Pittsburg State’s football team will open preseason camp at 11:30 a.m. Friday at Carnie Smith Stadium.

The Gorillas will hold single practices Saturday through Monday mornings at 8 each day before having its first full-pad practice on Tuesday.

Tim Beck begins his 10th year as head coach and 33rd season overall with the program with 46 returning lettermen and 13 players — seven on offense, six on defense — who started at least six games last season.

There are 11 all-MIAA performers back, including running back Tyler Adkins, all-purpose Tucker Horak, wide receiver Lorenzo West and linemen Ryan Dodd and Zach Thomas on offense.

Defensive players who made the all-league team last year are cornerback KiAnte Hardin, safeties Josh Hornback and Morgan Selemaea, defensive end Cole Morris and lineman Simanu’a Thomas. Placekicker Jared Vincent also earned all-conference honors.

Pittsburg State kicks off its season Sept. 5 at Central Oklahoma. The home opener is Sept. 14 against Emporia State.

The Gorillas are picked third behind Fort Hays State and Northwest Missouri in both the coaches and media preseason polls. Last season the Gorillas finished third with an 8-3 record.

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