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AU ranked 18th in D3football.com preseason national poll
8/10/11

ALFRED, NY - The Alfred University football team is ranked 18th in the D3football.com national preseason Top 25 poll.

The Saxons, are the only Empire 8 school in the national preseason poll released Friday by D3football.com, a leading website covering Division III college football.

Alfred went 10-3 last season and claimed the team’s first-ever outright Empire 8 Conference title with a 5-0 mark in Empire 8 play. AU earned the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA playoffs and won two tournament games before falling in the national quarterfinals to eventual national runner-up Mount Union. The Saxons, picked by Empire 8 coaches to win this season’s conference title, are seeking a third straight NCAA playoff appearance.

Alfred returns nine of 11 starters on defense, including senior linebacker Nick Clark (Canisteo, NY/Canisteo-Greenwood), the 2010 Empire 8 Defensive Player of the Year, and junior tackle Mike Raplee (Dundee, NY/Dundee), an Empire 8 First Team all-star a season ago. Both were named by D3football.com as preseason All-Americans for the upcoming season. Sophomore tailback Austin Dwyer (Hornell, NY/Hornell), the 2010 Empire 8 Rookie of the Year, and senior quarterback Tom Secky (Bemus Point, NY/Maple Grove), a three-time conference all-star, also return.

The Saxons open their 2011 season opener on Sept. 10 at home against RPI and opens Empire 8 play Sept. 24 at home against Springfield.