The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater football team was picked to win the WIAC football championship, according to a preseason poll conducted by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors the conference announced on Tuesday.
Whitewater is the defending conference champion, and winner of 11 of the last 14 titles.
The Warhawks own a conference-best 36 first-place finishes and enter the 2019 campaign ranked third in NCAA Division III by College Football America and fourth by D3football.com.
UW-Whitewater brings back nine starters on offense from last year’s squad that advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Division III championship.
Junior running back Alex Peete led the WIAC with 1,275 rushing yards, 20 rushing touchdowns and 126 points. He surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark in seven contests, including a season-high 158 yards against St. Norbert College (Wis.) on Nov. 24.
Also back are junior wide receivers Ryan Wisniewski and JT Parish, who each had seven touchdown receptions with Wisniewski adding 652 receiving yards and Parish 560 receiving yards.
Other conference notes:
UW-Platteville junior linebacker Eric Siedenburg had a team-best 76 tackles during the 2018 campaign, while senior defensive back Tyler Reinhardt was third with 66 tackles and recorded a team-high four interceptions.
Junior running back Bo Babich led the Pioneers with nine total touchdowns, including eight rushing, and junior wide receiver Donald Allender had a team-best four touchdown receptions.
Junior quarterback Colin Scheutz completed 54.5 percent of his passes for 1,970 yards and 10 touchdowns. Head coach Mike Emendorfer is also serving as the university’s interim athletics director.