BUENA VISTA, Va. — The Old Dominion Athletic Conference today announced the 2019 Football Preseason Poll with Southern Virginia University picked for a ninth-place finish in their first year in the conference.
Head coach Ed Mulitalo leads the Knights in his second season at the wheel, improving the team to their best finish since joining Division III.
"How we performed last season and entering a new conference, I think the poll is fitting," said Mulitalo. "This is a new year, and we want to gain the respect of the conference. We want to accomplish our goals, and we will earn that by being competitive in every conference game. I look forward to the development of the team as the season progresses."
Randolph-Macon sits atop the ODAC preseason poll after winning the conference last season.
The Knights return vital pieces on both offense and defense.
Offensively, Southern Virginia will look to running back and All-NJAC First Teamer Akiva Wedge who led the NJAC in rushing with 1,032 rushing yards at 103.2 yards per game. Joining Wedge will be All-NJAC Second Team Grady Sami anchoring the offensive line. Tyler Callens also saw valuable time for the Knights.
The Knights return a solid core of starters headlined by All-NJAC First Teamer Neil Davis who averaged 8.6 tackles per game and tallied three interceptions. Also returning is Albert Green IV, Bisophe Apodaca, Dallin Breen, and Skyler Cloward. Green IV tied Davis with 8.6 tackles per game at the safety position, while linebacker Apodaca finished third on the team with 76 tackles. Breen and Cloward will secure the d-line as they led the team with a combined 74 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks.
"I think we have a lot to prove this season," said Mulitalo. "I'm excited to be in a regional conference. We will face new challenges in a different conference, but we are building a strong foundation and culture that will allow us to improve and make an impact in our first year."