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Raiders picked second in Frontier coaches' poll

The jumbled state in which the Frontier Conference football standings were left last fall made for a few surprises in the 2019 preseason poll released Tuesday, which had Southern Oregon picked second behind favorite College of Idaho.

Montana Western was third, Montana Tech fourth and defending champion Rocky Mountain (Mont.) fifth in the poll, voted on by the circuit’s head coaches. Eastern Oregon, Carroll (Mont.) and Montana State-Northern rounded it out.

C of I — which received five of eight first-place votes — and SOU were doomed by slides at opposite ends of the 2018 season that left them part of a four-way tie for second place with 6-4 records. The Yotes dropped their first five before finishing with six wins in a row, while the Raiders started 4-0 before enduring a four-game skid.

The Raiders are among several teams in the conference with significant holes to fill. They had a graduating class of 20 seniors, including nine of their 10 all-conference selections, and will bring back a total of nine starters.

The Yotes will return 21 starters, a group headlined by All-Frontier senior quarterback Darius-James Peterson.

Rocky won the Frontier with a 7-3 record and was the FC’s lone representative in the NAIA Championship Series, bowing out in the first round against Morningside (Iowa). The Battlin’ Bears are one of two teams with new head coaches, Carroll (Mont.) being the other.

SOU opens Frontier play at home on Sept. 7 against Eastern Oregon before traveling to C of I.

The NAIA preseason poll is slated to be released Monday.

Southern Oregon University quarterback Wyatt Hutchinson and the Raiders open Frontier Conference play at Raider Stadium against Eastern Oregon on Sept. 7. (PHOTO BY: LARRY STAUTH JR)