FOREST, Va. - After capturing the 2016 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) championship, the Randolph-Macon football team was voted second in the 2017 ODAC preseason poll, in voting by the league's head coaches and released by the conference office.
The Yellow Jackets received one first-place vote and 26 points to trail favorite Emory & Henry, with five first-place votes and 32 points. Washington and Lee was third with 24 points. Hampden-Sydney picked up the remaining first-place vote and had 21 points for fourth, nipping Bridgewater by one point. Guilford was sixth, followed by Shenandoah.
R-MC posted a 9-1 regular-season record a season ago, matching the program record for victories in a season. The Yellow Jackets won their 10th ODAC crown with a 6-1 conference mark, setting a school record for ODAC wins in a season. R-MC earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, falling at Johns Hopkins in the first round of the NCAA playoffs.
The Yellow Jackets return six All-ODAC players from a season ago. Junior running back Tre Frederick (Angier, N.C./West Johnston) was All-ODAC First Team and the ODAC Offensive Player of the Year. Junior offensive lineman Greg Castle (Clayton, N.C./North Johnston) and junior all-purpose back Eric Hoy (Clayton, N.C./Clayton) were also All-ODAC First Team picks. Castle is a 2017 Preseason All-American. Senior offensive lineman Jay Hausler (Mechanicsville, Va./Atlee) was All-ODAC Third Team in 2016.
R-MC brings back a pair of All-ODAC Second Team selections on defense in senior defensive lineman Jake Pinkston and senior defensive back Ryan Burns (Fredericksburg Va./Colonial Forge).
Under 14th-year head coach Pedro Arruza, the reigning ODAC Coach of the Year, Randolph-Macon begins the 2017 campaign at home on Saturday, Sept. 2 at 1 p.m. against Dickinson College at Day Field.