The Old Dominion Athletic Conference hosted its annual football media day on Friday afternoon at the Salem Civic Center. Washington and Lee was picked to finish fourth in the league's preseason coaches poll, which was unveiled at the event.
Defending ODAC Champion Hampden-Sydney was selected as the top team after receiving 47 points and five first-place votes. Randolph-Macon was picked second with 41 points and two first-place votes, while Bridgewater was selected third with 28 points. The Generals (27 pts.), Guilford (21 pts.), Catholic (20 pts.) and Emory & Henry (12 pts.) rounded out the poll.
Washington and Lee finished in third place a season ago after compiling a 6-3 overall record and a 4-2 mark in the conference. The Generals return 12 starters and 33 letterwinners from the 2007 campaign, including senior First Team All-ODAC picks Stuart Sitterson (Atlanta, Ga./Westminster) and Tommy Matteo (Worcester, Pa./Germantown Academy).
A versatile offensive back and return specialist, Sitterson compiled 1,735 all-purpose yards and seven touchdowns last season. Matteo started all nine games at defensive end in 2007 and totaled 57 tackles and 5.0 sacks.
The Generals also return the last two ODAC Rookies of the Year in junior quarterback R.J. Varner (Birmingham, Ala./Spain Park) and sophomore offensive lineman Greg Kurkis (Roswell, Ga./Westminster). Varner threw for 1,565 yards and 13 touchdowns a season ago, while Kurkis helped anchor an offensive line that paved the way for an average of 344.8 yards and 24.6 points per game.
Washington and Lee opens its 2008 season on September 6 as it travels to Franklin & Marshall for a 1:00 pm contest.