NEWBERRY — Newberry has been picked as the overwhelming favorite to win the 2017 South Atlantic Conference championship by a vote of the league’s coaches, marking the first time in school history that Newberry has entered the season as the league favorite.
The Wolves garnered six first-place votes and received 55 points overall, with Wingate earning one first-place vote and 47 total points. Third-place Mars Hill received the final first-place vote.
Newberry’s six first-place votes and five-vote cushion to the next-highest first-place vote total are both tied for the most in the league since 2005. The Wolves’ 55 total points are the second-most in the league since 2010.
In 2016, Newberry became the 16th team in the league’s 42-year history to win the conference championship with an undefeated record. The Wolves have won a school-record 10 SAC games overall and led the league in both scoring offense (36.3 points per game) and scoring defense (20.1 points per game).
The Wolves travel to preseason No. 2 Wingate on Oct. 28 for a rematch of last year’s de facto SAC championship game. The contest will mark Newberry’s first night game at Irwin Belk Stadium, which was renovated with lights prior to this season. First-year conference member Limestone was picked to tie for seventh with Lenoir-Rhyne.