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Larry Stauth Jr./For the Daily TidingsSouthern Oregon linebacker Devvon Gage and the Raiders were ranked No. 4 in the NAIA preseason coaches poll that was released on Monday.

SOU football ranked fourth in NAIA preseason coaches' poll

The Raiders will start the 2018 season in a familiar spot when it comes to their national ranking

Seven days after it was picked to finish atop the Frontier Conference, the Southern Oregon University football team’s preseason ranking will be exactly where it was at the end of last season. The Raiders came in at No. 4 in the NAIA preseason coaches’ poll, the national office announced on Monday afternoon.

It marks the third time in the last four years that the Raiders will start a season with a top-five national ranking and the sixth straight season in which they are ranked nationally heading into the season. The other times they’ve been in the top four came in 2015 following their national championship run and 2016.

SOU were ranked 25th heading into Charlie Hall’s debut as head coach last fall.

Two-time defending national champion University of Saint Francis (Ind.) starts the season at No. 1 after receiving all of the 16 possible first-place votes and accumulating 366 total points.

The rest of the top five is as follows: Reinhardt (Ga.), Morningside (Iowa), Southern Oregon and Lindsey Wilson (Ky.).

The Raiders were one of two Frontier Conference teams to earn a national ranking on Monday, with Rocky Mountain (Mont.) coming in at No. 20 after finishing the 2017 season unranked.

Hall will hold his first full-squad practice on Saturday at Raider Stadium.

Contact Danny Penza at 541-776-4483 or dpenza@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @penzatopaper.

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