ARKADELPHIA — Henderson State has been been picked to win the Great American Conference football title this year.
The Reddies received all first-place votes they could in balloting by the league's head coaches. Southern Arkansas edged out Harding for second place in the poll, which was released Monday.
Henderson returns 11 all-conference selections from last year, including eight on offense. Quarterback Kevin Rodgers is back for his junior season after finishing 2012 as the league's offensive player of the year and as a Harlon Hill finalist.
Rounding out the top five were Ouachita Baptist and East Central Oklahoma.
Southeastern Oklahoma was picked sixth, followed by Southwestern Oklahoma and Arkansas Tech.
In ninth was Arkansas-Monticello, with Northwestern Oklahoma and Southern Nazarene rounding out the poll.
The season opens Sept. 5.
Henderson ranked No. 13 in coaches poll
After a season in which they averaged 50.4 points per game, Henderson State is ranked No. 13 by members of the American Football Coaches Association as the 2013 season approaches.
Henderson was undefeated during the regular season last year, then lost to Missouri Western in the NCAA playoffs and finished the season ranked eleventh.
In other polls, the Reddies are ranked ninth by Lindy's and No. 16 by The Sporting News.
Valdosta State leads the preseason coaches' rankings, followed by Minnesota State-Mankato, West Texas A&M, Northwest Missouri and Winston-Salem State. Missouri Western is sixth.
Henderson opens the season Sept. 7 at home against Southern Nazarene.
Harding received enough votes to place just outside the poll, at 26th. Southern Arkansas also received votes.