Hastings College football coach Tony Harper speaks at the
LINCOLN — Hastings College head coach Tony Harper made his second trip to the Great Plains Athletic Conference media day as the Broncos' coach and left with a pleasant surprise. The GPAC coaches ranked his Broncos third in the preseason conference poll.
"I was a little surprised. We were talking about that a little bit ago, and I looked over at coach (Matt) Franzen (Doane's coach) and coach (Kyle) Achterhoff (Northwestern's coach) like, 'You guys got to be kidding me,'" Harper said. "We talked a little bit about this last year; it's the respect and the tradition that, I think, Hastings College has started years and years ago.
"And we are one of the few teams that have their starting quarterback coming back — plus both backups — and that helps out a lot. But we have a long ways to go and a lot of work to do before we get to that third place."
Hastings received 53 points in the vote, but just two points separated third place from sixth place. Northwestern was voted No. 1, receiving six first-place votes and tallying 78 points. Morningside was ranked second with four first-place votes and 76 points.
Midland, Doane and Dakota Wesleyan all tied for fourth place with 51 points.