Center Valley, PA. – Via teleconference, the Patriot League announced their preseason coaches’ poll and preseason all-Conference team today.
By a significant margin, co-Patriot League champions Colgate was favored to win the Patriot League, gathering 11 of a possible 14 first-place votes. Lehigh, who shared top Patriot League Championship honors with Colgate in 2017 and automatic qualifiers for the FCS playoffs last year, received the other three votes.
Fordham and Holy Cross finished close together in 3rd and 4th place, respectively, while Bucknell, Lafayette and Georgetown round out the remaining picks.
1. Colgate, 71 points (11 first-place votes)
2. Lehigh, 63 (3)
3. Fordham, 45
4. Holy Cross, 40
T5. Bucknell, 31
T5. Lafayette, 31
7. Georgetown, 13
“We’re at the point of the summer where every coach and player is dying to get going,” Colgate head coach Dan Hunt said. “There is excitement, we are returning a lot of guys who played last year on a good football team, but we don’t get too carried away for anything beyond our next challenge. I think our expectations for the year never change. We go into each year and try to have a short focus. We want to have a good practice on Day One. We teach process here, and our goal is to come in, have a great camp, and go from there.”
For Lehigh QB Brad Mayes, however, the pick of the Mountain Hawks in second place didn’t sit well with him or the team.
“A lot of the guys have a chip on our shoulder, how we weren’t picked to go again when we have a lot of guys coming back,” he said. “I think the biggest difference between last year and this year is that there is no more complacency. We have a lot to prove, and know we have a lot of doubters. We’re excited to to finally strap it up and prove people wrong.”
The Patriot League football season begins on Saturday, September 1 with all seven teams in action, including a League matchup featuring Holy Cross at Colgate (1 p.m.) on Stadium. Lehigh hosts Saint Francis (Pa.) (12:30 p.m.) and Bucknell welcomes William & Mary in a pair of games featured on the Patriot League Network (PLN). Georgetown travels to Marist (1 p.m.), Lafayette plays at Sacred Heart (6 p.m.) and Fordham opens the season at FBS-opponent Charlotte (6 p.m.). For the complete 2018 Patriot League Football composite schedule click here.
Lehigh RB Dominick Bragalone and Colgate DL Nick Wheeler were named to the preseason All-Conference offensive and defensive players of the year, respectively
Players of the Year:
Offense: Dominick Bragalone, Lehigh RB
- Led NCAA FCS and the Patriot League with 1,388 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns during his junior season
- Bragalone is now 10th in Patriot League history with 3,567 career rushing yards
- Named the 13th consensus All-American in Patriot League football history following the 2017 season in addition to being named the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year
- A three-time First Team All-Patriot League selection and the first running back in Lehigh history to eclipse 1,000-yards in three consecutive seasons.
Defense: Nick Wheeler, Colgate, DL
- Led the Patriot League and finished third in the FCS in sacks (11.5), while also leading the League with 15.5 tackles for loss
- Selected a First Team All-Patriot League and First Team All-ECAC FCS selection
- Helped Colgate to the best scoring defense (17.5 ppg) and rushing defense (115.4 yards/game) in the Patriot League
Colgate placed a League-high 10 student-athletes on the preseason All-Patriot League Team, including five on defense led by Wheeler. Fordham finished with five players named on the preseason all-League team, while Holy Cross and Lafayette garnered four selections apiece. Three Mountain Hawks made the preseason all-League offense with Bragalone and last season’s League-leading passer senior quarterback Brad Mayes. The Hoyas and Bison each had two student-athletes voted onto the squad. Georgetown’sjunior DL Khristian Tate is a two-time all-League selection, while Bucknell’s senior P/K Alex Pechin was the 2017 Patriot League Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
QB: Brad Mayes, Lehigh (Sr.)
RB: Dom Bragalone, Lehigh (Sr.)
RB: James Holland, Jr, Colgate (Sr.)
FB: Will Eisler, Lafayette (Sr.)
WR: Thomas Ives, Colgate (Sr.)
WR: Austin Longi, Fordham (Sr.)
WR: Blaise Bell, Holy Cross (Sr.)
TE: Isaiah Searight, Fordham (Sr.)
OL: Pat Finn, Bucknell (Sr.)
OL: Max Hartzman, Colgate (Sr.)
OL: Jovaun Woolford, Colgate (Sr.)
OL: Dominic Lombard, Fordham (Sr.)
OL: Chris Fournier, Lehigh (So.)
DL: Nick Wheeler, Colgate (Jr.)
DL: Khristian Tate, Georgetown (Jr.)
DL: Teddy Capsis, Holy Cross (Sr.)
DL: Neil Vorster, Holy Cross (Sr.)
DL: Anthony Giudice, Lafayette, (Sr.)
LB: T.J. Holl, Colgate (Sr.)
LB: Glenn Cunningham, Fordham (So.)
LB: Ryan Brady, Holy Cross (Sr.)
LB: Jerry Powe, Lafayette (Sr.)
DB: Tyler Castillo, Colgate (Sr.)
DB: Abu Daramy-Swaray, Colgate (Jr.)
DB: Alec Wisniewski, Colgate (Sr.)
DB: Dylan Mabin, Fordham (Sr.)
PK: Chris Puzzi, Colgate (Jr.)
P: Alex Pechin, Bucknell (Sr.)
RS: CJ Amill, Lafayette (Sr.)
Non-Specialist Player: Ahmad Wilson, Georgetown (So.)