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Pioneer coaches pick APSU fourth

The Pioneer Football Leagues coaches picked APSU fourth in the PFL South.

The group stuck with what they knew, picking Dayton and Morehead State to win their divisions in 2004 in a preseason poll of the leagues coaches. It is Daytons fourth consecutive preseason No. 1 since the league added the South Division in 2001. Morehead State takes the top spot for the third time in those four seasons.
The Pioneer Football League's coaches picked APSU fourth in the PFL South.

The group stuck with what they knew, picking Dayton and Morehead State to win their divisions in 2004 in a preseason poll of the league's coaches. It is Dayton's fourth consecutive preseason No. 1 since the league added the South Division in 2001. Morehead State takes the top spot for the third time in those four seasons.

Dayton received six of the nine possible first-place votes in the PFL North. San Diego and Drake received the remaining first-place votes and were picked second and third, respectively. Surprisingly, 2003 PFL Champion Valparaiso was picked fourth, but just three votes separated the Crusaders from second-place San Diego. Butler rounded out the five-team PFL North.

Morehead State received six first-place votes in the PFL South. Second-place pick Jacksonville received two of the remaining first-place votes, and Davidson was picked third.

Dayton enters the 2004 season following a 9-2 overall mark and a 2-2 record in the PFL North, finishing in third place behind divisional co-champions Valparaiso and San Diego.

Morehead State, defending PFL South champion, compiled an 8-3 record and ran the table in divisional play, posting a 3-0 record. The Eagles return 38 letter-winners and 15 starters from last year's squad, however, they must find a replacement for quarterback David Caudill, the 2003 PFL South Division Offensive Player of the Year. But the Eagles' defense will again be led by senior linebacker Craig Unger, who was a First-Team CoSIDA Academic All-American, an NCAA Division I-AA All-American and PFL South Division Defensive Player of the Year.

The league schedule gets underway Saturday, Aug. 28, when Valparaiso travels to North Dakota State. The rest of the conference, sans Davidson, will begin regular-season play the following week, while Davidson will wait until Sept. 11 to get underway. The divisional winners will meet Nov. 20, at the South Division champion for the 2004 PFL Championship.
—Cody Bush