The Eastern Washington football team, which begins practices for the season Wednesday, has been ranked third in the preseason NCAA Football Championship Subdivision coaches poll released Tuesday.
The Eagles, who won the 2010 FCS title and were a semifinalist in 2012, trail only No. 1 North Dakota State and No. 2 Montana State in the poll. Eastern is ranked just ahead of No. 4 Sam Houston State, the FCS runner-up the past two seasons.
Eastern plays at Sam Houston State on Sept. 28 in a rematch of last year’s 45-42 Bearkat victory in the semifinals of the FCS playoffs. Montana State, which was defeated at home by the Eagles 27-24 a year ago, plays at Roos Field in Cheney on Nov. 9 in a game regionally televised on Root Sports.
Other Big Sky schools ranked in the preseason poll are No. 11 Cal Poly, No. 18 Northern Arizona and No. 22 Montana. The Eagles play at Cal Poly on Nov. 16 and Montana on Oct. 26 – both games are also televised on Root Sports.
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The Sports Network FCS Top 25 preseason poll is expected to be released on Aug. 13.
Eastern also has been ranked fourth by Sporting News and USA Today, sixth by Lindy’s and seventh by Athlon magazine.
North Dakota State has been the overwhelming top preseason pick.
Eastlake still perfect in LL regional
Jacob Dahlstrom broke a 5-5 tie with a grand slam to lift Eastlake of Sammamish to a 9-5 victory over Lake Oswego. Ore., at the Little League Baseball Northwest Regional in San Bernardino, Calif.
Eastlake trailed 5-3 with two out in the sixth, but the next six batters reached base. Will Armbruester’s tying RBI single loaded the bases for Dahlstrom.
Eastlake finished 4-0 in pool play to earn the top seed. Eastlake will play at 6 p.m. on Thursday against the No. 4 seed, to be determined Wednesday.
Compiled from sports-information reports and other sources.