The Whitworth football team has been picked to finish in fourth place in the Northwest Conference, but was the only school other than Linfield to pick up a first-place vote in a poll of the league coaches.
Linfield, which is seeking to extend its national record 59 consecutive winning seasons, has been picked by conference coaches to repeat as champions, the NWC office announced Tuesday. However, the Wildcats shared the conference title last year with Pacific (Ore.) before Linfield advanced to the NCAA Division III semifinals.
Coaches picked Pacific to finish second and Pacific Lutheran to finish third.
Whitworth opens the season Sept. 12 against Whittier at the Pine Bowl.
Eastern Washington goalkeeper Mallory Taylor was named Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Week.
The junior posted consecutive 2-1 victories at UTEP and New Mexico State over the weekend as the Eagles opened their season.