CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – The American Rivers Conference released its 2022 Preseason Coaches’ Football Poll on Friday and the Simpson College football team was selected eighth.
Defending conference champions Central received six of nine first-place votes to top the poll with 61 points. Wartburg grabbed the remaining three first-place votes to finish second with 57 points. Coe (51 points) and Dubuque (45 points) took the next two spots ahead of Buena Vista (32 points), which was projected to finish in the middle of the conference. Loras (29 points) and Nebraska Wesleyan (23 points) occupied sixth and seventh, and Simpson (18 points) and Luther (8 points) finished out of the poll.
Matt Jeter enters his seventh season as the head coach of the Storm and looks to lead the squad to a successful season with a combination of new and returning talent. Simpson projects to return seven starters on both sides of the ball, a great opportunity to infuse an already familiar aura of chemistry with fresh, new talent.
“The Storm look forward to competing in the very challenging American Rivers Conference,” said Jeter. “The league brings back a ton of all-conference players from top to bottom and we look to make a statement in 2022.”
Simpson had three members of last year’s squad earn ARC All-Conference honors including linebacker Wyatt Schaben who returns after pacing both the team and conference in tackles last season with 106. Additionally, Schaben led Simpson with three sacks in 2021 while also racking up two forced fumbles. fumbles and a fumble recovery.
Senior wide receiver Reed Worth and senior tight end Cole Romdall are also set to return and should be at the forefront of the Storm pass-catchers this season. Worth is the most productive returner of the wideouts, snagging 27 balls for 510 yards and six touchdowns last season. While also being on the receiving end of Simpson’s longest pass play last season, the six receiving touchdowns were tied for first on the team. Romdall appeared in nine of ten games last year for the Storm, catching 13 passes for 109 yards, while also providing run-blocking support from his tight end position.
Senior Spencer Finch and sophomore Joe Bream look to lead the offensive line while senior Desmond Alexander led all returning running backs in productivity and games played in 2021, running for 333 yards and two touchdowns.
On the defensive side of the ball, sophomore Laronte Lewis is tabbed to be one of the most effective players for the Storm on the defensive line. He will look to improve on his impressive freshman year, where he played in all 10 games, compiling two sacks from the defensive tackle position.
Terrhyn Jacoby is tasked with leading a Simpson secondary that will see a couple of new pieces after the departures of Lanny Herzog and Boston Draper, who played in all 10 games and were second and third on the team in tackles, respectively. In addition to his prowess as a defensive back, Jacoby also has experience returning kicks and punts. An ode to his versatility, Jacoby has been used as a receiver on certain plays, with two of his six career receptions going for touchdowns.
The Storm play their first three games on the road, beginning with a 2 pm contest at Waldorf on Sept. 10. Simpson will then face Wis.-Stevens Point and Coe before hosting Luther for the home opener on Oct. 1.
2022 American Rivers Conference Preseason Coaches’ Football Poll
1. Central (12-1 overall, 8-0 ARC) – 61 points
2. Wartburg (7-3 overall, 6-2 ARC) – 57 points
3. Coe (8-2 overall, 6-2 ARC) – 51 points
4. Dubuque (6-4 overall, 5-3 ARC) – 45 points
5. Buena Vista (5-5 overall, 4-4 ARC) – 32 points
6. Loras (4-6 overall, 4-4 ARC) – 29 points
7. Nebraska Wesleyan (4-6 overall, 2-6 ARC) – 23 points
8. Simpson (1-9 overall, 1-7 ARC) – 18 points
9. Luther (0-10 overall, 0-8 ARC) – 8 points