Above photo provided by the UMHB Athletics Department
BELTON, Texas- The UMHB football team was tabbed on Thursday afternoon as the favorite to claim the 2021 ASC title in the conference’s preseason poll, which was voted on by league head coaches and sports information directors.
The Cru received 17 first-place votes and a total of 196 points in the poll, having posted a 5-0 record during the spring season. Rival Hardin-Simmons was not far behind, however, with 179 points, though the Cowboys garnered just two first-place votes. East Texas Baptist claimed the final first-place vote, tallying 153 points.
Complete ASC Preseason Poll:
3. East Texas Baptist
4. Texas Lutheran
6. Howard Payne
7. Austin College
9. Sul Ross State
Individually, UMHB senior safety Jefferson Fritz earned the conference’s Preseason Defensive Player of the Year entering his fifth season with the Cru. He has also been recognized as a Preseason All-American by D3football.com and Lindy’s Magazine, having posted 28 tackles and three interceptions. Following the spring season, the ASC selected Fritz as the Defensive Player of the Year.
Additionally, quarterback Kyle King and wide receiver/return specialist K.J. Miller were each selected to the ASC’s Preseason Players to Watch List. King, a Second-Team All-ASC honoree in the spring, threw for 613 yards and ran for another 181 while scoring 12 touchdowns. Miller, the ASC’s Special Teams Player of the Year last season, averaged 22.6 yards per kickoff return and 17.7 yards per punt return.