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Bridgewater Picked Fifth in Football Preseason Poll

Bridgewater Picked Fifth in Football Preseason Poll

FOREST, Va. - Bridgewater has been picked fifth in a closely-grouped 2017 ODAC Preseason Football Poll.

Emory & Henry rattled off five straight wins to close the 2016 season, and the conference's head coaches have picked the Wasps to maintain that momentum as they top the poll. E&H earned 32 points including five first place votes, putting them six tallies clear of defending champion Randolph-Macon College. The Yellow Jackets and Hampden-Sydney College, positioned fourth in the survey, split the remaining two top nods. Washington and Lee University slots in between the two rivals in third with 24 points.

Catholic University completed its move to the NEWMAC, leaving the ODAC with seven squads until new full-time member Ferrum College joins the ranks in 2018-19. Still, the parity in the conference may be as tight as any other time over the past decade.

There will be plenty of talent returning to the league with 34 All-ODAC selections dotting rosters this fall. That includes 10 from the 2016 All-ODAC First Team. 

Bridgewater returns seven starters on each side of the ball, including first team cornerback Isaac Evans. Also back is second team All-ODAC running back Malivai Barker, and third teamers Sammie Harper (DL), Chance Morris (LB/S), Jacob Heaton (OL) and Rayvon Johnson (WR).

The 2017 season kicks off with non-conference play on Friday, September 1. The first conference game is Thursday, September 28. The final week of the regular season is Saturday, November 11, with the NCAA Tournament following thereafter. The Stagg Bowl ends its 25-year run in Salem, Va., on Friday, December 15 in primetime. If you can't make it to the games, be sure to check the schedules online for live video, audio, and statistics links.

For more on ODAC football and its teams entering the season, check out the football virtual guide. The virtual guide includes specifics about each team as well as interviews with all seven head coaches from their annual preseason meeting.

Listed below is the 2017 ODAC Football Preseason Poll. For more information on ODAC Football, visit the websites of any of the participating schools, or go to the ODAC's home on the Internet at Don't forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook and follow @odacathletics on Twitter and Instagram.

(#) Denotes First Place Votes
1. Emory & Henry College (5) 32 pts.
2. Randolph-Macon College (1) 26 pts.
3. Washington and Lee University 24 pts.
4. Hampden-Sydney College (1) 21 pts.
5. Bridgewater College 20 pts.
6. Guilford College 16 pts.
7. Shenandoah University 8 pts.