FOREST, Va. - The Randolph-Macon football team shared the top spot in the ODAC Preseason Football Poll with Washington and Lee, as voted by the league's head coaches and released by the conference office.
The Yellow Jackets received 44 points and a pair of first-place votes. The Generals picked up four first-place votes to accompany their 44 points. Hampden-Sydney had one first-place vote and 37 points to take third. Ferrum garnered the final first-place vote and 26 points to tie Shenandoah for fourth, followed by Guilford, Emory & Henry and Bridgewater.
Pedro Arruza enters his 15th season as head coach at R-MC. The Yellow Jackets return 10 starters on offense, including five All-ODAC performers from 2017. Senior offensive lineman Greg Castle (Clayton, N.C./North Johnston) and senior running back Tre Frederick (Angier, N.C./West Johnston) were both All-ODAC First Team, while senior wide receiver Eric Hoy (Clayton, N.C./Clayton) was All-ODAC Second Team. Junior tight end Sam Tanner (Mechanicsville, Va./Lee-Davis) and sophomore offensive lineman Connor Denning (Benson, N.C./West Johnston) were All-ODAC Third Team.
The Yellow Jackets bring back nine starters on defense, of which three were All-ODAC a season ago. Senior linebacker Yonis Blanco (Silver Spring, Md./Montgomery Blair) was All-ODAC First Team, junior safety Anthony Williams (Purcellville, Va./Woodgrove) was All-ODAC Second Team and senior Michael Rawlins (Huntersville, M.C./Hough) was All-ODAC Third Team.
R-MC also returns a pair of all-conference performers on special teams. Senior punter Julian Drew (Raleigh, N.C./Wakefield) was All-ODAC First Team, while sophomore kicker Chris Vidal (Wake, N.C./Wake Forest) was All-ODAC Second Team.
The Yellow Jackets were 7-3 overall in 2017 and 4-2 in conference contests. R-MC finished in a tie for second in the ODAC standings.
Randolph-Macon kicks off the 2018 campaign on Thursday, August 30 with a 7 p.m. contest at 19th-ranked Johns Hopkins. The home opener for the Yellow Jackets is on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 6 p.m. against Averett at Day Field.
2018 ODAC Preseason Football Poll
1. Washington and Lee University (4) 44 pts.
1. Randolph-Macon College (2) 44 pts.
3. Hampden-Sydney College (1) 37 pts.
4. Ferrum College (1) 26 pts.
4. Shenandoah University 26 pts.
6. Guilford College 19 pts.
7. Emory & Henry College 18 pts.
8. Bridgewater College 10 pts.