Defending national champion East Mississippi will begin its title defense from the No. 1 position in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) pre-season football poll, released Wednesday morning.
East Mississippi defeated Arizona Western in last December's El Toro Bowl, which was designated the NJCAA Championship Game in a 55-47 shootout. Western fell from No. 1 to No. 3 in the final poll. Butler moved from No. 3 to finish No. 2 after defeating Trinity Valley (Texas) in the Citizens Bank Bowl and is in that spot once again in the pre-season poll.
Butler, the favorite to once again win the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) title, is one of three Kansas teams ranked in the pre-season. Hutchinson is 10th while Coffeyville is 17th.
While Fort Scott Community College was listed as receiving votes in the JCGridiron.com pre-season Dirty 30, released last week, there was no list of others receiving votes in the NJCAA poll. The JCGridiron poll includes California junior colleges, which are not members of the NJCAA.
Arizona Western is No. 3 in the NJCAA pre-season poll followed by Mississippi Gulf Coast -- whose only two losses were to East Mississippi -- at No. 4 and Blinn (Texas) at No. 5.
Hinds (Miss.) is next at No. 6 followed by Trinity Valley (Texas) at No. 7, Iowa Western No. 8, Snow (Utah) No. 9 and Hutchinson at No. 10.
Northwest Mississippi holds the No. 11 position followed by Navarro (Texas), Eastern Arizona, Dean (Mass.) and New Mexico Military. The final five starts with Tyler (Texas), which is Fort Scott's opponent in this year's series between KJCCC and Southwest Junior College Football Conference schools, Coffeyville, Iowa Central, Rochester (Minn.), and Nassau (N.Y.).
To compare, the No. 1 team in the JCGridiron poll is Mt. San Antonio, a California school, with Arizona Western second followed by the City College of San Francisco. East Mississippi, which is also JCGridiron's defending national champion, is fourth. Hutchinson was voted 10th with Butler 12th. Coffeyville received no mention in the JCGridiron poll.
Of the four games against ranked opponents on its schedule, Fort Scott will play three at home. Those games will be against Tyler on Sept. 1, Coffeyville on Sept. 15 and Hutchinson on Oct. 20. The lone road game will be at Butler's new stadium on Sept. 8.
Fort Scott's season opens Aug. 25 with a conference game at Highland.
|Aug. 25||at Highland||1 p.m.||W. 34-14|
|Sept. 1||TYLER, Texas||1 p.m.||Did not play|
|Sept. 8||at Butler||7 p.m.||L. 12-43|
|Sept. 15||COFFEYVILLE||1 p.m.||L. 8-29|
|Sept. 22||DODGE CITY||1 p.m.||W. 40-22|
|Sept. 29||at Garden City||7 p.m.||W. 14-12|
|Oct. 6||at Independence||7 p.m.||W. 35-14|
|Oct. 13||Bye week|
|Oct. 20||HUTCHINSON||1 p.m.||L. 36-69|
|Oct. 27||ARKANSAS BAPTIST||1 p.m.||Did not play|
|Nov. 4||Region VI Semifinal||1:30 p.m.|
|Nov. 11||Region VI Championship||1:30 p.m.|
Bold -- Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference game.
CAPS -- Home game.