In the Heart of America Athletic Conference (Heart) Football Coaches' Preseason Poll, the Peru State football team was picked to finish fourth in the North Division.
Three-time defending division champions Grand View (Iowa) and Baker (Kan.) were each picked respectively as North and South Division winners in the poll.
Grand View received four of six first-place votes and earned 49 points (teams do not vote for themselves) to earn top billing in the preseason North selections. North Division co-champion Benedictine (Kan.) claimed a first-place tally and was picked to finish second with 46 points, while William Penn (Iowa) claimed the remaining first-place vote and 43 votes for a third-place prediction. Peru State, Culver-Stockton (Mo.), and Graceland (Iowa) rounded out the North Division poll.
Baker also received four first-place votes for a maximum of 40 points as the Wildcats were picked atop a five-team South Division. Missouri Valley tallied the final first-place vote and was picked second with 36 points, sitting one point ahead of Evangel (Mo.) with 35. MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) was picked fourth with 31 points, followed by Central Methodist (Mo.) with 28 points.
The opportunity to play non-conference games for the first time since the 2014 season sets up the 2018 Heart season opener on Thursday, August 23, for Evangel at home against SAGU (Texas) in a game to be televised at ESPN3 at 6 p.m..
Peru State will begin its season at Hastings on Saturday, August 25, against the Broncos at 7 p.m. The 'Cats will begin season play two weeks later when they travel to Fayette, Mo., to face Central Methodist at 6 p.m.