Release courtesy of Franklin College
FRANKLIN, IN – The Franklin College football team enters the upcoming fall season ranked No. 19 in the D3football.com Top 25 poll, released on Thursday, July 18. This marks the third consecutive season – and fifth time in the last six years – that the Grizzlies have been ranked by the sports organization.
Franklin returns 20 starters from last season’s 9-3 squad which advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III playoffs.
“While it is nice to be ranked in the preseason poll, our sights are set a lot higher for this season,” said Franklin Head Football Coach Mike Leonard, who enters his 11th season leading the program. “It is not where you start, but where you finish. We’re concentrating on the things that we can control – our play will bring us success on the field. We are excited about the challenge that’s ahead this fall.”
The Grizzlies return four preseason All-Americans: Senior wide receiver Kyle Linville (Speedway, Ind./Speedway), senior quarterback Jonny West (Speedway, Ind./Speedway), senior defensive back Zack Corpe (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Memorial) and senior punter Michael Parks (Shelbyville, Ind./H.S.).
The program has won three straight Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference titles, and its 26 straight league victories are tied for the fourth longest active streak in the country.
Franklin opens the 2013 season against defending national champion and D3football.com preseason No. 1 University of Mount Union on September 7, starting at 1:30 p.m., in Alliance, Ohio. The team plays its home opener against Butler University on September 14 at 6 p.m. in the first night game at Faught Stadium.