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Football Earns Highest Preseason Ranking Ever

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., August 9, 2004 – Springfield College is ranked No. 5 in the D3football.com Top 25 poll. This is the Pride’s highest preseason national ranking ever, and the first time SC has earned a spot in the preseason poll since 2001, when it entered the season at No. 25.

SC, which is the only New England team to earn a spot in the top-25, returns 16 starters from last season’s club that finished with a 10-1 overall mark and ranked No. 6 at the conclusion of the regular season. On offense, head coach Mike DeLong and his staff welcome back a stunning array of talent. Nine starters return to a unit that led Division III in rushing at 398.5 yards-per-game and set a school record with 432 points in the regular season. Senior quarterbacks Ryan Sylvia (Marion, Mass.) and Michael Judge (Chatham, N.J.) have shared snaps for the better part of three seasons. Seniors Tim Lutgens (Greenwich, N.Y.), a pre-season All-America fullback who racked up a team-best 118.8 yards-per-game in ’03, and Kevin Domurat (Forestdale, Mass.), a lightening-quick senior halfback who’s averaged over nine yards-per-carry in his college career, also return. Paving the way is an imposing offensive line anchored by consensus first-team All-American Brian Dewey (Victory Mills, N.Y.), a senior right tackle.

SC’s nationally ranked defense remains intact with seven starters returning. The front seven are particularly impressive. DeLong expects junior defensive end Nick Burdett (Needham, Mass.) to have a breakout campaign, and senior Brian McLellan (Mansfield, Mass.) is a run-stopper at tackle. At linebacker, senior Justin Fletcher (Orwell, Vt.) is a preseason All-American, and seniors Mark Bartelini (Montrose, N.Y.), Curtis Schmidt (Whitesboro, N.Y.) and Mike Clark (Paramus, N.J.), and junior R.J. Perkins (Bridgeport, Conn.) are outstanding defenders. The secondary consists of senior cornerback Mike Kimmel (Peabody, Mass.) and senior free safety Jeremiah Goodnow (Harwich, Mass.), who are both entering their third seasons in starting roles, and junior corner Mitch Dupuis (Merrimack, N.H.) is at the top of the depth chart for the second-straight year.

Mount Union (Ohio) received 13 of 25 first-place votes and is the preseason pick as the No. 1 team in the nation. Defending national champion St. John's (Minn.), which defeated Mount Union, 24-6, in Stagg Bowl XXXI, returns 10 starters and got eight first-place votes. Linfield (Ore.), came in third and got three No. 1 votes, while Wisconsin-La Crosse was voted fourth and got the final remaining top spot.

The only Division III football poll voted on and published from preseason to national championship, the D3football.com poll is generated by a panel of 25 coaches, sports information directors and media members from across the country.

No. School (1st-place votes) '03 W-L Pts. '03 Final rank 1 Mount Union (13) 13-1 609 2 2 St. John's (8) 14-0 588 1 3 Linfield (3) 11-1 545 3 4 UW-La Crosse (1) 10-2 484 8 5 Springfield College 10-1 416 13 6 Wartburg 11-1 384 4 7 Bridgewater (Va.) 12-2 382 7 8 Mary Hardin-Baylor 9-1 324 15 9 UW-Stevens Point 8-2 285 18 10 Montclair State 9-2 256 17 11 Trinity (Texas) 8-3 253 24 12 Capital 8-2 250 — 13 Ithaca 10-3 243 10 14 Wheaton 12-1 237 6 15 Bethel 9-2 230 12 16 Christopher Newport 8-3 225 19 17 Hardin-Simmons 8-2 211 — 18 RPI 11-2 201 5 19 East Texas Baptist 9-3 196 14 20 Hampden-Sydney 9-1 187 21 21 Lycoming 9-2 184 11 22 Brockport State 9-2 181 20 23 Baldwin-Wallace 10-2 168 9 24 Wittenberg 8-2 130 — 25 Johns Hopkins 10-1 128 25 Others receiving votes: Wooster 97, Delaware Valley 71, St. Norbert 70, Rowan 68, Waynesburg 67, Pacific Lutheran 62, UW-Whitewater 58, Washington and Jefferson 38, John Carroll 35, Simpson 31, Millikin 22, Wabash 21, Allegheny 19, Augustana 19, Salisbury 18, Hope 15, Muhlenberg 14, Williams 13, Kings Point 11, Cortland State 9, Redlands 7, Trinity (Conn.) 7, Adrian 6, Concordia (Wis.) 6, Wilkes 6, Menlo 5, New Jersey 5, Concordia-Moorhead 4, Curry 4, Shenandoah 4, Westminster (Pa.) 4, Willamette 4, Gettysburg 2, St. John Fisher 2, Albright 1, Rhodes 1, Thomas More 1.

The D3football.com Top 25 is voted on by a panel of 25 coaches, Sports Information Directors and media members from across the country, and is published weekly during the season.
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Head Coach Mike DeLong

Head Coach Mike DeLong Mike DeLong enters his 32nd season as a head football coach in the fall of 2013, including his 30th year as the head coach at his alma mater, Springfield College. To date, DeLong currently has the second-most career wins of any active Division III football coach. Read more.

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