ST. GEORGE – Dixie State football was picked to finish fourth in the 2018 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches Poll, while senior offensive lineman Tevia Tolutau and senior defensive lineman Remington Kelly were named to the preseason All-RMAC team.
The poll and the preseason All-RMAC team were both announced July 30 before the RMAC Football Kickoff in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Head coach Shay McClure, Tolutau and junior safety Mike Jones represented the Trailblazers at the event.
Colorada State-Pueblo was tabbed as the preseason favorite to win the conference, followed by Colorado Mesa, Colorado School of Mines, Dixie State, and Chadron State rounded out the Top-5 in the preseason poll.
For the second consecutive season, the Trailblazers placed two players on the preseason All-RMAC team in Tolutau and Kelly. Tolutau started all 11 games on the offensive line in DSU’s 2017 campaign. He is one of just two returning starters up front for Dixie State in 2018.
Kelly earned All-RMAC honorable mention honors in 2017, finishing the year with 58 tackles, nine tackles for loss, nine quarterback hurries, 3 1/2 sacks, and a 46-yard fumble recovery touchdown against Adams State. Kelly also was named to the RMAC All-Academic team in 2017 with a 3.53 GPA in business administration.
Tolutau is just one of four starters on offense from a season ago when the team went 5-6.
Dixie State’s leading rusher, junior tailback Sei-J Lauago, is back after running for 803 yards and five touchdowns in just eight games last season.
On the defensive side, DSU welcomes back eight defensive starters, highlighted by Jones as last year’s leading tackler with 84, as well as Kelly on the defensive line.
Dixie State begins its third season in the RMAC on the road with the season-opener at Colorado State-Pueblo Saturday, Sept. 1. The Trailblazers will then come home for three-straight RMAC games, beginning with the home opener vs. Fort Lewis Saturday, Sept. 8.
DSU will continue the homestand the following week with a date vs. New Mexico Highlands, Sept. 15, followed by a matchup vs. South Dakota Mines, Sept. 22. Kickoff for all three games will be at 6 p.m.
Following a two-game road trip to RMAC member Black Hills State, Sept. 29, and to perennial national power Grand Valley State, Oct. 6. Dixie State returns home to square off against Western State, Oct. 13, at 1 p.m.
DSU will then close the season with three of its final four games on the road, starting with a two-game swing at Chadron State, Oct. 20, and at Colorado Mesa, Oct. 27.
Dixie State will return home for Homecoming and Senior Day Nov. 3, when the Trailblazers welcome Colorado School of Mines for a 1 p.m. kickoff. DSU will then close the 2018 regular season one week later at Adams State, Nov. 10.
The Trailblazers open fall camp Aug. 6.
2018 RMAC Preseason Coaches Poll
- CSU-Pueblo (8) – 98 points
- Colorado Mesa (1) – 88 points
- School of Mines (2) – 84 points
- Dixie State – 68 points
- Chadron State – 63 points
- South Dakota Mines – 49 points
- Black Hills State – 47 points
- Fort Lewis – 46 points
- Adams State – 30 points
- Western State – 20 points
- New Mexico Highlands – 12 points
(Number of first-place votes in parenthesis.)