Norfolk, Va. (July 28, 2017) --- The Delaware State football team will have plenty to prove in the upcoming season. The Hornets have been picked to finish 11th in the 11-team 2017 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference football race, according to a poll of league head coaches and sports information representatives released at the conference’s annual luncheon at the Waterside Marriot Hotel.

Defending champ North Carolina Central is the voters’ choice to capture the 2017 MEAC title. The Eagles have won or share the conference title in each of the last three years, and represented the MEAC in the second annual Celebration Bowl last December.

North Carolina A&T is second to NC Central, while South Carolina State, Bethune-Cook man and Hampton round out the top five in the MEAC preseason poll.

Despite posting a winless record during the 2016 season (0-11; 0-8 MEAC), Delaware State head coach Kenny Carter believes the Hornets are poised for a turnaround this year.

“I believe we have taken the right steps to be competitive in the MEAC this season,” Carter said. “We return more than 50 players from the 2016 squad, led by many sophomores and juniors who have gained valuable experience while developing a dogged determination through the struggles of the last two years. In addition, we have our strongest class of newcomers since I arrived and several players who sat out due to injury last year are back and ready to contribute.”

Once again, the MEAC champion will face the winner of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) in the Celebration Bowl, scheduled for Dec. 16 at the brand new Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga.

2017 MEAC Preseason Poll (voted by MEAC head coaches and sports information directors)
1. North Carolina Central
2. NCA&T
3. So. Carolina State
4. Bethune-Cookman
5. Hampton
6. Florida A&M
7. Norfolk State
8. Morgan State
9. Howard
10. Savannah State
11. Delaware State

Delaware State football