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Panther Football voted seventh in annual preseason coaches poll

NEW LONDON, Conn. - Springfield College, which won the 2002 Freedom Football Conference Championship, is favored to repeat as champions according to the Preseason Coaches' Poll released on Tuesday.

Springfield, which went a perfect 6-0 in FFC play last year and was 8-1 in the regular season, totaled 47 points in the poll and received six first-place votes.

Western Connecticut, which was 7-3 overall and 4-2 in league play last year, was picked second with the other first-place vote and 40 points.

Kings Point, which finished second last season at 5-1, was picked to finish third with 38 points. The Mariners were 8-2 in the regular season last year.

WPI (25), Norwich (20), Coast Guard (16) and Plymouth State (10) rounded out the voting by the seven head coaches.

This is the final year of the Freedom Football Conference as Coast Guard, Kings Point and WPI will join the Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association, Norwich and Springfield will move to the Empire 8, Western Connecticut will join the New Jersey Athletic Conference, and Plymouth State will compete as an independent.

Springfield, Kings Point, WPI and Norwich kick off their seasons on Sept. 6, while Western Connecticut, Coast Guard and Plymouth State will open on Sept. 13.

2003 FFC Preseason Coaches' Poll

  1. Springfield (6) 47
  2. Western Connecticut (1) 40
  3. Kings Point 38
  4. WPI 25
  5. Norwich 20
  6. Coast Guard 16
  7. Plymouth State 10

(Numbers in parenthesis indicate first-place votes. Other numbers indicate total points.)