From North Central College
The North Central College football team is represented once again in the NCAA Division III Top 25 rankings in a pair of preseason publications, as the Cardinals are ranked fourth in the USA Today Preseason Top 10 and 11th in the Lindy's Sports Preseason Top 25. Both college football preview magazines recently hit newsstands across the nation.
North Central senior defensive back Josh Mitchell and junior offensive lineman Jace Werkheiser were also recognized by Lindy's Sports, as both were named to their Preseason All-America Second Team. Mitchell started all 12 games at cornerback for the Cardinals last fall, earning First Team All-College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) and All-North Region honors in addition to an Honorable Mention selection to the D3football.com All-America Team. Werkheiser, North Central's starter at left tackle for the bulk of the season, earned First Team All-CCIW and Second Team All-North Region honors in 2011.
The defending national champion, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, owned the top spot in the USA Today rankings, followed by the University of Mount Union (Ohio) and Wesley College (Del.) The top 10 was rounded out by the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (Tex.), Linfield College (Ore.), the University of St. Thomas (Minn.), St. John Fisher College (N.Y.), Delaware Valley College (Pa.) and Wabash College (Ind.)
Mount Union topped the Lindy's Sports poll, followed by Wesley, Wisconsin-Whitewater, St. Thomas and Delaware Valley. The rest of the top 10 included Widener University (Pa.), the University of Redlands (Calif.), Franklin College (Ind.), St. John Fisher and Mary Hardin-Baylor. North Central's Sept. 8 home game against Redlands was also noted in the preview as one of the five biggest regular-season games of the upcoming Division III season.
went 10-2 last season, including a 7-0 record in CCIW play, and won its sixth consecutive CCIW championship. The Cardinals were the only CCIW representative to be ranked in either preseason poll.
The Cardinals open the 2011 season on Sept. 1, hosting the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.