Morningside fourth in NAIA preseason football poll - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

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Morningside fourth in NAIA preseason football poll

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Trent Solsma threw for 32 touchdowns and just three interceptions in 2016. Trent Solsma threw for 32 touchdowns and just three interceptions in 2016.

Morningside was the over-whelming favorite to win the GPAC football title for the seventh year in a row. So, it's not surprising that the Mustangs are the highest rated area team in the pre-season NAIA national poll at number-4.

Much of the optimism for Morningside comes from the offensive side of the ball. Quarterback Trent Solsma returns after throwing for nearly 3,300 yards last year as a sophomore. Solsma threw 32 touchdown passes, with just three interceptions.

In fact, the Bishop Heelan grad led the NAIA in passing efficiency and didn't toss a pick in his last 235 throws.

"If there's ever a spot that you want an experienced player at, it's at quarterback," said Morningside head coach Steve Ryan. "Trent throws an outstanding football and we're excited to have him back, looking forward to see what he can do. We're excited to have Connor Niles back and out there with him, to throw the ball to."

Niles was injured in the first game last season. In 2015, he caught 83 passes for 17 touchdowns and led the NAIA in all-purpose yards

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2017 NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Poll – Preseason (August 7)
RANK     WEEK     SCHOOL     Record     Total Points
1     1     Saint Francis (Ind.) (16)     13-1     366
2     2     Baker (Kan.)     14-1     351
3     3     Reinhardt (Ga.)     13-1     327
4     6     Morningside (Iowa)     10-2     319
5     5     Marian (Ind.)     11-1     305
6     7     Montana Tech     10-2     297
7     4     Eastern Oregon     10-3     292
8     8     Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)     11-2     268
9     9     Grand View (Iowa)     9-3     259
10     12     Tabor (Kan.)     8-3     219
11     10     Doane (Neb.)     9-2     214
12     11     Missouri Valley     9-3     213
13     15     Robert Morris (Ill.)     7-3     183
14     13     Sterling (Kan.)     8-3     162
15     14     Dickinson State (N.D.)     9-4     156
16     18     Southeastern (Fla.)     6-3     137
17     16     Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)     8-3     122
18     22     Arizona Christian     7-3     113
19     19     Montana Western     7-4     88
20     17     Kansas Wesleyan     9-2     86
21     23     Georgetown (Ky.)     7-4     82
22     21     Langston (Okla.)     7-2     76
23     25     William Penn (Iowa)     7-4     51
24     RV     Saint Xavier (Ill.)     5-6     34
25     NR     Southern Oregon     5-6     30
Dropped from Top 25: Concordia (Neb.), Benedictine (Kan.)

Others Receiving Votes: Concordia (Neb.) 28; Benedictine (Kan.) 23; Faulkner (Ala.) 19; Carroll (Mont.) 19; Pikeville (Ky.) 9; Warner (Fla.) 5; St. Ambrose (Iowa) 5

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