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LATROBE, Pa. (Titan Athletics)– The Westminster College football team, under the guidance of sixth-year head coach Scott Benzel, was picked to finish third in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC), according to Tuesday’s 2019 PAC Preseason Football Poll.

2019 PAC Football Preseason Poll (Predicted order of finish):                              
1.) W&J: 298 (23 first-place votes)
2.) Case Western Reserve: 277 (6)
3.) Westminster: 241 (2)
4.) Grove City: 219
5.) Carnegie Mellon: 194
6.) Bethany: 138
7.) Waynesburg: 118
8.) Geneva: 98
9.) Saint Vincent: 77
10.) Thiel: 45

The Titans received 241 points with two first-place votes.
 
The league’s preseason poll, as voted on by PAC head coaches, sports information directors, and media panel in attendance, was announced this afternoon at the PAC Football Media Day, hosted by Saint Vincent College.
 
“We’ve been proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish since we had the opportunity as a coaching staff to take over five years ago,” said Benzel. I was very excited to coach our young men five years ago. I am just as excited back then as I am now. Winning a (PAC) Championship is not easy. We have nine other teams sitting in this room that have good coaches, good players, and good processes. For us, that’s where it starts is our process. We can’t change what we do or how we go about our business. We try to improve it. But we believe in what we do. We believe in our process. For us, we learn lessons every year, whether we are successful or in defeat. The biggest thing for us is to grow and we’ve done that.”

“We are going to continue to try do the best we can and get ourselves an opportunity to play in the championship game,” Benzel said. “There is no magic formula. You do what you do. You believe in what you believe in. You work the hardest to get there. We are going to start from scratch like everybody here. We are 0-0 and nothing is going to be handed to us. We are just going to have to continue to try put ourselves in positions to make plays and have a chance to win a championship.”
 
Junior All-PAC offensive tackle Cameron Mika (Apollo, PA / Kiski Area) was the player representative for the Titans. “I think the biggest goal for this year is to win the conference championship,” Mika said. “That should be every team’s goal coming out. One of the biggest things we have to be is not content. It’s been two past seven-win seasons. Seven-win seasons are great, but seven-win seasons do not get you a ring in this conference. We know this conference is tough. You need to win almost every game if you are going to win this conference. This year, the mentality has shifted even from my freshman year to now. This year is business for us.”

 

Seniors wide receiver Connor Cox (Ridge, MD / Leonardtown), linebacker Paul Gonzalez (Miami, FL / Florida Christian), offensive lineman Brady Hogue (Sharpsville, PA / Sharpsville), and defensive tackle Joey Lane (Frederick, MD / Oakdale), along with Mika, were all named on the “PAC Players to Watch” list.
 
Dr. David Barner, a professor of broadcast communications and chair of the School of Communication at Westminster, was honored as this year’s recipient of the Dow Carnahan Media Award.
 

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Pictured (L-R) PAC Commissioner Joe Onderko, Dr. Barner, and Westminster’s Director of Athletics Jim Dafler

Westminster kicks off the 2019 NCAA Division III season with a home Thursday night game against non-conference foe Capital University on Sept. 5 at 6:30 p.m.

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