Orange Out Promo
Uploaded Ad
stop
Article Image
Courtesy: GoBearkats.com
Football tabbed for 4th place league finish
Courtesy: GoBearkats.com
Release: 07/27/2011
Send this article to a friend Print RSS
Related Links
Lake Charles, La. - Stephen F. Austin and McNeese State, the top two teams in the Southland Conference last season, were again picked as the favorites heading into the 2011 season as voted on by the league's head football coaches, the conference announced Wednesday at its annual football media day at L'Auberge du Lac Resort.

McNeese State received three out of a possible eight first-place votes and 44 points to edge defending champion SFA by just one point.

Sam Houston State was tabbed to finished fourth in the coaches' preseason ratings. The Bearkats received 36 total points and had one first place vote.

The Cowboys, who haven't finished lower than second in the Southland standings since Mac Viator took over as head coach in 2006, return 10 starters and 48 lettermen, including all-conference performers Andre Anderson (running back), Desmund Lighten (defensive end), Malcolm Bronson (safety), Josh Lewis (kicker), Miguel Gauthreaux (off ensive guard) and Darrell Jenkins (safety).

The Lumberjacks are coming off their first back-to-back conference titles in school history and despite the loss of quarterback Jeremy Moses, the 2010 Walter Payton Award winner, return nine of 11 starters on offense including All-America receivers Gralyn Crawford and Cordell Roberson, and all-conference offensive linemen George Bias, John Steel and Corey Dickerson.

Central Arkansas, which finished in a three-way tie for third place in last season's conference race, was picked third in both the coaches' and SID polls receiving 37 and 35 points, respectively. The Bears will feature 47 players with on-the-fi eld experience, including an experienced senior class of 19 to go along with another 17 juniors.

Sam Houston's young squad didn't pay any attention to last year's preseason poll in which the Bearkats were picked to finish next to last.  Sam Houston won six of its final nine games to tie for third in the league.

This season, head coach Willie Fritz welcomes back 11 starters on off ense, nine on defense and three specialist starters, plus 23 other returning lettermen.

Eleven Bearkats were selected as to the 2011 preseason All-Southland Conference squad, also voted upon by the league's head coaches. Only SFA with 12 selections put more players on the preseason all-league team than the Bearkats.

Northwestern State, which tied for third last season with a 4-3 mark, is picked to fi nish fifth in the coaches' poll with 24 points. Junior linebacker Derek Rose returns after becoming the first sophomore All-American at Northwestern since current Buff alo Bills starting cornerback Terrence McGee earned that honor in 2000.

The remaining sixth, seventh and eighth place teams include Nicholls State, Southeastern Louisiana and Lamar, which is playing its first Southland Conference season since 1986 after restarting its program in 2010.

The Sam Houston football team will report for 2011 preseason camp on Wednesday, August 3. The Bearkats will play six home games at Elliott T. Bowers Stadium this fall. The Kats open the season on Thursday Sept. 1 at home with a 6 p.m. contest versus the Western Illinois Leathernecks.

Season tickets for Sam Houston State football are on sale now online at www.gobearkats.com/tickets or at the Bearkat athletic ticket office located in the Ron Mafrige Field House in the south end zone of Bowers Stadium.

Ticket office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The ticket office telephone number is (936) 294-1729.

SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE PRESEASON RANKINGS
(Selected by vote of the league's head football coaches)

Place  School (First-place votes) ............................................ Points
1.        McNeese State (3) .........................................................44
2.        Stephen F. Austin (3) ....................................................43
3.        Central Arkansas (1) .....................................................37
4.        Sam Houston State (1) ..................................................36
5.        Northwestern State ........................................................24
6.        Nicholls State ................................................................16
7.        Southeastern Louisiana .................................................15
8.        Lamar ..........................................................................9

Back
Auctions
DVD Store
Tickets
advertisement
Hall of Honor
Bearkat Champions Fund
More On GoBears.com
LeftRight
Matt Dominguez and Timothy Flanders make 50 year All-SLC squad
Football manager earns U.S. citizenship
New football coach setting the bar high
Bearkats named to Southland Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll
Sam Houston student-athletes spread Christmas spirit
Shelby Genung
#10
Position: Middle Blocker
Class: Sophomore
Presented by Villas on Sycamore
What part of "Battle of the Piney Woods" at NRG Stadium excites you most?
Bearkat Lettermen's Welcome Line
Pregame Tailgate at NRG
Halftime Pagentry
The big crowd
Beating SFA last three years
Presented by State Farm
TFB Honorary Coach