Reigning National Champions Reinhardt opens the year atop the poll with seven first-place votes and 98 points. Keiser is second with one first-place vote and 92 points, while Missouri Valley is third with 85 points.
Keiser is favorites to repeat as the AII Independent Championship after claiming the championship in their inaugural season and advancing to the national championship game.
The Seahawks didn’t need long to claim their first win in school history as they knocked off Point University, 29-10 in their season opener. Keiser went on to win their next five games before suffering their lone regular-season loss to Reinhardt University, 14-7. However, KU rebounded by winning their next two games to claim the AII championship.
KU started the national tournament with a 13-11 rematch win over No. 3 Missouri Baptist, setting up a game against undefeated and the top team in the country, Missouri Valley. Keiser came out on top, 14-12, led by six goals from Justin Flint to propel the Seahawks into the national championship game against the only team to defeat them, Reinhardt.
Keiser ended the year with a 10-2 overall record. KU garnered six all-conference awards and three special awards for the AII in the program’s first year of existence. The Seahawks earned Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, and Offensive Player of the Year honors.
Reigning AII Coach of the Year, Patrick Johnston returns eight student-athletes that were named All-Conference a season ago. The Seahawks welcome back AII Player and Offensive Player of the Year, Craig Marentette. In addition, KU welcomes back first-team All-Conference players Jacob Bomberry, Justin Flint, and Justin Stone along with second-team players, Nolan Duncan, Eddie Grieco, Chad Strauss, and Jordan Rivard.
The Seahawks begin the season on Saturday at home against Embry-Riddle. The first face-off is set for 3:00 p.m.