Grizzlies tabbed fourth, place four on Preseason All-RMAC team
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.— The Adams State University football team was picked fourth in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll and had four players named to the preseason all-conference team, announced in conjunction with the poll at Monday’s seventh annual RMAC Football Media Day here at the Marriott Hotel.
Senior defensive back James Ackel (Riverside, Calif.), senior offensive lineman Kevin Ashak (Mesa, Ariz.) and senior wide receiver Scott Kellogg (Littleton, Colo.) represented the Grizzlies at the event along with head coach Marty Heaton and were all tabbed to the Preseason All-RMAC team as was senior kicker David Van Voris (Elizabeth, Colo.), one of just three unanimous selections on the 28-player team, selected by the coaches by position.
The Grizzlies received 31 points in the polling of the conference’s 10 head coaches, who ranked their opposition 1-9 without voting for their own squad.
Defending RMAC Champion Colorado State-Pueblo received all nine possible first place votes and took top honors in the poll with nine points. The Colorado Mines Orediggers finished second in the poll with 20 points while Chadron State finished third with 30 points. The Eagles also claimed the first place vote of CSU-Pueblo Coach John Wristen to squeak ahead of the Grizzlies.
Colorado Mesa took the fifth spot in the poll with 43 points while in-state rivals New Mexico Highlands and Western New Mexico tied for sixth with 51 points.
Fort Lewis was picked eighth in the poll with 68 points, one ahead of No. 9 Western State (69). RMAC newcomer Black Hills State finished 10th in the poll with 78 points.
Ackel, a 2-time First Team All-RMAC selection, was second on the Grizzly defensive unit in total tackles last year with 76 total stops. The 6-foot, 205-pounder also made 5.5 tackles for losses and had five pass breakups, including one interception in 2011.
Ashak, who earned Second Team All-RMAC honors for the second straight season in 2011, was also named to the Preseason All-RMAC team last year. The 6-foot-3, 300-pounder helped pave the way for the Grizzly offense, which finished third in the RMAC for total offense (386.2 yards per game).
Kellogg, selected to the Preseason All-RMAC team at the wide receiver position, made 50 catches for 620 yards and two scores last season. He also handled the majority of the Grizzlies’ kick and punt returning duties and averaged 26.8 yards per kick and 12.5 yards per punt return in 2011 while earning second team punt and third team kick returning all-conference honors. Kellogg, was also named to the Preseason All-RMAC team at the kick returning position in 2011 and earlier received Beyond Sports College Network (BSCN) Division II Honorable Mention Pre-Season All-America honors at the punt return position earlier this summer.
Van Voris has had his struggles at times over the last two seasons after a record-breaking freshman season in 2009, which saw him hit a school-record 17 field goals to lead the NCAA Division II statistics in the country. He earned Second Team All-RMAC honors that season.
CSU-Pueblo senior quarterback Ross Dausin was named as the RMAC’s Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and was one of seven total Preseason All-RMAC team, four of which were selected on offense.
New Mexico Highlands senior linebacker Jordan Campbell was tabbed as the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year while Colorado Mines senior punter Taylor Accardi was named as the Preseason Special Teams Player of the Year. Campbell and Accardi were the only other two unanimous selections to the preseason all-conference team.
The Grizzlies will open their 2012 season at home facing Dixie State (Utah) at 7 p.m. on Sept. 1 at Rex Stadium. After a road game at NAIA Wayland Baptist (Texas), the Grizzlies then begin RMAC play on Sept. 15 at Western State in the annual Colorado Classic match-up.
Related Item: RMAC Preseason Coaches' Poll & All-RMAC Team