CNU picked to win USA South

Christopher Newport, under the direction of 11-year coach Matt Kelchner, was picked in the preseason coaches' poll to defend its USA South Athletic Conference football title in 2011. The preseason poll was released at the annual USA South Football Media Day.

The Captains claimed a share of last season's USA South crown along with N.C. Wesleyan College. The championship was CNU's seventh in the program's history. Both CNU and N.C. Wesleyan finished 2010 with a 6-1 conference record but thanks to a victory over the Bishops during the regular season, it was the Captains who earned the USA South's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

CNU received five of eight first place votes (47 points) as head coaches do not vote for their own teams in the balloting. The co-champions from a year ago, N.C. Wesleyan, finished second in the voting with the remaining three first place votes and 44 total points. Ferrum placed third in the poll with 34 points while Shenandoah was fourth with 29 points. The bottom half of the preseason poll featured Averett with 26 points, Maryville with 21 points, Methodist with 15 points and Greensboro with eight points.

The 2011 USA South football schedule kicks off on Saturday, Sept. 3 as all eight teams begin their seasons with non-conference action.

2011 USA South Coaches Preseason Poll
Rank Institution (1st Place Votes) Pts.
1. Christopher Newport (5) 47
2. N.C. Wesleyan (3) 44
3. Ferrum 34
4. Shenandoah 29
5. Averett 26
6. Maryville 21
7. Methodist 15
8. Greensboro 8