August 3 – LATROBE, Pa. – The Bethany College football team, who has notched five wins or more in back-to-back seasons, was selected sixth in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll, announced the PAC on Wednesday. The poll was released in conjunction with the conference’s media day, held on the campus of Saint Vincent College.
The Green & White, who garnered 167 points in the preseason poll, were selected sixth after notching a .500 record in 2015. It marked the second-straight year that the Bison earned a .500 or better record, the first time for the program since 2011 and 2012.
The poll, which was voted on by coaches, sports information directors, and members of the media, was released during the PAC media day, which was held on Wednesday afternoon. Representing the Bison were fourth-year head coach Bill Garvey, as well as fifth-year senior, defensive back Aaron Frye (Vandergrift, Pa./Kiski Area).
“We are really looking forward to continuing to improve and move forward in 2016,” commented Garvey, who addressed members of the media. “A sense of balance and consistency are going to be key factors for us in competing at a high level in the conference.”
Thomas More, who the Bison will see on the schedule for the first time since 2013, was picked as the preseason favorite earning 351 total points and 24 first-place votes. They were followed in the poll by Washington & Jefferson (303 points, three first-place votes) and Case Western Reserve (292 points, 4 first-place votes). Westminster (280 points) and Carnegie Mellon (252 points) finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the poll with each earning one first-place vote. The Bison then followed in sixth.
“Top to bottom, this might be the most balanced that our conference has been in years,” remarked Garvey. “Five different teams are earning pre-season recognition in one poll or another and we are going to need to bring our best every week to stay in the hunt.”
Following the Bison at six, the rest of the poll shook out with Saint Vincent (156 points), Waynesburg (145 points), Geneva (96 points), Thiel (75 points) and Grove City (61 points) holding down spots 7-11.
Along with the poll, a list of “Players to Watch” was released, with seniors, Frye, running back Jalen Holmes (New Castle, Pa./New Castle), wideout Tyler Ambush (Germantown, Pa./Northwest), linebacker Donavan Hayden, and sophomore defensive tackle Daniel Gibson (Pittsburgh, Pa./Woodland Hills) adorning the list.
“Our goal as players is to be able to win a PAC title,” remarked Frye on his thoughts for the upcoming season. “I returned for my final year of eligibility because I wanted to be able to help lead this team to heights that haven’t been seen by the program since the 80s.”
The Bison, who open camp on August 13, will begin the season at home in a non-conference tilt with Ursinus College on September 3. The first-ever meeting between the two programs is scheduled for 12 p.m.