CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- For the second-straight year, Simpson football has been tabbed fourth in the American Rivers Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, the league announced Thursday. Defending champion Wartburg was picked first by the A-R-C coaches.
In 2018, the Storm went 7-3 and 6-2 to tie for second in the conference, tallying the team's most league victories since 2003, when the team ended 7-1. Head coach Matt Jeter returns 35 letterwinners from last year's squad, including 11 starters.
Simpson returns four all-conference players on a defense that paced the conference in points allowed per game with 19.6. Reigning A-R-C Defensive Most Valuable Player, Michael Connor, along with all-conference selections Brendan Holmes, Trey Chumbley and Joe Weppler look to lead a unit that brings back six starters. Quarterback Tanner Krueger is back on offense for the Storm after garnering honorable mention honors a year ago and finished second in the conference with 253.1 passing yards per game. Wide receiver Joe McNally had 35 receptions for 633 yards in 2018 and aims to increase those numbers with Krueger this season.
The Storm travel north to St. Paul, Minn. to face Bethel in the season opener on Sept. 7, kickoff is slated for 1 p.m.
2019 American Rivers Football Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Wartburg (8-3, 7-1)
t-2. Central (8-2, 6-2)
t-2. Dubuque (7-3, 6-2)
4. Simpson (7-3, 6-2)
5. Coe (6-4, 5-3)
6. Loras (4-6, 3-5)
7. Nebraska Wesleyan (3-7, 2-6)
8. Luther (1-9, 1-7)
9. Buena Vista (1-9, 0-8)