If preseason polls are any indication, Wartburg is expected to have another spectacular football season.

The Knights have been picked to win the American Rivers Conference title for the third-consecutive year. The 2019 Preseason Coaches' Poll was released by league officials Thursday afternoon.

Wartburg, the reigning conference champion, garnered seven first-place votes in the poll while earning 63 points. The Knights finished 10 points ahead of projected second-place finishers Central and Dubuque, each of which received 53 points. Luther got 17 points and was picked to finish eighth among the nine league teams.

Rick Willis / Photo By: Elwin Huffman - Townsquare Media
Rick Willis / Photo By: Elwin Huffman - Townsquare Media

Coach Rick Willis' Wartburg team finished the 2018 season with 8-3 overall and 7-1 conference marks on the way to earning its 16th conference title in program history and capturing the ARC's automatic bid to the Division-III NCAA playoffs. The Knights' year-end record extended their streak of winning seasons to 26 straight.

On Friday, JoJo McNair was selected as a second-team All-American by D3football.com. The junior from Joliet, Ill., is a dual-threat defensive back and wide receiver for the Knights and becomes one of only three American Rivers Conference players to garner Preseason All-American honors from the organization. McNair is a two-time A-R-C First Team All-Conference member and tallied a team-high nine receiving touchdowns and 11 pass breakups in 2018.

The Knights open their 2019 campaign on the road. Wartburg's season-opener is at Greenville (Ill.) on Sept. 7.

2019 American Rivers Conference Preseason Poll

1. Wartburg - 63 total points (7 first-place votes)
T2. Central -53 (2)
T2. Dubuque - 53 (1)
4. Simpson - 45
5. Coe - 36
6. Loras - 29
7. Nebraska Wesleyan - 18
8. Luther - 17
9. Buena Vista - 11


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