Greensboro, NC (07/26/02) -- Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) football coaches tabbed Guilford fourth in their annual preseason poll announced Friday at the league's annual Media Day at Hampden-Sydney. Defending national runner-up and ODAC champion Bridgewater received six first-place votes and the top spot in the poll. Hampden-Sydney (2nd) and Emory & Henry (3rd) also ranked above the Quakers. Guilford's standing is the team's highest place in the annual poll since a fourth-place nod in 1999.
Coach Mike Ketchum's Guilford squad returns 49 letter winners from last year's 4-6 club (3-3 ODAC) that closed the year on a three-game winning streak and finished in a four-way tie for second place in the league. Senior receiver Chris McKinney (Apex, NC/Apex) returns after setting the national record for punt-return touchdowns (5) and earning first-team All-American laurels in 2001. McKinney is one of Guilford's six returning offensive starters and the club's top receiver. Senior safety J.J. Edwards (Mims, FL/Astronaut (Concord)) and junior cornerback O.J. Batts (Wallace, NC/Rose Hill) are two of the Quakers' seven returning defensive starters and were second-team All-ODAC picks a year ago.
Guilford's players report to campus August 14 for physicals and begin practice the following morning. The Quakers open their 95th football season September 7 at Division II Carson-Newman at 12 noon.
2002 Preseason ODAC Football Coaches' Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses)
1. Bridgewater (6)
3. Emory & Henry
5. Washington and Lee (1)