In a vote by the conference coaches forward Miguel DaSilva and defender Garrett McLaughlin were honored. DaSilva was a unanimous selection. DaSilva was an All-A-Sun First Team selection for the 2009 season.
“I still say when Miguel is healthy he is the best player in the conference,” Bisons coach Charles Morrow said. “He is not 100 percent right now, but he is getting there.
“He had surgery at the end of the spring, and he is coming back from that. But he is so far ahead of where he was last fall. And he also realizes how much further he can go. He is not happy with where he is right now. In training he did some things that we haven’t seen from him in awhile.”
This the first recognition for McLaughlin from the conference coaches in either postseason or preseason.
“It is good for Garrett to get some recognition,” Morrow said. “He has sort of flown under the radar. He has been a solid player for us.
“He hasn’t gotten the recognition he might have deserved. Part of that is that defensively we have not been where we needed to be statistically. It is a big thing we hope to improve on this year. We need to be a little sounder defensively. Hopefully, Garrett will live up to his billing in anchoring the defense.”
The Bisons were picked to finish seventh in the conference. They were picked third last season and finished sixth in the conference.
“It’s not too far off of the finish from last year,” Morrow said. “But I think we are better than the seventh team in the league for sure.
“I don’t mind being overlooked. We have seen it from both sides the last couple of years. It’s nice to be appreciated for the work you are doing and being recognized for what is going on with your program. But being picked lower than what you think you should be and knowing you can do better than that is a nice feeling too.”
The Bisons are missing two starters from last season _ midfielder Andre Santos and midfielder-defender Kezi Lara.
“Obviously, we have a lot to prove this year,” Morrow said. “We have to prove that we are one of the teams that can contend for the conference title and play with anyone in the conference.
“This preseason poll will motivate our players. Going forward we will use this as fuel. I definitely think it is within us to be better than seventh for sure. “
Tuesday morning the Bisons held their first practice in preparation for the 2010 season. They travel to Louisville for an exhibition game Saturday at 4.
Morrow, starting his sixth season, was impressed by the overall condition of the team.
“We had a fitness test first thing and then we had a training session right after it,” Morrow said. “This was the best first day fitness test we have had since I have been here, not only as a group but individually.
“For the most part our guys did a good job from a fitness perspective knowing what they are up against. It could be better. There is room for improvement for sure, but we had several guys who were very, very impressive with the fitness tests.”
Morrow stresses that there is a short period of time to get ready for the start of the season.
“It was imperative that the guys came in ready to go,” Morrow said. “We are in a better spot than we have been in past years. “But it is only the first day. There is still a lot of work to be done. It feels good to finally get started.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.