|EMCC Lions grab No. 16 ranking in NJCAA Preseason Top 25 football poll|
Coach Buddy Stephens’ EMCC Lions are rated 16th nationally in the 2011 NJCAA Preseason Top 25, released Tuesday by the NJCAA office headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo.
SCOOBA – For the third consecutive year, the East Mississippi Community College football program has earned a preseason national ranking.
With a three-year composite head coaching record of 24-8 at EMCC, Stephens returns 26 lettermen, including a dozen starters, from last year’s 5-5 Lions squad that rallied late in the season to claim runner-up honors in the MACJC’s North Division standings and earn a third straight appearance in the state playoffs.
Previously coming off back-to-back MACJC North Division championships in 2008 and 2009, including a school-first MACJC state football championship two seasons ago, the EMCC Lions were ranked seventh nationally in the preseason a year ago and No. 6 in the NJCAA’s 2009 preseason poll.
Reigning national champion Navarro College (Texas) headlines this year’s NJCAA Preseason Top 25, followed by defending MACJC state champion Mississippi Gulf Coast, Butler Community College (Kan.), Blinn College (Texas) and Arizona Western College to comprise the top five.
Along with the MGCCC Bulldogs and EMCC’s Lions, the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) is also represented in this year’s preseason poll by Pearl River CC and the reigning MACJC North Division champions of Northwest Mississippi CC at eighth and ninth, respectively. Also making the NJCAA’s Preseason Top 25 from the Magnolia State is No. 19 Copiah-Lincoln CC, last year’s MACJC state runner-up.
With eight returning starters from last year’s No. 4-rated offensive unit in the NJCAA and four defensive starters back, the 2011 EMCC Lions will kick off the upcoming campaign while ushering in a new era of gridiron action on the Scooba campus by playing host to Mississippi Gulf Coast on Thursday, Sept. 1, at the New Sullivan-Windham Field. EMCC’s $4.7 million, 5,000-seat football facility will make its debut in the Lions’ lid-lifter by featuring the last two MACJC state football champions. Two years ago at the Lions’ previous football site on the Scooba campus, East Mississippi claimed a memorable 75-71 shootout victory over Gulf Coast to capture the school’s first state football championship.
|Last Updated ( Tuesday, 02 August 2011 )|
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