Wesley selected as preseason favorite to win NJAC

Photo by Gary Emeigh
Photo by Gary Emeigh

PITMAN, N.J. – The 11th-ranked Wesley College football team were predicted to win their third consecutive New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championship this season after the conference released the results of its annual preseason poll on Tuesday of the league's 10 head coaches.

This is the second time in the three years of associate membership in the NJAC that Wesley topped the preseason poll. Led by head coach Mike Drass, who is entering his 25th season at the helm at Wesley, received a league-high eight of the 10 available first-place votes.

A season ago, Wesley finished the year with a 9-3 overall record and an 8-1 conference record to clinch a share of the regular season NJAC Championship with Frostburg State, who earned the remaining two first-place votes in the 2017 poll. Wesley earned the leagues' automatic bid in the 2016 NCAA Championship Tournament with a head-to-head win over Frostburg during the regular season. Last year's playoff appearance was the 12th consecutive season that the Wolverines clinched a berth in the NCAA Playoffs.

Wesley returns a league-high nine All-NJAC players from last year's team, including senior offensive tackle Matt Gono, senior linebacker Samer Manna, senior offensive guard Blake Roberts, senior quarterback Nick Falkenberg, senior defensive end Isaiah Ingram, senior cornerback DaJahn Lowery, junior wide receiver Alex Kemp, junior defensive tackle Nick Glover and 2016 NJAC Offensive Co-Rookie of the Year in sophomore running back E.J. Lee.

No. 11 Wesley will open the 2017 schedule on the road on Thursday, Aug. 31 when they face the No. 20 Delaware Valley Aggie. Kickoff from Doylestown, Pa. is scheduled for 7 p.m.