Senior safety Bryan Boemer was named to the Preseason All-MVFC Team
Aug. 1, 2011
By Jason Clay
ST. LOUIS, Mo. - The Southern Illinois football team was picked to finish third in the 2011 Missouri Valley Football Conference Preseason Poll that the league released Monday morning.
The Salukis received one first-place vote and garnered 207 total points in the poll conducted by league coaches, media and sports information directors. SIU is coming off a 5-6 season in which it finished in a tie for third-place in the Valley with a 4-4 league record, but the Dawgs return 14 starters this season.
This is the first time that the Salukis have ever been picked to finish third in the MVFC Preseason Poll, which started in 1986.
SIU, which owns a 19-5 MVFC record over the past three seasons, has been voted as the preseason favorite three times (2004, 2005, 2010) and was picked second in the preseason poll twice (1987 and 2009). Southern Illinois won the league outright in 2004 and 2009 and shared the conference championship in 2003, 2005 and 2008.
Defending MVFC champion Northern Iowa was voted as the preseason favorite in the poll, collecting 29 of the 36 first-place votes. North Dakota State came in second with 275 points and six first-place votes.
The last three preseason favorites (NDSU-2008, UNI-2009, SIU-2010) did not win the league, but a preseason favorite has claimed the league crown 13 times (in 25 previous polls).
In addition to the poll, the league also released its 2011 MVFC Preseason Team.
Boemer, a 6-2, 317-pound center, and Pickard, a 6-5, 306-pound left tackle, highlight the Saluki offensive line that returns all five starts from the 2010 team that averaged 30.1 points per game.
McElroy, at 6-1, 212 pounds, leads the Saluki defense from the strong safety position as he returns for a fifth season. He was granted a medical redshirt after suffering a severe ankle injury that caused him to miss the last nine games of the 2010 season. McElroy was a preseason All-American and candidate for the Buck Buchanan Award entering 2010.
Coda, a defensive end that has started in all 36 games over the past three seasons, was a second team All-MVFC selection in 2010. The 6-2, 230-pound senior has recorded 15 tackles for a loss and 8.5 sacks in his career.
2011 Valley Football Preseason Poll
Team (first-place votes), Points
1. Northern Iowa (29), 316
2. North Dakota State (6), 275
3. Southern Illinois (1), 207
4. South Dakota State, 172
5. Illinois State, 169
6. Indiana State, 168
7. Western Illinois, 151
8. Youngstown State, 88
9. Missouri State, 74