ATHENS — With the start of the school semester just around the corner, Concord University football has been picked to finish eighth in the Mountain East Conference preseason coaches’ poll that was released on Tuesday afternoon during MEC Media Day.
In 2018, Concord finished 2-9 with wins over West Virginia Wesleyan, placed 10th in the recent poll, and West Liberty, placed 6th. Of the losses for the Mountain Lions, CU was within 10 points or led at halftime in four games, including holding a 15-10 intermission lead over eventual MEC Champion and Division II National Semifinalist Notre Dame, ranked number one this year, at home.
Concord starts the season at Noon, Sept. 7, in South Euclid, Ohio against the Falcons who are a consensus preseason top five team among Division II teams and was picked to win the league in 2019. The home opener for the Mountain Lions will come at Noon on Sept. 14 against conference newcomer Frostburg State, ranked just below the Mountain Lions this year, and who bring an impressive resume to the MEC. Following the contest against Frostburg State, CU travels to Glenville State before hosting West Virginia State to close the first month of the season.
To open October, Concord makes its longest road trip of the season to face Hillsdale for the first time in program history. The game against Hillsdale will be the lone non-conference game of the season for the Mountain Lions. A second straight road trip awaits with a road game at West Liberty Oct. 12 before welcoming Fairmont State to Athens for Homecoming Oct. 19. October closes at Urbana.
A year after defeating West Virginia Wesleyan on a last second field goal by sophomore kicker Luke Walls, CU hosts the Bobcats Nov. 2. The only Thursday night contest will be at Charleston Nov. 7. And the regular season concludes with the first ever meeting between Concord and Wheeling Nov. 16.
Head coach Paul Price returns all but one of his eight assistants to the program with Josh Zettergren and Kevin Elliott entering their second years as offensive and defensive coordinator, respectively. New offensive line coach Nick Gilbert takes over for Kyle Jolly who departed for the same position at VMI in the offseason.
During spring practice, Price and his staff welcomed the following mid-year transfers to the program: offensive lineman David Hensley (Virginia State), linebacker Ty Maust (Liberty), tight end Matt Mullins (Bluefield College), defensive lineman DeAnthony Muse (Richmond) and defensive lineman Noah Overstreet (Navy Prep). Among other transfers that will enroll at Concord in the fall are offensive lineman Jovanni Concha (Victory Valley College), offensive lineman Travis Eitel (De Anza College). Some notable local talent that will be suiting up when fall practice gets underway during the second of August is PikeView High School All-State running back Evan Rose, Greenbrier East rusher Jaylon Battaille and PikeView offensive lineman Logan Price.Two Bluefield High School players were instrumental in delivering a state championship to Mercer County in 2017 have also signed with Concord, offensive lineman Mason Walker and quarterback Chandler Cooper.