The No. 11 Missouri Valley College football team was selected second in the 2017 Heart of America Athletic Conference Southern Division Coaches’ Poll, released Monday at the annual Heart Media Day in Olathe, Kan.

Missouri Valley received on first place vote and 46 total points in the coaches’ poll.  No. 2 Baker (Kan.) University was picked to win the division with five first place votes and 50 total points.  The Vikings are coming off a 9-3 record in 2016, which included an appearance in the NAIA Football Championship Series. 

The rest of the Southern Division Poll puts MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) University at third with 42 points, Evangel (Mo.) University fourth with 37 points, Central Methodist (Mo.) University is fifth with 35 points and Avila (Mo.) University is sixth with 30 points.

The North Division Poll puts No. 9 Grand View (Iowa) University was selected to win the division, followed by No. 25 William Penn (Iowa) University, No. 24 Benedictine (Kan.) College, Peru State (Neb.) College, Graceland (Iowa) University and Culver-Stockton (Mo.) College.

The 2017 Viking football season starts Aug. 26, with an 11 a.m., road game at Benedictine (Kan.) College. The first home game is Sept. 2 at 6 p.m., against William Penn.


Holliman Named STATS FCS Preseason All-American
Senior return specialist one of 17 MVFC standouts selected for preseason honors by STATS
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Missouri State senior return specialist Deion Holliman garnered a spot on STATS' 2017 FCS Preseason All-America third team, the organization announced Monday.
Holliman has been a first-team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference pick as one of the top FCS return specialists in each of the last two seasons. The Camden, Ark., product ranked seventh in the FCS in combined kick return yardage (950) last fall and second in the MVFC in kickoff returns (23.5) and third in all-purpose yardage (119.6 ypg.) after topping the 100-yard mark for kickoff returns in four different contests. Holliman brought the season's opening kick back 91 yards for a touchdown and returned a punt 57 yards for a score vs. Southern Illinois, making him the only FCS returner to record both a kickoff and punt return for a touchdown in each of the last two seasons.
Holliman's selection helps make up a solid collection of an FCS-high 17 MVFC players named preseason All-Americans by STATS. All told, seven MVFC players earned spots on the top squad.
Fellow MVFC players joining Holliman on STATS FCS Preseason All-America teams include: (First Team) - WR Jake Wieneke, South Dakota State; TE Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State; OL Jacob Ohnesorge, South Dakota State; LB Nick DeLuca, North Dakota State; LB Christian Rozeboom, South Dakota State; LB Brett Taylor, Western Illinois; LS James Fisher, North Dakota State; (Second Team) – OL Jacob Judd, Western Illinois; DE Greg Menard, North Dakota State; LB Jared Farley, UNI; DB Tre Dempsey, North Dakota State; DB Davontae Harris, Illinois State; (Third Team) – QB Taryn Christion, South Dakota State; FB Kane Louscher, South Dakota State; OL Justin Spencer, Youngstown State; DB Robbie Grimsley, North Dakota State.
MSU returns 41 letterwinners and 17 starters under third-year head coach Dave Steckel. The Bears open the 2017 seasonSept. 2 with a trip to Memorial Stadium in Columbia to take on the Missouri Tigers, before playing their first home contest on Sept. 16 with a 2 p.m. game against Murray State.