Dolphins picked to tie for second in PFL

The JU football team was picked to finish in a tie for second with Dayton as the annual Pioneer Football League Coaches’ Poll was released Monday.

For the fourth straight year, San Diego was picked to win the league by receiving five of the 10 first place votes. Dayton received three first place votes while the Dolphins got two.

“I don’t put much stock into preseason polls, but it shows that we still have work to do,” said JU head coach Kerwin Bell. “The league race is going to be tight again as anyone can step up and win the league.”

Morehead State was picked fourth, followed in order by Butler, Drake, Davidson, Marist, Valparaiso and Campbell.

Jacksonville returns 16 starters from last season’s team that won the school’s first PFL championship last season. The Dolphins return sophomore quarterback Josh McGregor, who was tabbed the league’s Freshman Offensive Player of the Year last season. Also returning is unanimous first-team All-PFL running back Rudell Small, the league’s lone 1,000-yard rusher last season, who finished with 1,364 rushing yards. Nine of Jacksonville’s starters return on the defensive side of the ball, including the entire front seven. Senior safety Jason Wood, the team’s leading tackler last season, will have to shore up a secondary that lost two All-PFL members.

SCRIMMAGE SCHEDULE SET: The Dolphins will have three scrimmages during preseason camp, the first coming on Aug. 15 at Fletcher High School, the second at The Bolles School on Aug. 22, before the final scrimmage at D.B. Milne Field on Aug. 29.

This Saturday’s scrimmage will be a homecoming of sorts for Elliott Finkley, Ray Scott, Lacy McDougald and Logan Chipperfield – four Dolphins who all played at Fletcher High School.

“We had a tremendous experience getting out in the community for our scrimmages last year and this is a great opportunity to gain exposure for our program,” Bell said.

PRACTICES HEAT UP: The Dolphins will be more than ready for game conditions as they practice in the heat each afternoon thus far. The heat index has climbed as high as 124 during the first four days of camp with the team showing improvement each day.

“I’m really pleased with the first few days of camp,” Bell said. “We’ve made a lot of progress and our young guys have done a good job of learning our system quickly. We’ll put the pads on tomorrow and really test these guys on what they’ve learned.”