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Mon, Dec. 16

Lumberjacks picked atop preseason Big Sky polls

Big Sky Media Poll

1 - N. Arizona, (8) 287

2 - Montana, (7) 283

3 - Eastern Washington (5) 269

4 - North Dakota (2) 262

5 - Portland State (3) 252

6 - Weber State, 174

7 - Southern Utah, 162

8 - Montana State, 157

9 - Cal Poly, 153

10 - N. Colorado, 111

11 - Idaho State, 58

12 - UC Davis, 56

13 - Sacramento State, 50

Big Sky Coaches’ Poll

1 - N. Arizona (8) 132

T2 - Portland State (2) 121

T2 - Montana, 121

4 - E. Washington (2) 112

5 - North Dakota (1) 105

6 - Weber State, 83

T7 - Southern Utah, 73

T7 - Montana State, 73

9 - Cal Poly, 66

10 - N. Colorado, 43

11 - Sacramento State, 30

12 - Idaho State, 24

13 - UC Davis, 23

OGDEN, Utah — The preseason polls are out and Northern Arizona was picked to win the Big Sky by both league football coaches and the media. Head Coach Jerome Souers enters his 19th season at the helm of the Lumberjack football program that returns six starters on offense and five starters on defense.

NAU received eight first-place votes from both the coaches and the media, after going 5-3 in league games in 2015. This is the first time Northern Arizona has ever been voted first in both of the Big Sky’s preseason polls.

Four Lumberjacks were selected for the preseason All-Big Sky teams, which were announced yesterday by the league office. Junior wide receiver Emmanuel Butler, sophomore quarterback Case Cookus, senior left tackle Jacob Julian, and junior center Blake Porter all received preseason recognition.

Butler and Cookus are a pair of All-Americans that will lead NAU this season as it faces an 11-game schedule that kicks off on Sept. 3 at Arizona State. The Lumberjacks’ first conference game will be Sept. 24 vs. Eastern Washington. Other home league games include Idaho State (Oct. 15), Montana (Oct. 22), and Southern Utah (Nov. 19). NAU will go on the road and play at Northern Colorado (Oct. 1), Montana State (Oct. 8), Weber State (Nov. 5), and North Dakota (Nov. 12).

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