July 22, 2009

By Amy Farnum Novin

Chadron State College may have been voted the favorite to win the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference for the fourth straight year, but it is the Colorado School of Mines that boasts the league's two Preseason Players of the Year.

CSM senior quarterback David Pesek garnered RMAC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year honors after leading the league in total offense (244.2 yards per game) last season, and tossing 21 touchdowns in 12 starts.

Defensive lineman Marc Schiechl, the Orediggers' all-time leader in sacks with 27, returns for a highly anticipated junior season.  He was not only voted the RMAC Preaseason Defensive Player of the Year, but is also a Preseason All-America pick by d2football.com, Lindy's and The Sporting News.

The Orediggers were voted second in the RMAC Preseason Poll, and will have to contend with Chadron State and the Eagles' 27-game league winning streak. 

"It's always nice to be voted first, but honestly I don't put a lot of stock in preseason polls," CSC head coach Bill O'Boyle said. "The level of play in the RMAC continues to get tougher and every game counts."

CSM opens the 2009 season against Washburn University on Aug. 29.

GOING BOWLING:  The Lone Star Conference and Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association have agreed to send representatives to the Kanza Bowl, a newly formed postseason that will be held at Hummer Sports Park in Topeka, Kan., on the first Saturday in December.

The game is one of four NCAA Division II bowl games.  Both conferences signed a one-year agreement with the bowl, and have an option to renew for two years.

"The folks in Topeka have assured us they will provide a top-notch experience for our student-athletes and coaches, and we're anxious for December to start this new tradition that will embellish the budding rivalry between teams in our league and the MIAA," said LSC Commissioner Stan Wagnon.

The bowl selection committee will select bowl participants after NCAA Division II playoff teams have been determined. The selection process will include a commitment by the committee to select teams from each league with the best conference record.

SWEET HOME ALABAMA: The NCAA Division II Football Championship will continue to be held in the Shoals through 2011 after a contract extension to play the game at Braly Municipal Stadium in Florence, Ala.  The University of North Alabama will remain as the NCAA host institution.

The championship game has been held in the Shoals since 1986.  The 23-year stretch is the second-longest that any NCAA championship has remained at one site.  The College World Series has been played in Omaha, Neb., since 1950.

NOTABLE:  Grand Valley State senior quarterback Brad Iciek will be featured on the cover of the first-ever D2 Football Preview Magazine, a 112-page annual look at every Division II football program.  "We chose Brad for several reasons, but mainly it was because he is probably the most important player on one of the most important teams in Division II," said Brandon Misener, creator of d2football.com.  The native of Grandville, Mich., threw for 2,252 yards and tossed 31 touchdowns, leading the Lakers to the Division II semifinals in 2008 ... Tuskegee University and Benedict College's meeting on Aug. 22 will mark the kickoff of college football season.  The two Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference schools will participate in the league's annual Football Kick-Off Luncheon on July 24 in Atlanta, Ga., featuring all 10 head football coaches.