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Bemidji St. football ninth in NSIC poll

ST. PAUL - The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Football Coaches Poll was released Tuesday.

Bemidji State was picked to finish ninth in the 14-team league and fourth in the North Division.

BSU senior linebacker Jake Anderson and quarterback Derek Edholm were recognized as preseason players to watch.

Defending conference and national champion Minnesota-Duluth was selected first overall, collecting nine of the 14 first-place votes and 165 points.

Minnesota State University, Mankato pulled down five first place votes, was predicted to finish second overall with 159 points and were projected to win the South Division.

In addition to the preseason rankings, league coaches also submitted votes for several individual awards. UMD running back Isaac Odim was selected North Division Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and UMD linebacker Robbie Aurich garnered the North Division's top preseason defensive honors.

Wayne State quarterback Silas Fluellen pulled down the NSIC South Preseason Offensive Player of the Year laurels for the second consecutive season and Minnesota State defensive back Kelvin Rodgers was tabbed preseason defensive player of the year for the South.

Edholm finished the 2008 season completing 193-of-296 passes with just five interceptions to set a new standard for single-season completion percentage mark at BSU (.652). In all, he threw for 2,136 yards and 17 touchdowns with another gained with his feet. He was named to the All-NSIC second team last season.

Anderson, Bemidji State's defensive captain for 2009, enters his senior year after an All-NSIC second team season last year.

He led the team with 70 tackles (32 solo), 11.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 quarterback sacks a year ago. Anderson ranked second on the team with three interceptions. He completed 2008 ranked 16th in the league in total tackles and eighth in tackles for loss.

Bemidji State opens the season Aug. 27 against Minot State at 7 p.m. under the lights at Chet Anderson Stadium.

2009 Preseason Coaches Poll

1. Minn.-Duluth (9) 165

2. MSU, Mankato (5) 159

3. Augustana 135

4. St. Cloud State 129

5. Wayne State 129

6. Winona State 114

7. Southwest 86

8. U-Mary 79

9. Bemidji State 77

10. Concordia 71

11. Northern State 43

12. MSU, Moorhead 37

13. Upper Iowa 36

14. Minn.-Crookston 14

North Division

1. Minn.-Duluth(6) 36

2. St. Cloud State (1) 31

3. U-Mary 25

4. Bemidji State 22

5. MSU, Moorhead 13

5. Northern State 13

7. Minn.-Crookston 7

(First place votes in parentheses)