July 30, 2009

Eagles Picked to Win South Atlantic Conference

ROCK HILL, S.C. -- The Carson-Newman football team is picked to win the 2009 South Atlantic Conference championship.

The Eagles, which return 18 starters from last year's squad that went 7-4 and won a share of the league title, received six first place votes and 62 out of a possible 64 points in the SAC preseason poll.

C-N has won 20 SAC titles under head coach Ken Sparks, who enters his 30th season at the helm of the program.

Catawba, which went 6-4 in 2008, is picked to finish second. The Indians received one first place vote and 46 points.

Tusculum is picked to finish third with 46 points. The Pioneers return 17 starters from last season's team that went 9-4, won a share of the SAC title and advanced to the NCAA playoffs for the first time in school history.

Wingate is fourth in the poll with 41 points after going 8-3 last season and finishing fourth in the league.

Mars Hill received one first place vote and is picked to finish fifth with 35 points. The Lions went 7-4 in 2008.

Newberry, which went 6-4 and won a share of the conference title last season, is picked to finish sixth with 34 points.

Lenoir-Rhyne finished seventh in the poll with 16 points. The Bears went 3-8 in 2008.

Brevard rounds out the poll with eight points. The Tornados went 1-9 last year, which was their first season as a full SAC member,

2009 SAC Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Carson-Newman (6) 62
2. Catawba (1) 46
3. Tusculum 46
4. Wingate 41
5. Mars Hill (1) 35
6. Newberry 34
7. Lenoir-Rhyne 16
8. Brevard 8
(First place votes in parenthesis)