Full Release From Southland Conference


FRISCO – The Southland Conference revealed its preseason poll for the upcoming 2019 season on Monday with the Sam Houston State Bearkats picked to finish third in the 13-team league.


Coach Brenda Gray, who enters the 2019 season with 699 career victories, return eight players off a squad that went 22-8 a year ago and finished third in the league standings. The Kats were one of five teams to garner at least one first-place vote, coming in with 227 total points in the poll.


Defending league champion Stephen F. Austin is the preseason favorite to retain its crown, garnering 283 total points and 19 of a possible 24 first-place votes. Meanwhile, Central Arkansas picked up a pair of first-place nods and 238 total points to come in just ahead of the Bearkats.


Rounding out the top five were Houston Baptist and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi with the Huskies pulling in one first-place vote and 217 points, while the Islanders were picked fifth despite receiving three first-place votes.


Abilene Christian (194) and Northwestern State (182) just missed out on the top five with McNeese (135) not far behind in eighth. UIW (95), New Orleans (88), Lamar (82), Nicholls (47) and Southeastern Louisiana (38) rounded out the selections.


The preseason poll is conducted with votes from each school’s head coach and sports information director with schools not being able to vote for themselves.


The Bearkats will kick off the 2019 regular season on August 30-31 in Huntsville when they host the 42nd Annual Bearkat Invitational at Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum. Season tickets for the 2019 season are currently on sale for $30 and can be purchased by calling the Bearkat Ticket office at 936-294-1729, or online by visiting HERE.