FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 11, 2017
Contact: Tyler Price, Assistant Director of Athletics | Communications
785.594.8495 l email@example.com l 913.645.4111
Baker Football Ranked No. 2 in NAIA Spring Top 25 Poll
BALDWIN CITY, Kansas – After one of the greatest seasons in its storied history, the Baker University football team came in ranked No. 2 in the 2017 spring installment of the NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced on Monday.
This marks the ninth-straight poll Baker has been ranked in the No. 2 spot. Baker is coming off of the most wins in a single season in program history, as they finished 2016 as the National Runner-up with a 14-1 record.
The Wildcats have dominated one of the toughest conferences in the NAIA the past few seasons, as they have won 17-straight games against a Heart of America Athletic Conference opponent, and since the Heart moved to a Northern and Southern Division, Baker has captured back-to-back Heart South Division championships, going 5-0 in Heart South play in both 2015 and 2016.
Head coach Mike Grossner enters his 14th season at Baker and has been named the Heart Coach of the Year three of the last four seasons, 2013, 2015 and 2016.
His 98 victories at Baker are second all-time, he is just 25 wins behind Hall of Fame head coach Charlie Richard, who has 123 victories.
Baker returns a number of key players from the 2016 squad, including 2016 NAIA National Player of the Year Logan Brettell.
Brettell helped lead Baker to several school records including total yards by a player in a season with 5,371. The upcoming senior threw for a school record 5,073 yards and ran for 298.
He threw for 52 touchdowns and ran for six. His passing percentage of 69.8-percent also broke a school record.
He will be joined on the offensive side of the ball with NAIA All-American running back Cornell Brown, whose 24 rushing touchdowns is the most by a running back in Baker’s history.
Clarence Clark is back for his senior season. The Phoenix, Arizona native is Baker’s all-time leader in receptions with 185 and Baker’s all-time leader in receiving yards with 3,045.
The offensive line also returns First Team All-Conference members Knute Holden and Damon Gebhardt.
Defensively, Baker returns two-time Heart South Defensive Player of the Year, Josh Kock, along with All-Conference honorees Nate McLaurin, Aderio Ammons, Mikeice Adams and Hayden Jenkins.
Kock finished his junior season with 72 total tackles and 17 tackles for loss with 11.5 sacks.
McLaurin was third on the team in tackles with 77 and picked off two passes. Adams was fourth on the team in tackles with 75 and picked off two passes as well.
Jenkins returns for his senior season, after a 2016 campaign in which he tallied 48 tackles. In Ammons’ first season he recorded 2.5 tackles for loss.
Also ranked in the Top 25 from the Heart includes No. 9 Grand View, No. 11 Missouri Valley, No. 24 Benedictine and No. 25 William Penn.
To view the entire Top 25 poll, please click here.
• The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences.
• Each conference is given one rater for every four schools in the league.
• The Top 25 is determined by a points system based on how each voter ranks the best teams. A team receives 25 points for each first-place vote, 24 for second-place and so on through the list.
• The highest and lowest ranking for each team (a non-rating is considered a low rating) is removed and the team’s ranking will be recalculated with an additional point added to each team for every ballot (including discounted ballots) that the teams appear on.
• Teams that receive only one point in the ballot are not considered “receiving votes.”
• For the complete Top 25 calendar, click here.