Media polls: EWU selected No. 1 in Big Sky
Last updated 7/18/2019 at 11:34am
The Eagles proved the prognosticators right in 2018, so they’ll try to do the same thing again in 2019.
For the second-straight year, the Eastern Washington University football team has been picked to win the 2019 league title by both the coaches and media in picks released July 15 at the Big Sky Conference Football Kickoff in Spokane. The Eagles are the defending NCAA Football Championship Subdivision runner-up after sharing the Big Sky Conference title with UC Davis and Weber State.
It’s the third time since 2014 the Eagles have been picked No. 1 in both polls. In 2015 EWU was selected first by the media. In 2016 the Eagles were picked fourth by the coaches and third by the media, and in 2017 Eastern was second in both. EWU was second in both in 2013.
“We are humbled and grateful to the coaches and media for determining our football team as the Big Sky Conference preseason No. 1 team,” said Eastern head coach Aaron Best, who enters his third season at the helm and 23rd overall as an EWU player or coach. “Everyone aspires to be No. 1, and our mission will be to be champions at the end of the 2019 campaign after all the scores have been kept.”
Since winning the league and NCAA Division I titles in 2010, Eastern has won Big Sky championships in 2012 – 2014, 2016 and 2018, giving the Eagles a total of 10 league titles. Despite losing 25 seniors from last year’s squad that finished 12-3 overall and 7-1 in the league, Eastern has another veteran squad with 22 seniors and 48 total letter winners back.
Players report for preseason practices beginning Aug. 1, with the first practice together taking place on Aug. 4. The first practice with media availability of players and coaches is Monday, Aug. 5 at 3 p.m.
Eastern will practice four weeks leading up to the team’s opener at Washington on Aug. 31, and the home opener the following week on Sept. 7 against Lindenwood.
“Nothing is ever earned on paper and must be substantiated on the field of play,” Best said. “Our 2019 Eastern Washington football team is looking forward to this season to be underway soon. We must understand the challenges of a 12-game schedule with seven road contests, and the rigors of an always tough Big Sky Conference schedule.”