It's eight out of nine first place votes for the defending Old Dominion Athletic Conference champions, Randolph-Macon, in the 2019 ODAC Preseason Poll released Monday.
The Yellow Jackets, who went 9-3 in an historic season in 2018 which saw the team win its second ODAC Championship in three years, their first postseason game in 49 years, and their first-ever win in the NCAA Division III Football Championship, now prepare to defend that title with a heavy supply of returning starters and players who saw significant playing time.
The offense returns fifth-year senior running back Tre Frederick (pictured), who sits third on the ODAC all-time rushing list with 4,056 yards, just 220 yards behind all-time conference leader Remon Smith, also of Randolph-Macon (Class of 1988), and senior quarterback Burke Estes, who completed 64 percent of his passes last season with 15 touchdown passes.
Jake Wernle, a preseason Second Team All-America selection, anchors an offensive line looking to be as dominant as they were last season.
On defense, 2018 All-ODAC performers returning include defensive lineman Steve McNair, defensive backs Anthony Williams and Calvin Whitehead, and linebacker Bryan Sullivan. First Team All-ODAC selection Chris Vidal is back to handle kicking duties.
The Yellow Jackets, ranked 24th in the first D3Football.com Top 25 poll of the 2019 season, open play at home Thursday September 5th against #5 Johns Hopkins. Kickoff is set for 7pm. All Randolph-Macon games can be heard live on 102.9 The Mater (102.9 FM/1430 AM), and on the RVA Sports Network online.
Bridgewater, who took Randolph-Macon to double overtime last season before the Yellow Jackets eeked out a 44-41 win, received the other first place vote and is second in the preseason survey. Hampden-Sydney, Ferrum and Washington and Lee round out the top five.
Emory and Henry, the Yellow Jackets' first ODAC opponent when they open conference play at home on September 21st, was sixth, followed by Shenandoah, Guilford, and the newest football member of the conference, Southern Virginia University. Randolph-Macon's first ODAC game against SVU will be on October 19th in Buena Vista.
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