friday morning. Defending conference champion Hampden-Sydney College earned seven of eight first-place votes and 49 points, seven better than second-place Randolph-Macon College. The Quakers collected 37 points to match their best preseason ODAC ranking since 2007.
Washington and Lee University (29 points) and Bridgewater College (23 points) rounded out the top-five spots in the eight-team conference.
Fourth-year Guilford head coach Chris Rusiewicz returns nine defensive starters, eight offensive starters and junior all-conference kicker Tyler Hunt (Gibsonville, N.C./Eastern Guilford) from last season’s 6-4 unit that shared second in the ODAC with a school-record 5-2 mark.
The Quakers boast a league-best seven returning all-conference performers, including Hunt, the league’s first-team punter and second-team place-kicker in 2013. Preseason All-America senior safety Satiir Stevenson (Roselle, N.J./Abraham Clark) and junior receiver Adam Smith (Mocksville, N.C./Davie) also garnered first-team honors last year. Junior quarterback Matt Pawlowski (Greensboro, N.C./Northwest Guilford) threw for 2,373 yards and 24 touchdowns last season en-route to Second-Team All-ODAC recognition. Classmate Josh Schow (Herndon, Va./Herndon) ran for 1,023 yards and 11 scores behind a line anchored by fellow second-team junior Wes Johnson (Wilmington, N.C./Laney). Senior defensive end Tyler Eller (Stuart, Va./J.F. Webb (N.C.)) was a third-team all-league honoree.
Guilford opens preseason training camp Aug. 13 in preparation for its Sept. 6 season opener versus crosstown-rival Greensboro College in the 18th annual Gate City Soup Bowl. Kickoff is 7:00 p.m. at the Quakers’ Appenzeller Field in the Armfield Athletic Center.
2014 ODAC FOOTBALL PRESEASON POLL
(#) Denotes first place votes 1. Hampden-Sydney (7) 49 pts. 2. Randolph-Macon (1) 42 pts. 3. Guilford 37 pts. 4. Washington and Lee 29 pts. 5. Bridgewater 23 pts. 6. Shenandoah 18 pts. 7. Catholic 16 pts. 8. Emory & Henry 10 pts.