Randolph-Macon enters 2019 as ODAC favorites

Randolph-Macon enters 2019 as ODAC favorites

ASHLAND, Va. (WWBT) - How does a team follow up its best season in program history? Time will answer that question for Randolph-Macon football, but as far as expectations go, ODAC coaches think the Yellow Jackets should do pretty well.

Randolph-Macon was picked as the unanimous league favorite on Monday to repeat as ODAC champions. The Jackets are coming off of a 2018 campaign that saw them finish 9-3, win the ODAC title and grab their first ever NCAA playoff victory. Macon fell to Muhlenburg in the second round of the postseason, after taking down John Carroll, 23-20.

“I think the guys have to embrace that,” Randolph-Macon head coach Pedro Arruza said of the top preseason poll prediction. “At the end of the day, if you have the kind of program we want to have here, you should be picked to finish first every year. You should be a team that has really high expectations, but as you know, none of that stuff really matters.”

12 All-ODAC performers return for the Yellow Jackets in 2019, two of whom are preseason All-Americans in running back Tre Frederick and offensive lineman Jake Wernle. Senior quarterback Burke Estes also returns to help guide the Randolph-Macon offense.

“Last season was last season. I told the guys, really from day one in the spring, opening day, that it’s a totally different team,” Arruza said regarding last year’s success. “It’s a totally different season and what we did last year doesn’t matter anymore.”

“We’re not thinking about the last previous years,” added Frederick. “128, 129, 130, 131.. it’s 132. That’s what team this is."

This is the 132nd football team in Randolph-Macon history.

The Yellow Jackets kick things off on Thursday, September 5, hosting Johns Hopkins at 7:00pm.

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