July 28, 2006

W&L FOOTBALL PICKED SECOND IN ODAC PRESEASON COACHES POLL

HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, Va. -- Washington and Lee was picked to finish second overall in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Preseason Football Coaches Poll which was released at the conference’s football media day on Friday at Hampden-Sydney College.

Bridgewater, the five-time defending ODAC Champions, topped the poll after receiving all seven first-place votes for 49 points. The Generals posted 40 points and were followed in the voting by Hampden-Sydney (33), Guilford (29), Randolph-Macon (23), Catholic (11) and Emory & Henry (11).

Washington and Lee finished the 2005 season with a 7-3 overall record and a 4-2 mark in the ODAC. The Generals return 15 starters and 33 letterwinners from last season, including eight starters from an offensive unit that averaged 381.5 yards and 29.9 points per game. Headlining the returnees are preseason All-America selections Jack Martin (Princeton, N.J./Hun School), Stuart Sitterson (Atlanta, Ga./Westminster) and Colton Ward (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Country Day).

A junior wide receiver, Martin caught 70 passes for a school-record 1,353 yards and a school-record 15 touchdowns in 2005. A sophomore, Sitterson totaled 1,185 all-purpose yards and nine touchdowns as a running back and return man last season, while senior wide-out and return specialist Ward notched 1,261 all-purpose yards and eight touchdowns. The offense also returns four starters from the line, which allowed just 10 sacks in 358 pass attempts.

The Generals' defense returns five starters, including senior captains Walker Williams (Richmond, Va./Mills Godwin) and Robert Foster (Brentwood, Tenn./Montgomery Bell). Williams totaled 53 tackles, including a team-best 8.5 tackles for a loss, while Foster posted 41 stops and a team-best 4.0 sacks.

Senior placekicker Ben Long (Frankford, W.Va./Hargrave Military Academy) also returns after hitting 9-of-15 field goals and 29-of-36 PAT's last year. He enters his senior season tied for the W&L career records for field goals made (24) and attempted (42).

Washington and Lee opens its season on September 9 as it travels Lancaster, Pa., to face Franklin & Marshall at 1:00 pm.

-- GENERALS --