BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – Shepherd has been picked to repeat as Mountain East Conference football champions after a vote conducted by the league’s coaches. Coach Dewey Lusk’s Cavaliers were selected to finish 10 out of the 11 member schools, following a 2-9 campaign in 2013.
Entering its second season of NCAA Division II competition, UVa-Wise will have to replace wide receiver James Long who earned All-America accolades in 2013.
Long led the MEC in all-purpose yardage and established a new school record for receptions in a season with 88.
Despite the loss of Long, the Cavs return eight starters on offensive, including the entire offensive line. Defensively, veteran coach Dino Kaklis was recently named defensive coordinator as he takes over a unit that returns seven starters, including senior defensive end Jeremiah Cooke and senior defensive back Nehemiah Jones.
UVa-Wise will open its 2014 season on Sept. 6 at Urbana University. The entire 2014 preseason MEC poll is listed below:
2014 Mountain East Conference Preseason Poll
1. Shepherd (7) 95
2. Concord (3) 91
3. Charleston (1) 84
4. Glenville State 67
5. West Virginia Wesleyan 60
6. Urbana 58
7(t). Notre Dame College 44
7(t). West Liberty 44
9. Fairmont State 33
10. UVa-Wise 15
11. West Virginia State 14
() Indicates first place votes
* Coaches not able to vote for own team