Being selected as the preseason favorite by the Southwest Junior College Football Conference coaches has not necessarily been a comfortable position for league teams the last few years.
The last four years of favorites have found themselves anywhere but the top of the league standings by the end of the year.
Navarro hopes to change that trend in 2013 after being tabbed as co-favorite with Kilgore at Thursday’s SWJCFC Media Day at the Garden Valley Golf Club.
If the annual preseason poll of coaches is any indication, the 2013 Southwest Junior College Football Conference season should be a wide open affair.
Five different teams received first place votes, headed by Kilgore and Navarro with two top picks apiece by league coaches. Kilgore and Navarro played in the first round of the SWJCFC playoffs last season.
Kilgore and Navarro both received 51 points, barely edging third place Northeastern Oklahoma A&M (50) and Tyler (47). Navarro, the 2012 SWJCFC champion after defeating NEO in Miami, Okla., in the conference championship game and later winning the Heart of Texas Bowl, also earned one second-place vote, one for third and two for fourth. Kilgore had three third-place votes and a fourth-place vote in addition to its pair of first-place nods by coaches.
Trinity Valley is fifth in the coaches poll, followed by Blinn and Cisco.
“Offensively, we’ve got two guys battling for quarterback and five running backs that we feel really good about,” said Navarro coach Bryan Mayper to the assembled media. “The key when (former coach) Nick (Bobeck) was here was they had a good group of running backs they could keep fresh all the time and keep the offense effective. We’ve got a chance to have the same thing this year.
“Defensively, you’re going to see a four-, five- or three-person front. You name it and you are going to see it from (first-year defensive coordinator Scott Joseph).”
Navarro has a solid mixture of veteran defensive linemen and transfers. Mayper is also counting on Corsicana High School product Dominic Kelley, a reserve linebacker last year who excelled in the spring.
“He’s been doing really, really well for us and is going to be a key to our defense along with several of the other sophomores,” Mayper said.
Mayper was 11-2 in his first year at the helm of the Bulldogs. He’ll welcome his second year of charges on Aug. 10. First practice is Aug. 11.
Morgan: Compare and contrast Cowboys and Rangers
Spring is here. What better time to compare and contrast management techniques of the Rangers vs. the Cowboys?
Outdoors: Kevin Reese —Stick and string turkeys: Shotgun range is bow range
Bow addicts can take heart; there's plenty of turkey hunting in the spring.
Navarro Baseball: Lewis delivers in 10th, Bulldogs beat Angelina 2-1
Navarro’s Bulldogs pulled out a critical Region XIV baseball game on Friday afternoon, beating Angelina 2-1 in 10 innings to open a three-game series with the Roadrunners.
CG Baseball/Softball: Roundup
Mildred's softball team and Wortham's baseball teams both win.
CHS Basketball: Two Tigers make All-District first team
Corsicana’s Tigers capped off an emotion season in which they finished in a tie for third and then battled for a playoff spot by placing two players on the District 16-4A All-District first team and three more on the second team as postseason honors were announced.
CHS tennis: Tigers playing well as they host tournament
Corsicana High’s rich and storied tradition in tennis is in good shape as the Tigers have made strides during the spring tennis season.
The Tigers, who have played well this spring, will be the hosts to one of the top tournaments of the spring on Friday when 16 schools and 256 players will compete in the Corsicana Spring Break Slam.
Frost's Blenden leaves for AD job in Valley Mills
Frost football and basketball coach Eric Blenden is leaving school for job at Valley Mills High School.
Region XIV Tournament: Navarro's season ends with first-round loss to Angelina
The Bulldogs were stunned by Angelina in the opening round of the Region XIV Men’s Basketball Tournament at Tyler Junior College’s Wagstaff Gym, where Navarro’s season ended in a 82-76 loss to the Roadrunners, who are the No. 12 seed in the tournament.
GC Boys Basketball: District 18-1A DI: All-District team
Wortham's Brian Coffman is named Coach of the Year, Kerens' Nate Betts is MVP of 18-1A DI.
GC Basketball: Kerens dominates 18-1A DI girls All-District team
The Kerens LadyCats, who went undefeated in district, dominated the District 18-1A DI All-District girls basketball team that was announced Tuesday.
Not only did Denise Lincoln win the Coach of the Year but Breanna Baxter was named the district MVP and Marqueshia Kelly was the district’s Defensive MVP.
- More Sports Headlines
- Morgan: Compare and contrast Cowboys and Rangers