Jul 27, 2021 2:46 PM

🏈 Tigers picked 2nd and 3rd in MIAA football preseason polls

Posted Jul 27, 2021 2:46 PM

FHSU Athletics

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association released its 2021 Preseason Polls for football on Tuesday, July 27 at its annual Football Media Day in Kansas City. The Tigers tied Central Missouri for second in the Coaches Poll, each with 105 points, while the Tigers received a third-place selection in the Media Poll. Northwest Missouri State was a strong for first place in both polls.

Fort Hays State matched Central Missouri in the Coaches Poll in vote count, and both received a first-place vote. The Tigers were four total points behind the Mules in the Media Poll, though both also received one first-place vote in that poll. Northwest Missouri State received 10 first-place votes in both polls.

The upper third of the Media Poll looks pretty similar to the 2019 final MIAA standings. Northwest Missouri State and Central Missouri shared the regular season title in 2019, each at 10-1 in conference play, while Fort Hays State and Missouri Western tied for third at 8-3 in conference play.

Nebraska-Kearney shakes up the top four in the Coaches Poll with a fourth-place nod. The improved Lopers posted big wins in 2019, including an upset of Northwest Missouri State, a dominant 28-point win over Missouri Western, and a win over Winona State in the Mineral Water Bowl. They could be a team to watch this upcoming season with their steady rise of success the past three seasons. The Lopers lost by six to FHSU and seven to Central Missouri in 2019. UNK was only one voting point shy of Missouri Western in the Media Poll.

Fort Hays State returns four starters from 2019 on each side of the ball. Chance Fuller (QB), Ted Hessing (OL), and Amari Angram-Boldin (OL) are returning starters that received All-MIAA selections in 2019, while Jordan Starks (DB) and Javaris Sanders (DL) received all-conference nods as defensive starters for the Tigers in 2019. Hessing and Angram-Boldin helped Fuller throw for a school-record 35 touchdowns in 2019, while racking up 3,344 passing yards. Manny Ramsey, one of Fuller's top targets and an All-MIAA pick in 2019, also returns after a breakout season that saw him collect 47 passes for 808 yards and 10 touchdowns. Starks, a safety, is the top returning tackler for the Tigers after recording 78 in 2019, while also tying for a team-best three interceptions.

With high picks in the polls, several eyes will be on Hays in the first week of play. Northwest Missouri State travels to Fort Hays State for the season opener on September 2, a 7 pm kickoff at Lewis Field Stadium. The last three contests between the Tigers and Bearcats have been decided by a total of five points with FHSU claiming 1-point wins in both 2017 and 2018, then Northwest Missouri State claiming an overtime win by 3 points in 2019.

Get your season tickets today by contacting the FHSU Athletic Department at (785) 628-4050 or drop by the office in person. The Tigers play at home six times in 2021 and reserved chairback seats are available for $90 per seat.

2021 Fort Hays State Football Schedule

Below are the 2021 MIAA Football Coaches and Media Polls.

2021 MIAA Football Preseason Coaches Poll Rank Team (1stPlace Votes)Points
1. Northwest Missouri (10) 120
T2. Fort Hays State (1) 105
T2. Central Missouri (1) 105
4. Nebraska-Kearney 86
5. Missouri Western 71
6. Washburn 69
7. Pittsburg State 66
8. Emporia State 55
9. Central Oklahoma 52
T10. Missouri Southern 24
T10. Northeastern State 24
12. Lincoln 15
Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team.

2021 MIAA Football Preseason Media Poll Rank Team (1stPlace Votes)Points
1. Northwest Missouri (10) 142
2. Central Missouri (1) 124
3. Fort Hays State (1) 120
4. Missouri Western 99
5. Nebraska Kearney 98
6. Pittsburg State 91
7. Washburn 70
8. Central Oklahoma 62
9. Emporia State 56
10. Missouri Southern 33
11. Northeastern State 25
12. Lincoln 16