Diggers ranked 7th in preseason poll

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Montana Tech Orediggers jumped four spots from the NAIA Spring Football Coaches’ Poll landing at No. 7. This is the last poll before the regular season starts. The first Coaches’ Poll of the regular season is released on Sept. 16.

National runner-up Morningside (Iowa) was ranked No. 1 in the poll. Tech fell to Morningside last year in the first round of the NAIA Football Championship Series. Defending national champion Marian (Ind.) was tied for second with Missouri Valley who was a national semifinalist last year.

Montana Tech is the highest ranked Frontier Conference school in the Top 25. The Orediggers were tied in total points with Carroll College in the Frontier Conference Preseason Poll, but held more first place votes.

No. 12 Carroll College made the largest improvement of any school moving up six spots from No. 18 in the Spring Poll. Southern Oregon fell the furthest dropping to No. 14 after a No. 5 ranking last spring.

Last year’s Frontier and AFCA Regional Coach of the Year Chuck Morrell leads the Orediggers into battle on Sept. 7 in La Grande, Oregon. Montana Tech starts the season with two road games before returning to Butte for their home opener on Sept. 21. The home opener marks a new era at Alumni Coliseum with the addition of artificial field turf installed over the summer.

— Montana Tech Sports Information

12Morningside (Iowa) (4)13-1280
21Marian (Ind.) (8)12-1267
23Missouri Valley (1)12-1267
44Saint Xavier (Ill.)11-2260
56Saint Francis (Ind.)9-3239
68Georgetown (Ky.)10-1231
711Montana Tech8-3230
87Cumberlands (Ky.)10-2216
99Bethel (Tenn.)9-4181
1012MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)8-3176
1110St. Ambrose (Iowa)9-2170
1218Carroll (Mont.)7-4169
1313Northwestern (Iowa)9-3161
145Southern Oregon9-3151
1514Baker (Kan.)8-3138
1615William Penn (Iowa)9-3129
1719Tabor (Kan.)8-2115
1816Ottawa (Kan.)8-392
1917Grand View (Iowa)8-388
2021Doane (Neb.)7-361
21NRBelhaven (Miss.)6-556
2223Evangel (Mo.)7-446
23NRLangston (Okla.)6-434
2422Benedictine (Kan.)7-426
2520Cumberland (Tenn.)8-324

Others receiving votes: St. Francis (Ill.) 17; Robert Morris (Ill.) 16; Bacone (Okla.) 16; Valley City State (N.D.) 15; Friends (Kan.) 9; Kentucky Christian 9; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 3; Nebraska Wesleyan 3
* Top 25 ranking from 2013 Spring Top 25 on April 15.

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