Alma, Mich. - The Alma College football team has been picked to finish sixth in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association this season according to the conference's preseason coaches poll which was released by Monday (August 20) morning. The rankings reflect the final standings in the conference last season with the addition of newcomer Finlandia to the bottom of the list.
"We will use the ranking as motivation to improve," said Head Coach Jason Couch '97. "Our focus is on this team, Team 125. We can only control our effort and attitude and will continue working hard to be the best we can be. All players have an opportunity to step up and prove themselves."
This season will be one of change for the Scots. Couch takes over as the head coach after spending the last 15 seasons as the co-head coach of the Romeo High School football program. Alma graduated 21 seniors from last year's 4-6 squad, including quarterback Dylan Zaborowski, linebackers Zac Peterson and Colton Tyson and defensive lineman Dustin Tripp.
"Camp has been great so far, the players and coaches have done a lot of team bonding that has brought us closer together. I am proud that we have had very few young players leave during camp. I give a lot of credit to our veteran players for bringing them along and embracing them as members of the team. I'm proud to be a Scot and a part of our rich history."
Trine tops the preseason poll with seven first-place votes after finishing last year's regular season with a 10-0 record before falling in the second round of the NCAA Football Championship to Wartburg. Hope is second having received the other first-place vote. Adrian, Olivet and Albion round out the top five, while Kalamazoo and Finlandia start off behind Alma in seventh and eighth, respectively.
The Scots open the season on Thursday, August 30 with a non-conference matchup at Baldwin Wallace at 6 p.m. It will be the first time the two programs have ever faced each other. The Scots' next game will be at home on Saturday, September 8 versus Manchester in a rematch from a 33-31 defeat last season. Alma opens its conference schedule on Saturday, September 29 against Albion and concludes the regular season on Saturday, November 10 at Finlandia.