PIKEVILLE, Ky. — The University of Pikeville football team was picked to finish second in the Mid-South Conference East Division, according to a preseason poll of the league’s coaches released by conference officials on Wednesday.
It’s a new starting point for the Bears, earning their highest spot in the preseason poll in program history. While the pick adds good vibes heading into fall camp, it’ll be the performance on the field for the opener that second-year head coach Allan Holland Jr., is looking forward to.
“It’s an honor for all the coaches in our league to pick us second, but we have to continue to work hard during camp,” said Holland Jr. “It’s just preseason, but we want to finish at the top, year in and year out our goal is to be East Division champions. We have a lot of work ahead of us and our guys are ready to go to work.”
UPIKE opens the 2015 season under the lights at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, Aug. 27 against MSC-East foe Bluefield (Va.) at the Hambley Athletic Complex. The Rams were picked sixth in the preseason poll.
Leading the way in the East is Georgetown with 25 points and five first-place votes, followed by Pikeville with 18 points. Cumberlands (14 points, one first-place vote) and Kentucky Christian (14 points) are tied for third, while Union is one spot in front of Bluefield with 12 points.
Out in the West the poll was tight as Campbellsville and Reinhardt (Ga.) are tied for top honors with 21 points and two first-place votes each. Faulkner (Ala.) and Lindsey Wilson are locked in third with 17 points and a first-place votes each, while Bethel (Tenn.) and Cumberland (Tenn.) are tied for fifth with seven points each.
One change to the MSC this season is defending East Division champion Lindsey Wilson moving to the West to take the place of Belhaven (Miss.) which transitioned to NCAA Div. III.
Georgetown won the East in 2014 with a 5-1 divisional record, while UPIKE claimed second place with a 4-2 mark.
MSC Preseason Coaches’ Poll (First-Place Votes in Parenthesis)
1. Georgetown (5) – 25
2. UPIKE – 18
3. Cumberlands (1) – 14
3. Kentucky Christian – 14
5. Union – 12
6. Bluefield (Va.) – 7
1. Campbellsville (2) – 21
1. Reinhardt (Ga.) (2) – 21
3. Faulkner (Ala) (1) – 17
3. Lindsey Wilson (1) – 17
5. Bethel (Tenn.) – 7
5. Cumberland (Tenn.) – 7