KANSAS CITY, Mo. – With the 2016 season officially drawing to a close this past weekend with the National Championship game, the NAIA released the Postseason Top 25 Coaches' Poll on Tuesday.
After finishing the year at 7-4, the Raven Football team remained at No. 23 after holding the same position in the final regular-season ranking back on Nov. 13.
Benedictine earned 40 points in the postseaon poll after earning 40 in the poll on Nov. 13.
The Ravens finished in third place in the Heart North, which had two other schools ranked in the poll. Grand View University finished at No. 9 - up from No. 10 - while William Penn University finished at No. 24 - down from a tie for No. 23 with Benedictine.
In total, the Heart of America Athletic Conference finishes with five total representatives in the poll. NAIA runner-up Baker University finished at No. 2 after losing the NAIA title game against top-ranked Saint Francis – who earned all 13 first-place votes in the postseason poll. Missouri Valley College rounds out the Heart South schools in the poll at No. 11, which was also the final regular-season ranking.
As a team, the Ravens end 2016 ranked No. 2 in punt yards per game (42.5) while ranking No. 13 in scoring defense per game (19.9) and No. 15 in rushing defense per game (127.1).
Individually, Sebastian Harris finishes at No. 3 in the NAIA in punt yards per game with an average of 42.9. The mark breaks his previous school record of 41.7 which he set during the 2015 season. Steve Williams also ranked No. 6 in passes defended per game at 1.5.
National Signing Day is February 1 this year while the NAIA will release a Spring Poll on April 10.
Benedictine opens up the 2017 season at home on Aug. 26 when they play host to Missouri Valley College on O'Malley Field. Their first Heart North game comes against Culver-Stockton College on Oct. 21 also on O'Malley Field.