KEARNEY, NE — Division ll coaches think Nebraska-Kearney is among the best football teams in its division.

UNK is ranked 14th in the American Football Coaches Association Division II Top 25 preseason poll, which was released Monday. A panel of head coaches from around country vote on the poll.

The Lopers’ high ranking comes after the team finished 2021 ranked 15th in the AFCA poll. This year, fellow MIAA member Northwest Missouri State is picked to finish second. Washburn and Pittsburg State also received votes.

Defending national champion Ferris (Mich.) State received all 30 first place votes and 750 points to be the overwhelming number one pick. Northwest was a distant second at 661 points with Valdosta (Ga.) State and Colorado School of Mines close behind. 

UNK held its first scrimmage on Saturday and announced team captains afterward. The Lopers elected seven captains and will rotate which four go on the field for the coin toss. The captains are: quarterback T.J. Davis, safety Darius Swanson, linebacker Atoa Fox, cornerback Jalen Perkins, offensive lineman Kooper Reece, linebacker Jacey Nutter, and punter Hunter Kraus.

All UNK football home games will be televised on News Channel Nebraska.