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.
GC Baseball: Kerens beats Cayuga 5-1, wins first district title since 1981
The wait is over.
And it came just in time for Brett Anderson, who left it all on the mound Tuesday night at Kerens, where he pitched a masterpiece to lead the Bobcats over Cayuga, 5-1, and help the program win its first baseball district title since 1981.
“I've got no gas left. I'm out,'' said Anderson, a senior lefty who stopped Cayuga cold, holding the three-time defending district champs to just three singles while striking out 14.
GC Basebal Roundup: Corsicana blasts Jacksonville; BG wins huge district game
The Corsicana Tigers wrapped up district play with a dominating 9-0 win over the Jacksonville Indians behind Trevor Nolen, who shut out the Indians and allowed only one hit over 6 1/3 innings. Donovan Fields came on to retire the final two hitters. The Tiger pitchers limited the Indians to only 25 plate appearances in the game and no runner to reach third base.
Rodeo: Navarro County Derrick Days -- Burton is back
Professional rodeo entertainer Ronald Burton returns to the Navarro County Exposition Center April 25-26 to entertain the crowd at the 2014 Navarro County Derrick Days Pro Rodeo.
Huggins to call shots at Derrick Days Rodeo
West Huggins will serve as the announcer for the 2014 Navarro County Derrick Days Pro rodeo. The Gardendale native is the reigning three-time United Professional Rodeo Association Announcer of the Year.
Dill gets 300th win in Navarro baseball sweep of Bossier Parish
Navarro baseball’s weekend in Louisiana was significant on a number of fronts. On one hand, coach Whoa Dill notched his 300th win. On the other, and perhaps more importantly, the Bulldogs simply continued to play well. The Bulldogs swept Bossier Parish to move 14-11 in Region XIV East Zone play, and 27-17 overall.
Mildred sending five to regional track meet
Sasha Ballard set a school record in the 800 meters and paced a contingent of five Mildred thinclads heading to Stephenville for the regionals later this week.
Kerens boys grab four gold medals at area track meet
Tavion Hall and Jalon Moss each snared a pair of gold medals as Kerens boys finished second at their area track meet last week with 88 points.
Area schedule for the week
Here's a look at this week's schedule for Golden Ciircle teams and Navarro College. The schedule does not include upcoming bi-district playoff games in softball because times and sites have yet to be determined.
GC Baseball/Softball: Blooming Grove sweeps Rice in baseball and softball
Blooming Grove's Lions needed this one.
Heck, they need all of them.
That's where they're living today on the Blooming Grove diamond, where everyone knew going into Friday's game with Rice that the Lions need to win their final three games to have a chance of nailing down the final playoff spot in District 23-2A.
One down, two to go.
“It's in our hands,'' said Blooming Grove Coach Matt Anderson moments after his kids beat Rice 8-0 Friday night. “As long as we take care of our business we'll be fine.''
GC Softball/Baseball Roundup: Frost girls win district title
Frost's Lady Polar Bears needed to win to nail down the district title and they never trailed, jumping out to a 7-0 lead en route to an 11-7 clinching victory over Itasca Friday on the road. They wrapped up their second district title in a row with a 9-1 record and enter the playoffs next week at 13-1.
- More Sports Headlines
- GC Baseball: Kerens beats Cayuga 5-1, wins first district title since 1981