Jul 25, 2023

🏈🎧 Tigers picked 8th and 10th in MIAA preseason polls

Posted Jul 25, 2023 5:44 PM
FHSU's Myles Menges, head coach Chris Brown and Mason Perez address the media Tuesday, July 25, 2023 at the MIAA Media Day in Kansas City, Mo. (FHSU Athletics photo/Ryan Prickett)
FHSU's Myles Menges, head coach Chris Brown and Mason Perez address the media Tuesday, July 25, 2023 at the MIAA Media Day in Kansas City, Mo. (FHSU Athletics photo/Ryan Prickett)

FHSU Athletics

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association released its 2023 Preseason Polls for football on Tuesday, July 25 at its annual Football Media Day in Kansas City. The Tigers were picked 8th in the Coaches Poll and 10th in the Media Poll. Pittsburg State was picked as the favorite in each poll, coming off an undefeated regular season in 2022 when it went 11-0 in MIAA play.

The Tigers placed 10th in the MIAA standings in 2022, finishing with a record of 3-8. The Tigers won two of their last four games to finish clear of Northeastern State and Lincoln in the standings. Lincoln is leaving the MIAA and will not participate as a conference member in football this season, even though most MIAA schools still have Lincoln on the schedule as a non-conference game. The conference will consist of 11 teams in football in 2023.

The Coaches and Media Polls were mirrored among the top seven teams. The only difference was Missouri Southern and Missouri Western being picked ahead of FHSU in the Media Poll.

The Tigers battled their share of injuries throughout 2022 and struggled to find their footing. Only 23 players on last year's squad played in all 11 games. Of those 23, only four started all 11 contests. Makel Williams and Evan Darville on the Tiger defense are the only returners to this year's team that were among the group of four to start all contests.

Other regular starters on the Tiger defense joining Williams and Darville are Mason PerezMyles MengesGaven Haselhorst, and Trevion Mitchell. Williams, Perez, and Menges were All-MIAA selections last year. Williams led the team in tackles with 86.

The Tigers have only three regular starters returning on the offensive side if the ball, which includes Jack DawsonLeyton Cure, and Calvin Stapp. Dawson had the most passing and rushing yards last year among the players returning, while Cure had the most receiving yards among returners. The Tigers have a handful of players returning both offensively and defensively that made spot starts at their respective positions throughout last year.

Fort Hays State opens the 2023 season on the road at Northeastern State on August 31. The first home game will be against defending MIAA champion Pittsburg State on Thursday, September 7. FHSU will play at home six times throughout the 2023 season, also playing host to Northwest Missouri State, Lincoln, Nebraska-Kearney, Central Oklahoma, and Emporia State.

Get your season tickets today by contacting the FHSU Athletic Department at (785) 628-4050 or drop by the office in person.

2023 Fort Hays State Football Schedule

See the MIAA preseason polls below.

2023 MIAA Football Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Pittsburg State (8) – 98 points
2. Northwest Missouri (3) – 93 points
3. Emporia State – 78 points
4. Washburn – 73 points
T5. Central Oklahoma – 57 points
T5. Nebraska Kearney – 57 points
7. Central Missouri – 44 points
8. Fort Hays State – 37 points
9. Missouri Western – 32 points
10. Missouri Southern – 26 points
11. Northeastern State – 10 points

2023 MIAA Football Preseason Media Poll
1. Pittsburg State (22) – 320 points
2. Northwest Missouri (7) – 302 points
3. Emporia State (1) – 258 points
4. Washburn – 209 points
5. Central Oklahoma – 208 points
6. Nebraska Kearney – 199 points
7. Central Missouri – 124 points
8. Missouri Southern – 116 points
9. Missouri Western – 113 points
10. Fort Hays State – 98 points
11. Northeastern State – 33 points