Grizzly Trio Selected as Players to Watch by HCAC as League Announces Pre-Season Rankings

Photo courtesy of Quinn Fitzgerald
Photo courtesy of Quinn Fitzgerald

CARMEL, Ind. – The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) unveiled its 2019 men's soccer pre-season poll on Monday (Aug. 19) morning, comprised of votes from all 10 league coaches.

Three Grizzly players were spotlighted by the league on the annual list of 'Players to Watch' with seniors Jordan Thomas and Cody Coppess and sophomore Jake Hendricks featured among the best players in the league. Franklin was picked to finish eighth in the league, garnering 26 points total.

Thomas enjoyed a breakout junior campaign that saw him earn Second Team All-HCAC honors. The Whiteland, Ind.-native led the Grizzlies in both goals and scoring, netting seven tallies for 14 points, setting career highs in both categories. He also led the Grizzlies with three game-winning tallies and finished with a pair of multi-goal games last fall.

Coppess saw action in 15 contests, starting 14 times as part of the Franklin midfield a year ago. The Greenville, Ohio-native netted a pair of goals for the Grizzlies, finishing with 13 shot attempts on the season.

Hendricks is coming off a strong rookie campaign that saw him snatch the starting keeper position right out of camp. The Indianapolis, Ind.-native started 15 contests last year, stopping 82 shots and finishing with a .719 save percentage. Hendricks finished the year with a pair of clean sheets and stopped a season-high 19 shots against Hanover last fall.

Defending league champion Transylvania narrowly edged out Hanover for the top spot in the poll, picking up five first place votes for 77 points. The entire pre-season poll can be found below.

Franklin kicks off the 2019 season on Friday, Aug. 30 with a home match against Wabash. Kick-off from Faught Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m.

School

Points

1. Transylvania (5)

77

2. Hanover (5)

76

3. Rose-Hulman

66

4. Manchester

57

5. Anderson

46

6. Mount St. Joseph

31

7. Earlham

30

8. Franklin

26

9. Defiance

24

10. Bluffton

17